Vail gets new six-rider Chair 4; mountain set for opening day this Friday |

Vail gets new six-rider Chair 4; mountain set for opening day this Friday

It’s a sunny day on the soon-to-be-opened Vail Mountain at Mid-Vail, where it’s a bustle of activity, mostly centered around the mountain’s newest lift addition.

Workers from the resort and lift company Doppelmayr were busily putting the finishing installments on Mountain Top Express (Chair 4), one of the most frequently used lifts at the resort. The new Chair 4, the mountain’s first six-passenger capacity lift, is expected to increase the lift’s capacity by 33 percent. That means the chair could feasibly transport 3,600 people to the top of Vail per hour, the same capacity as the new Gondola One.

Crews have been working on the lift all summer, and it is nearly completed. Wednesday and Thursday, crews were cleaning and testing the lift. They simulated the weight the machinery will hold with large plastic garbage cans filled with water, then the lift underwent tests by outside officials, said Clyde Wiessner, the mountain’s lift maintenance director. The lift should be ready to operate by opening day Friday.


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