Bridger Bowl plans new lifts

Bridger Bowl ski area plans to invest $4.1 million in two new Skytrac triple chairs next summer. That’s a significant development, considering that the area has put a total of $11 million into improvements during the past 17 years.

The lifts will be ready for next winter and will replace the Alpine lift, a double chair installed in 1967 and carries about 1,100 skiers an hour. The new lifts will transport 1,500 and 1,800 skiers per hour, more than doubling the capacity on the northern end of the ski area.

“It’s a lot more capacity, and they’ll both have loading carpets, so the real load capacity is higher because we have fewer slows and stops,” said Randy Elliott, the mountain’s general manager. “It’s also less wear on the lift operators because they’re bumping fewer chairs.”

Both of the new lifts will originate just north of the current Alpine chair. “One of the major reasons for the positioning of these two lifts is to move the lifts, as well as beginner and intermediate skiers and boarders, away from the avalanche paths found at and around the top terminal of the current Alpine lift,” the ski area said in a statement. The lifts may also help connect the existing terrain to a future terrain expansion.