A new ski chairlift debuted at Big Sky Resort on Saturday and the lift is one of a kind, not only in the United States, but in the world.
Lines quickly filled up as skiers and snowboarders waited to take their first ride on the Ramcharger 8, the newest lift at Big Sky.
Mark Bee, president of Doppelmayr, said his company started construction in May.
“Our crews had never put one of these together before so you know when we signed the contract back on March 5th, we knew it was going to be a big challenge,” he said.
Doppelmayr had to transport hard-to-find pieces from Austria to construct the large project. Each chair is equipped with heated seats, an optional weatherproof bubble, and a breathtaking view.
“I mean look at the people,” Bee said. “Look at them riding the lift. Look how they are enjoying it. It is a spectacular piece of machinery and a spectacular background.”
The Ramcharger is the first eight-person chairlift in North America and according to Big Sky Resort, the most technologically-advanced lift in the world.
“It’s raised the bar for the rest of North American skiing and we are excited about it happening here in southwest Montana,” Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne Resorts, said.
The evolution of the resort did not go unnoticed especially by skier Tom Manuel from Red Lodge who appreciated not having to wait in line as long.
“I never used to like it and now it is world class right out my back door,” he said. “Once you get out on the runs, there is a big open and the people disappear.”
Now that the lift is open to the public, 3,200 people can be taken to the top of the mountain each hour, which is something that has never been done at Big Sky before.
For more information on the construction of the Ramcharger 8, visit Big Sky Resort’s website.
-Reported by Mederios Babb/MTN News