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Purchase of new lift straightforward task

John Seelmeyer

When executives of Mt.

Rose-Ski Tahoe decided to go shopping for a new ski lift, they didn’t need to pack a lunch.

Only two manufacturers in the world make the kind of lifts the ski area needed for its $4 million improvement project, and only one of those companies Doppelmayr CTEC Inc.

of Salt Lake City does much work in the United States.

The ski area southwest of Reno said last week it will buy a new six-passenger chair lift for its East Bowl ski terrain from Doppelmayr CTEC.

The new lift will be installed for the 2004-2005 ski season.

The lift that currently serves the area will be used to serve “The Chutes,” a newly opened 200-acres of terrain at the ski area.

Mike Pierce, marketing director of Mt Rose-Ski Tahoe, said executives of the ski area began thinking seriously about the new lift during the 2002-2003 ski season as they neared the end of a five-year planning process.

They knew they wanted more capacity in the East Bowl area it was formerly known as Slide Mountain and Mt.

Rose-Ski Tahoe officials first considered adding an eight-passenger chair lift.

They backed away from that, however, because the eight-passenger chair remains a relatively unproven technology, Pierce said.

Another factor in executives’ decisionmaking, Pierce said, was a desire to simplify maintenance.

The new Doppelmayr CTEC lift is similar to other equipment at the ski area.

Another concern was the high winds that swoop over Mount Rose on their way to northern Nevada.

Ski area officials wanted heavy chairs that could operate in high winds, and the Doppelmayr CTEC chairs weigh nearly 1,000 pounds each.

That will allow lifts to keep running and keep revenues flowing even on windy days.

The new chair lift will handle a third more skiers that the system it will replace.

It will carry 3,600 skiers and snowboarders an hour from the base to the summit in about three and a half minutes.

The lift’s vertical rise will be 1,303 feet; it will cross a slope that’s 3,938 feet long.

The lift initially will include 50 chairs, but its design allows for as many as 75.

The new terrain known as “The Chutes” that will be opened in the 2004- 2005 season includes some of the steepest in-bounds skiing in the United States, Pierce said.

The north-facing bowl plunges nearly 1,500 feet.