[R229R, Marmot Basin] has more hoops to jump through than most resorts in order to install a new lift. The ski area, after all, sits smack in the middle of Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The resort announced in November that it has met the environmental and development criteria of Parks Canada to install a new chairlift. The Leitner Poma will be the longest high-speed detachable quad chairlift in the Alberta Canadian Rockies, covering 7,546 feet in length.

"We are all looking forward to this new addition to our already friendly and accessible hill and trail system," commented Dave Gibson, President of Marmot Basin. "All parties involved worked tirelessly to achieve an appropriate balance for both our ski area and for Jasper National Park."

The $8 million lift system will replace the Tranquilizer Chair and Kiefer T-bar. The 7.5-minute ride will climb 1,955 vertical feet from the bottom terminal adjacent to the Eagle Express to the top terminal at the top of the Kiefer T-bar.

Construction on the new lift has begun, so Marmot can employ eco-conscious practices, working on snow to minimize impact to soil and vegetation. Large mechanical components for the top station and drive system will be moved into place over snow. Helicopters will carry concrete, towers, and equipment over sensitive and inaccessible alpine terrain. Tree removal for the new lift line will also be done over snow.

"Having this new lift will substantially enhance the quality of skiers' and snowboarders' visits to Marmot Basin by greatly increasing the accessibility of our upper mountain terrain, right from the bottom of the mountain," adds Gibson. Marmot plans to have the lift ready for the 2009-10 ski and snowboard season.