North Carolina’s Sugar Mountain Resort is wasting no time announcing improvements for the 2015-2016 ski season. In late March, 2015, the ski area revealed that it will be installing a new “six pack” chairlift in time for the opening of the 2015-2016 winter season. The state-of-the-art lift will take visitors from the base to the summit.
Construction on the Doppelmayr high speed, detachable lift will begin this spring. According to the resort, the new lift system’s architecture will streamline traffic flow and increase capacity by 2,000 people per hour. As part of the project, the existing Summit #1 lift will be refurbished and relocated to the bottom of Gunther’s Way, providing access to the mountain’s peak. The Summit #2 lift will be shortened to the upper mid-point for beginners and provide an alternate access route to Sugar’s north side, where trails like Lower Flying Mile, Easy Street, and Gunther’s Way are located.
Because these significant lift upgrades will be occurring throughout the summer, Sugar Mountain will not be offering summer lift rides this summer and will not be hosting the SugarBrew festival during 2015. SugarBrew will return in 2016 and is scheduled to occur on August 6, 2016. Sugar Mountain does plan to host its annual Oktoberfest on October 10-11, 2015, and its Sports Shop will be open for the annual fourth of July sale on July 4-5, 2015..
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
I hope that with the installation of a six-pack, they also invest in the appropriate access and staffing to ensure the lift is used at capacity. This season (still ongoing in New England) I've had the chance to ride on three different six-packs. In every case, even in New England with a developed ski culture, the sixpacks often are run at way less than capacity due to ergonomics of the approach path to the chairs.