[R178R, Holiday Valley] in Ellicottville, N.Y., has finished a $3.5 million project to install a high-speed detachable quad chair.

The new Morning Star High Speed Quad just passed the New York State load test, in the final step of the project that began in May.

The load test involved loading 26 of the 56 chairs with 935 pounds each, about the weight of four skiers or riders. Total load on the lift was 24,310 pounds. Operators ran the lift forward and backward, and tested brakes, backups, and auxiliary motor. The test also involved safety switches and tower circuits.

The Morning Star High Speed Quad replaces a four-person fixed-grip chairlift. Work involved removing the old concrete tower bases and lift terminals, and installation of new ones.

The old lift will replace the SnowPine double chair for the the 2011-12 season.

The Morning Star's base is at a lower elevation on the mountain, next to the base of the Eagle Chair. The new lift line takes a slightly different path up the mountain, with only two lift towers on the Morning Star slope. Skiers and riders also will be able to ski the new lift line.

The ski area expanded terrain and added lights to accommodate the longer lift line, as well.

Holiday Valley has 58 slopes and 13 lifts on four distinct mountain faces.

More information. Or call 716-699-3904.