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Vail Resorts Announces $100 Million Third-Quarter Profit Bump and Chairlift Upgrades

Flush with cash from a good third quarter, Vail Resorts announces three chairlift upgrades with more news to come.

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Vail Resort has cash to spend, and three U.S. ski resorts are on the receiving end. N.H.’s Attitash, Stevens Pass, Wash,, and Breckenridge, Colo. will each get a chairlift replaced. That includes the ancient Summit Triple at Attitash, which has long been a source of contention at the ski area.

Coming off of last week’s news of record pass sales, third-quarter earnings that are up $100 million over the same period last year, and a corresponding stock bump, Vail Resorts shared the three chair updates that will be operational for the 2023-’24 ski season. (Although VR CEO Kirsten Lynch said that news about more 2023 resort upgrades will be coming out soon, so watch this space.) In the meantime, here’s the skinny.

Three Chairlift Upgrades for the 2023-’24 Ski Season

Attitash Mountain Resort, N.H.

The Summit Triple is the only way to the top of Attitash Peak, and is the longest and slowest lift at the resort. It’s also frequently shut down due to mechanical issues. Built in 1986, the Summit can only move 1,500 skiers per hour, compared to the 2,800 skiers per hour that are served by the resort’s other high-speed lifts, Flying Bear and Flying Yankee. So a new express quad will significantly improve the flow and access to the peak.

That said, there’s only three routes from the top of Attitash Peak—two steep blacks, and one blue—so skiers should know what they’re getting themselves into before hopping onto the resort’s shiny new toy in 2023.

Breckenridge Resort, Colo.

One of Colorado’s most-visited resorts is replacing Chair 5, an old fixed-grip double, with a high-speed quad. While the terrain it serves is the beginner runs located between the Rip’s Ride double and the Colorado Superchair, and it’s not historically been a very popular lift, the upgrade will make it a ton easier for beginners to load and unload as they get their bearings around the behemoth resort.

Stevens Pass, Wash.

Stevens Pass will replace one of its last two remaining antique Riblet chairs for 2023-’24. While Kehr’s Chair is not a major artery for the resort, it does get crowded on powder days when skiers are trying to get to their favorite stashes on the backside of the mountain. Kehr’s mainly serves the Showcase run, which is used for training by ski racing clubs. While the resort hasn’t announced whether the quad will be detachable or fixed grip, it’s safe to say that the ski racers are about to get a lot more training runs in.

Stevens Pass terrain exposure
Kehr’s Chair, labeled here with its former name of Big Chief, sits just above the planned Northern Exposure expansion. Photo: Courtesy of Stevens Pass

This might not seem like a major upgrade, but it plays a big part in the resort’s planned Northern Exposure terrain expansion, which will add six new runs and a quad chair below Kehr’s, giving skiers more direct access to the updated lift and making it far more relevant to skier flow.

While these three upgrades are not for the upcoming season, don’t forget about the 21 lifts that are getting built or upgraded for 2022-’23, including major projects such as two new lifts serving Vail’s Back Bowls and another two new lifts at Park City. Catch up on all of the upgrades here.