BEND, OR -- Mt. Bachelor’s parent company Powdr Corp. announced Thursday plans to install a new chairlift for the 2016-17 ski season. Interim General Manager John McLeod says the $6 million project will result in the mountain’s first new chairlift in 20 years. "The last time we opened a brand new chairlift that provided access to new terrain was in 1996. But, in 2006, we replaced the Pine Marten lift in its current alignment with all new terminals and drive equipment, so that was the most recent major lift investment."
The Cloudchaser lift
will run up the east side of the ski hill, which McLeod says provides greater protection during storms, and increases the resort's total skiable area to more than 4,300 acres.
McLeod tells KBND News the project has been highly anticipated since the Master Development Plan was approved by the U.S. Forest Service. "That sort of outlines the things we want to do with the resort over the next 10 years. That Master Development Plan was approved in 2013 by the Forest Service. And, one of the major elements of that plan was to install this new lift on the east side of our mountain that opens up an additional 635 acres of terrain."
He says Cloudchaser likely won't be ready by the start of next season, but its exact opening is dependent on the weather. "The construction period goes into early December; we would hope to be open elsewhere on the mountain earlier than that. We would hope that in a normal year, with normal snow conditions, and provided we stick to the construction schedule, that lift would be operational for the public in time for the Christmas holiday period. "