Towers for new Casper quad have landed
New lift is just one piece of midmountain transformation.
A helicopter pilot watches as he lowers a tower onto its foundation near the top of the new Casper quad chairlift. PRICE CHAMBERS / NEWS&GUIDEView our entire photo gallery >>
By Miller N. Resor, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
October 10, 2012
On Monday, the 14 towers for a new lift at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort were flown in by helicopter and secured to their foundations.
The new Casper quad chairlift now has both loading and unloading terminals as well as towers. Cables should be in place by the end of the month, and chairs will follow shortly after. By Nov. 24, the resort expect it to be running.
The $5 million project is on schedule, Mountain Resort communications manager Anna Cole said.
The new quad replaces a triple chair the ski resort built in 1974.
The chair begins and ends in almost the exact same location as the old lift, but the unloading dock is 4 feet higher up the mountain and has moved slightly north from the old lift’s location.
The new lift will take skiers to the top of Casper in three and a half minutes rather then the 10-minute ride on the old lift. The greater capacity and shorter ride has the potential to take 2,000 people to the top every hour. The old lift carried only 1,185 people up the mountain hourly.
The new lift is part of an even bigger transformation taking place at midmountain.
“Jackson is known for it’s extreme skiing,” Cole said. “We are trying to broaden our appeal to intermediate skiers. We look at the install of the Casper lift as a revamp of the heart of the intermediate area.”
Over the past few years, the resort has made investments in snowmaking and grooming capabilities that will benefit the midmountain area.
This summer, however, the resort took advantage of the construction of the new lift to sculpt an entirely new run and do some “summer grooming” on another.
Directly beneath the old lift, trees have been removed and the hillside planed to create a new intermediate run named Sun Dog. To the right of the chairlift, Wide Open has also received some summertime work, making the run easier to groom and more accessible to intermediate skiers.
The NASTAR course that used to sit beneath the chairlift will be moved to Apres Vouz, and the Sweetwater Chair, previously used only on weekends and holidays, will run all the time.
Casper restaurant is also getting a face-lift. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Wes Hamilton, who oversees food and beverages at all seven of the mountain’s restaurants, said patrons will still be able to get burgers, but burritos, tacos and hot sandwiches have been added to menus. The small bar just around the corner from the cafeteria has been turned into a margarita bar. It will be bigger and will continue to serve margaritas as well as beer, wine and spirits.