Stratton's Snow Bowl Poma Quad lift is heading to Magic!

BIG NEWS: Stratton's Snow Bowl Poma Quad lift is heading to Magic to replace Black Chair!

Here's
the press release from this morning below. This a major investment by
SKI MAGIC LLC in our mountain's future and in improving your experience
here as skiers and riders. Lift lines to the absolute minimum, reliable
family-oriented lift service, and keeping our slopes free of heavy
traffic! We plan to have this Quad lift operating for the 2018-19 season
(pending permitting), along with our new base-to-mid mountain Green
Double. Thank you for all your support by making plans to ski and
ride here at Magic!

 

Press Release:

 

Stratton’s Snow Bowl Poma Quad Lift Heading Across the Valley to Magic Mountain

 --Another Major Upgrade by SKI MAGIC LLC Will Replace Magic’s Current Black Chair Summit Lift--

 

Londonderry, VT, May 9, 2018 – Magic Mountain is
purchasing and installing Stratton’s current “Snow Bowl” Poma fixed-grip
quad chairlift as a new base-to-summit lift for the 2018/19 season. The
Poma quad lift will replace Magic’s current “Black Chair” which had
been operating as a double passenger capacity lift. The new lift at
Magic will follow a similar lift line up the Black Line trail to the
summit with a slightly higher terminal station in order to access all
trails at Magic.

 

Magic’s new Poma quad lift, originally built in 1986
and installed at Stratton’s Snow Bowl area, comes with 148 chairs, a
2,000 skier per hour capacity, and has an excellent performance and
maintenance record at Stratton. It will service approximately 1,500
vertical feet with the lift line stretching about 5,000 feet long. The
lift will add significant uphill capacity in combination with Magic’s
current “Red Chair” double summit lift and another new installation to
be completed this off season of a base-to-mid mountain Borvig double
passenger lift (“Green Chair”). The current Black Chair, which the Poma
Quad will replace, only had 113 chairs, was approved as a two-person
carrier, and therefore had a maximum capacity of just 620 riders per
hour. The Poma Quad therefore effectively triples Magic’s uphill
capacity over the current lift.

 

“When we heard Stratton was replacing their Snow Bowl
lift with a new high-speed detachable, four-passenger lift, our investor
group jumped on the opportunity to try and purchase their Poma
fixed-grip quad”, said Geoff Hatheway, President of SKI MAGIC LLC. “For
our ski community, this lift is a huge upgrade that meets and manages
our current and future growth expectations, better fulfills customer
desires for quality, reliable lift service at Magic, and sustains our
reputation as an area with both minimal lift lines and low on-slope
skier density.”

 

Stratton is taking down the Snow Bowl lift this month
and then Magic will have the lift transported across the valley (about
15 miles) to its Londonderry location.

 

“It’s great to see this dependable lift live on in
southern Vermont, and I want to acknowledge Bill Nupp, President and COO
of Stratton, and all our neighbors there for making this purchase
happen”, continued Geoff Hatheway. “We occupy a very different place in
the industry than Stratton, but Bill and his team really wanted to make
this possible for us. It’s a true example of the big guy on the block
helping the little guy out and supporting the diversity of experiences
uniquely available here in southern Vermont—all within just a few miles
of each other.”

 

Magic plans for its lift contractors to begin work
this summer and fall on the new summit Black Line Poma Quad, after the
installation is complete on the mid-mountain Green Lift. Magic will
operate the new quad as the primary summit lift every weekend and
holiday period, with the famed Red Chair continuing as an additional
lift on busy weekends plus pulling main duty on lighter traffic
weekdays.

 

In total, this will be a major $1 million capital
investment in the new lift by SKI MAGIC LLC which will help attract more
skiers and riders to the southern Vermont and Windham County region who
are interested in a classic, old-school mountain vibe.

--End Release--

- Geoff

SKI MAGIC LLC

Where skiing still has its soul.​

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Comments

  • Excellent news, it's nice to see a major resort help out a smaller mom and pop.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • This will be good for Magic and I knew it was bound to happen at some point, but with the two new lifts, I envision more trail crowding and I don't think Magic will be as attractive to me anymore.
    - Sam
  • I don't know how bad the trail crowding might be...a 2000 skier/hr capacity is about the same as the West Mtn triple (1600-1800 per hour), and the other triple is a lot less, 1000 or so, so 2800 skiers per hour - even with the lifts mostly full, the trails stay quite reasonable. 2-3 quads to top would be different.

    But this is great news....we all love funky lifts, but that frankenlift was going to become unusable soon.

    JD
  • edited May 9
    Looks like you can buy old black chairs for $300 each.

    So exciting news. We will keep you all posted throughout the "off" season on both lift projects and our snowmaking pond expansion project. Also, the actual Black Chairs from the old lift will be available for purchase for $300/chair. If you'd like to reserve one or two, please email info@magicmtn.com with your phone number. 
  • This will be good for Magic and I knew it was bound to happen at some point, but with the two new lifts, I envision more trail crowding and I don't think Magic will be as attractive to me anymore.

    Good luck to finding someplace better and less crowded in SVT. This lift will still be around a 12 minute ride. If every chair is filled, that is 300 people on the lift and not on the trails.
    This is great news.
  • Excellent Magic LLC. Doing it right reliably is key here.
  • Can someone explain the economics behind keeping the red lift, too? I get having a backup, but I doubt it will ever be crowded enough (especially if the green chair comes on line) to really need it. Seems like a lot of maintenance cost for a lift that is likely not going to be used much. I am thinking of the Willoughby Chair at Burke- rendered useless by a parallel (essentially) quad.

    Or maybe it costs less to keep standing and maintained than to tear down and find a buyer?
  • This will be good for Magic and I knew it was bound to happen at some point, but with the two new lifts, I envision more trail crowding and I don't think Magic will be as attractive to me anymore.
    Good luck to finding someplace better and less crowded in SVT. This lift will still be around a 12 minute ride. If every chair is filled, that is 300 people on the lift and not on the trails.
    This is great news.


    Yes this is great news usually I'm not for these massive ski areas upgrade from doubles to high speed 6 person bubble lifts that more and more ski areas are doing , as I really don't mind riding slow chairs and I rather have a few less runs with good snow then a ton of runs with boiler plate. However there comes a time when lifts NEED to be replaced and this is one of them. Black chair while not "unsafe" certainly had a lot of issues and cosmeticly needed some work so it's a great investment and opportunity for the mountain and the industry. To say the area is unattractive because of this lift improvement is crazy. Your entitled to your own thoughts , but good luck finding better terrain at that price south of MRG.
  • Can someone explain the economics behind keeping the red lift, too? I get having a backup, but I doubt it will ever be crowded enough (especially if the green chair comes on line) to really need it. Seems like a lot of maintenance cost for a lift that is likely not going to be used much. I am thinking of the Willoughby Chair at Burke- rendered useless by a parallel (essentially) quad.


    Or maybe it costs less to keep standing and maintained than to tear down and find a buyer?
    If you've never been to Magic or talked/heard/read how the locals speak of Red you would know it is not a matter of economics, it's a matter of love. There is only one other lift in the region that gets more respect. And overall it really is a true classic that is in pretty good shape after years and years of maintenance. Now that it will be the backup lift she can live on forever! 
  • Sully said:

    Can someone explain the economics behind keeping the red lift, too? I get having a backup, but I doubt it will ever be crowded enough (especially if the green chair comes on line) to really need it. Seems like a lot of maintenance cost for a lift that is likely not going to be used much. I am thinking of the Willoughby Chair at Burke- rendered useless by a parallel (essentially) quad.


    Or maybe it costs less to keep standing and maintained than to tear down and find a buyer?
    If you've never been to Magic or talked/heard/read how the locals speak of Red you would know it is not a matter of economics, it's a matter of love. There is only one other lift in the region that gets more respect. And overall it really is a true classic that is in pretty good shape after years and years of maintenance. Now that it will be the backup lift she can live on forever! 
    Correct, I have never been to Magic, though it is on my list and has been for years. However, you can't keep a place running on love alone, and I was just curious how having a lift sit idle, yet have to have the requisite (and not cheap) maintenance, can pay off. If nostalgia pays the bills, then I guess that's reason enough to keep it. They must feel it is worth keeping, so point taken. 
  • Remember too - Snowjournal/SJ sponsored the painting of Chair 98 on the Red Chair :)
  • The Red chair will not sit idle. It will run during the week (Thur/Fri) as it is more economical and the Quad capacity not needed. It will also run on busy weekends/holidays. And no matter how good the new Quad is you need a back up. Removimg it would be nonsensical on a number of fronts. And loyal locals cherish Red. So it will be a key operating lift for years to come.
  • edited May 9

    Sully said:

    Can someone explain the economics behind keeping the red lift, too? I get having a backup, but I doubt it will ever be crowded enough (especially if the green chair comes on line) to really need it. Seems like a lot of maintenance cost for a lift that is likely not going to be used much. I am thinking of the Willoughby Chair at Burke- rendered useless by a parallel (essentially) quad.


    Or maybe it costs less to keep standing and maintained than to tear down and find a buyer?
    If you've never been to Magic or talked/heard/read how the locals speak of Red you would know it is not a matter of economics, it's a matter of love. There is only one other lift in the region that gets more respect. And overall it really is a true classic that is in pretty good shape after years and years of maintenance. Now that it will be the backup lift she can live on forever! 
    Correct, I have never been to Magic, though it is on my list and has been for years. However, you can't keep a place running on love alone, and I was just curious how having a lift sit idle, yet have to have the requisite (and not cheap) maintenance, can pay off. If nostalgia pays the bills, then I guess that's reason enough to keep it. They must feel it is worth keeping, so point taken. 
    It will not be a Burke/Willoughby situation. Think Bluebird/GSE at Mount Snow. Complementary lifts and both needed.
  • This will be good for Magic and I knew it was bound to happen at some point, but with the two new lifts, I envision more trail crowding and I don't think Magic will be as attractive to me anymore.

    Good luck to finding someplace better and less crowded in SVT. This lift will still be around a 12 minute ride. If every chair is filled, that is 300 people on the lift and not on the trails.
    This is great news.

    I agree that it will still be one of the best options in the area. What I'm saying is that it takes me almost 3 hours to drive to Magic one way. With the new quad, I will now be more likely to choose other areas, such as Dartmouth, Black, Tenney, and Mount Abram. I wonder if/how much this will affect the vibe of the area.
    - Sam
  • newpylong said:

    Sully said:

    Can someone explain the economics behind keeping the red lift, too? I get having a backup, but I doubt it will ever be crowded enough (especially if the green chair comes on line) to really need it. Seems like a lot of maintenance cost for a lift that is likely not going to be used much. I am thinking of the Willoughby Chair at Burke- rendered useless by a parallel (essentially) quad.


    Or maybe it costs less to keep standing and maintained than to tear down and find a buyer?
    It will not be a Burke/Willoughby situation. Think Bluebird/GSE at Mount Snow. Complementary lifts and both needed.
    slatham said:

    The Red chair will not sit idle. It will run during the week (Thur/Fri) as it is more economical and the Quad capacity not needed. It will also run on busy weekends/holidays. And no matter how good the new Quad is you need a back up. Removimg it would be nonsensical on a number of fronts. And loyal locals cherish Red. So it will be a key operating lift for years to come.

    If it’s already there, and in good shape, a back-up is a
    good idea. I think it was around Christmas 1986 when Stowe installed their
    Forerunner HSQ. In advance they removed the Mansfield double. I guess the
    single had been removed earlier. I was in the lift line at Stratton with Stowe
    season pass holders. Their new lift wasn’t running. I heard people say, “If
    only they kept the double, we could reach the summit.” They finally figured out
    that one or both bull wheels (I don’t recall) were the wrong size. So having a
    back-up lift, if it’s there and usable, is a good thing.


  • newpylong said:

    Sully said:

    Can someone explain the economics behind keeping the red lift, too? I get having a backup, but I doubt it will ever be crowded enough (especially if the green chair comes on line) to really need it. Seems like a lot of maintenance cost for a lift that is likely not going to be used much. I am thinking of the Willoughby Chair at Burke- rendered useless by a parallel (essentially) quad.


    Or maybe it costs less to keep standing and maintained than to tear down and find a buyer?
    If you've never been to Magic or talked/heard/read how the locals speak of Red you would know it is not a matter of economics, it's a matter of love. There is only one other lift in the region that gets more respect. And overall it really is a true classic that is in pretty good shape after years and years of maintenance. Now that it will be the backup lift she can live on forever! 
    Correct, I have never been to Magic, though it is on my list and has been for years. However, you can't keep a place running on love alone, and I was just curious how having a lift sit idle, yet have to have the requisite (and not cheap) maintenance, can pay off. If nostalgia pays the bills, then I guess that's reason enough to keep it. They must feel it is worth keeping, so point taken. 
    It will not be a Burke/Willoughby situation. Think Bluebird/GSE at Mount Snow. Complementary lifts and both needed.
    I believe the Willoughby lift never ran after quad installed, then was (is to be?) removed.
  • Money Well Spent.
    You ski because even if you don't do it well, it's still a blast....
  • The second half of
    the Liftblog.com article is nothing new. But there is a 4 min. video. Magic staff
    ride the Red Chair talking about this summer’s work. They say $1.6 mill., the
    same as the article. I think that includes finishing the Green Chair and
    snowmaking pond expansion. So Stratton gave them a great deal. In the comments
    (included below), there’s a question about a loading carpet and line speed. 485
    fpm is fast w/o a carpet, but where did that figure come from? So I looked at
    Liftblog’s stats for the Snow Bowl, they say 550 fpm. That’s not correct for a FGQ.

    Two New Lifts Are Coming to Magic Mountain

    May 9, 2018Peter
    Landsman
    11 Comments

    They call it “the road less traveled,” a classic Vermont
    mountain situated about half way between Stratton and Okemo.  Now in its
    second year of new ownership, Magic Mountain has carved a successful niche
    offering top quality, affordable skiing despite a competitive landscape. 
    Ski Magic LLC added a new carpet lift and restarted work on a new double chair
    to service intermediate terrain soon after taking over operations in late
    2016.  Fresh off a successful 2017-18 season with increased skier visits,
    investors plan to spend an impressive $1.6 million on key infrastructure this
    summer including two important new chairlifts.

    In addition to completing the Green Chair
    project by early summer, Magic announced today that a Poma quad chair will
    replace the Black lift, which dates back to the middle of last century. 
    The 1962 Pohlig double was once converted to a triple with Yan chairs before
    being turned back into a double in recent years.  Today it sports towers
    from Pohlig, Hall and possibly Poma and the time has finally come to retire it.

     

    Any idea if the new Black Line chair will have a
    loading carpet? 485 fpm over 5000 ft is an awful lot quicker in terms of ride
    time than 450 (or less)…

  • Or maybe it costs less to keep standing and maintained than to tear down and find a buyer?

    Yes, this is correct. It it much more expensive to remove a lift than it is to maintain it. Exhibit A: The Duckling Double at Sunapee. There have been many rumors of it being removed and it is even suggested on the 10 year master plan. It's just far cheaper to put $10,000 into it (or whatever it may cost to maintain and license), vs $100,000 or more to remove it.
  • JMaul said:

    Money Well Spent.

    I like conciseness
    +1
  • There will not be a loading carpet. Magic confirmed this on social media.

    I also do not think that Stratton "gave them a deal", although they could have - I am not privy to that. What I am privy too is there was original concern that Stratton and/or Alterra would not want to sell to - and help - a nearby "competitor". That obviously was not the case, and based on the article, its because Bill Nupp made it happen. 

  • edited May 10
    Agreed. That is the ballpark going rate for a used lift of that age/type/condition.
  • edited May 10
    Definitely doesn't hurt with the transport distance. It's better than say Cherokee NC to Crotched. Saves time and money. The question is can they get Green ready and this new one by late December? And the pond?

    On a different moving lift note- When Bousquet got the Hall chair from Eastover, George told me the Bousquet crew took there machines and tools to Eastover. They had the lift down and moved into Bousquets parking lot in one day.
  • newman said:

    Definitely doesn't hurt with the transport distance. It's better than say Cherokee NC to Crotched. Saves time and money. The question is can they get Green ready and this new one by late December? And the pond?

    On a different moving lift note- When Bousquet got the Hall chair from Eastover, George told me the Bousquet crew took there machines and tools to Eastover. They had the lift down and moved into Bousquets parking lot in one day.



    Eastover in Mass, Lenox area? I stayed there once and sent the info to Jeremy for NELSAP. Little tiny 150'? vert area, with an old but very salvageable Hall double.

    Regarding Green, lots of work was done last year. Chairs repaired and painted. Sheathes cleaned, painted and new ones milled. Bull wheel barings repaired. New cable and com line delivered. Probably lots more that I am unaware of.

    I have to assume that the group they hired to finish Green also did the analysis on what was required to install Black, and the timelines to do Green and then Black, and it all worked. So lets hope all goes according to plan.

  • slatham said:

    What I am privy too is there was original concern that Stratton and/or Alterra would not want to sell to - and help - a nearby "competitor". That obviously was not the case, and based on the article, its because Bill Nupp made it happen. 

    A strong Magic could help Stratton. The Mad River Valley has a strong one-two punch with Bush and Mad River. The two areas compete against each other but they also bring regional value that draws people to the area. I don't think Magic is going to take away Stratton loyalists or vice versa, two very different areas for two very different skiers. But I think there could be some crossover (especially since Magic isn't open mid-week except powder days) and a higher profile could help all the areas in the valley (rising tide floats all boats style).
  • riverc0il said:

    slatham said:

    What I am privy too is there was original concern that Stratton and/or Alterra would not want to sell to - and help - a nearby "competitor". That obviously was not the case, and based on the article, its because Bill Nupp made it happen. 

    A strong Magic could help Stratton. The Mad River Valley has a strong one-two punch with Bush and Mad River. The two areas compete against each other but they also bring regional value that draws people to the area. I don't think Magic is going to take away Stratton loyalists or vice versa, two very different areas for two very different skiers. But I think there could be some crossover (especially since Magic isn't open mid-week except powder days) and a higher profile could help all the areas in the valley (rising tide floats all boats style).
    Agreed- As a Valley resident I know that there is a completely symbiotic relationship between the two areas, and they each support the other. There is little cross-pollination (or siphoning of skiers from one to the other). People buy one pass or the other (though I know some who have both), snowboarders ride MRG before it opens for the season and well after it closes. two different customer bases as far as loyal skiers, and tourists will often ski both if conditions allow. Magic/Stratton/Bromley are similar, and keeping all strong helps them all.

    That being said, MRG faces a reckoning with regard to snowmaking and climate change. They have to do something to avoid being closed or severely limited during the holidays and after meltdowns. A line to the top of the Double is the minimum required, IMO, but that is another thread.
  • There are two threads covering the new chair. I’m using this
    one. The following are minor points, but that’s what we do. I’ve seen that
    Magic’s chairs listed as short as 5100 (5500 on NESH). But let’s say the new Black
    line is 5200’,  
    a bit over 300’ ground
    length (+600’ total) of haul rope will need to be added. Of course the Magic
    announcement isn’t trying to cover every detail. But my guess is, they won’t
    buy/find more chairs, they’ll just stretch those 148 out. Below stats are from
    Liftblog and NESkiHistory. I don’t think Liftblog is accurate when they list
    550 fpm for any fixed grip lift. I don’t think VT permits over 500. They list
    one of the fastest fixed grips in NE, Sugarloaf’s Skyline at 485. They do have
    Sunday River’s new Spruce triple (also loading carpet) at 500. So the capacity
    will be under 2000 pph. But that’s way more than the current 620 pph.

    Will they need to pour new tower pads? Will they need to
    find another tower or two? As I said, these are minor points; getting the Snow
    Bowl quad is a great move for Magic.

     

                                    pph        vert        length   chairs    speed

    Snow     2000       1380       4877       148         550

                    Red                        1500       5350                      

                    Black                      1500       5500       113

  • edited May 12
    550 is from the SAM lift survey.  All of the [now former] long quads -- Kidderbrook, Snowbowl, Sun Bowl -- at Stratton are listed as 550.

    That said the new Black quad will run at 485.

    I can tell you that Outpost at Mt. Snow moves very fast. Has to be greater than 500.
  • edited May 12
    550 is design max (like most fixed grips put it in the 80s and beyond), it won't run that fast.

    They will not add more cable, you avoid double splices especially that close together. So what they have for towersand cable length is what they have to work with. New footings yes.

    Outpost runs around the same speed
    as Challenger at Snow, normal speed is around 450.

    edit I love those two triples and think they are perfect for over there hope they are never replaced but that's just me lol.
  • newpylong said:

    550 is design max (like most fixed grips put it in the 80s and beyond), it won't run that fast.

    They will not add more cable, you avoid double splices especially that close together. So what they have for towersand cable length is what they have to work with. New footings yes.

    Outpost actually runs a touch slower than Challenger at Snow, normal speed is around 435.

    I'm impressed that +80's fixed grips can do 550. If I'm correct that the state of VT permits 500 fpm, with more and more loading carpets, will they permit a little faster with those lifts? What do other states permit?
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