What’s New for 2015

What’s New for 2015

Stratton invests $7 million for a two-year total of $21 million

Stratton Mountain, VT —  It truly is Christmas in July as shiny new gondola cabins, the latest HKD snowguns,  new snowcats, two new glades,  buses and  bullwheels,  grips, racks and rental gear … arrive in what will be a $7 million capital investment for the upcoming season at Stratton Mountain.

These projects follow on the heels of  last year’s $10.5 million investment that touched virtually every aspect of the resort experience.   Additional  projects this summer,  including new Village shops and restaurants, expansion of the Carlos Otis Clinic and the Patricia Kaltsas Performing Arts Center at Stratton Mountain School, bring that two-year total to more than $21 million.

DSC_0006 Manufactured by Sigma, an affiliate of Leitner POMA, the 58 new gondola cabins feature a rubber mounted frame designed for a smooth ride.  Carpeted flip-up seats and exterior ski and snowboard racks create a comfortable carriage for 10.

DSC_0001New cabins and cable replace the originals built in 1988; a new  gear box was installed at the start of last season bringing the gondola project in at about  $3 milllion.  With a trip time of less than eight minutes, the Stratton gondola carries 2,400 people per hour and runs 7,580 feet from base to the summit of southern Vermont’s highest peak with a vertical rise of 1,742 feet.

Wonder what $1.2 million will buy?  How about 350 high efficiency, low energy HKD snowguns bringing Stratton’s fleet of tower mounted snowguns to more than 1,000. In addition to boosting firepower, these efficient new HKDs  make Stratton’s move from diesel to clean electric compressors complete, saving 60,000 gallons of fuel.   “It’s a win for the environment, and our bottom line,” explains Snowmaking Manager Kevin Booth.

HSP2013_6049-2250pxThis summer’s snowmaking  project also includes 20 new air/water snowguns for a total of 75 portable air/water snowguns.  “While these air water guns are not our go-to gun, they work well in the early season and for touch ups,” explains Booth. “We just want to have as many tools as possible!”  Add the 14 fan guns, unrivalled air and water capacity (with 280 million gallons in reserve), two new Prinoth BR 350 grooming machines in the fleet, one of which is winch ready, and there’s a recipe for snow so great it’s guaranteed.

Two new Blue Square (intermediate) glades extend beyond the western boundary  for a total of 125 acres of gladed terrain designed for all abilities ranging from the wide open Emerald Forest to the tight and technical double black runs like Squirrel’s Nest.

And there’s more with new shops including Lole, eateries and pub in the Village,  restaurant expansion at mid-mountain, summer trail work, state-of-the-art sound and video in the Training and Fitness Center’s cycling studio … Stay tuned for complete details as the countdown to winter 2015 begins.

36 thoughts on “What’s New for 2015

    1. No idea! They must have been packed at random, because the next cabin to be unloaded was number 30.

      1. The Village gondola is a slightly different model than the ours, so it will not be joining the fleet. Instead, the Village gondola is owned by Whistler and will be shipped west this summer.

      2. Chris, the Village gondola is a Sigma demo that was already sent to Whistler and instead of shipping a new one, they opted to borrow this demo and send it to us temporarily.

    1. We’re currently gauging interest on Facebook actually! Once there’s a final decision made, we’ll be sure to let you know.

    1. The spooling of the old cable is taking place this weekend (weather permitting) and the new line won’t begin going up until Tuesday, August 19th (weather permitting). We’ll make sure the Gondola Webcam is pointed toward all the action and continue collecting GoPro time laps footage. A time laps hasn’t been posted yet, but will be within the month.

    1. The gondola will not be open Labor Day weekend due to cabin replacements. The splicing of the cable was just completed; we’re now loading cabins and scheduling safety tests. We hope to see you this weekend!

    1. Sorry Chris, I don’t have any news on the Snow Bowl quad at this time. However, I will say it’s been on our radar. :)

      1. I’ve seen your master plans. Is the new lodge idea and base transport system idea scrapped? Please respond.

      2. Chris, no future renovations have been finalized or to my knowledge scrapped either. Once we know any details about updating the resort in anyway, we’ll make sure to post that info.

  1. The article above states that the new gondola cabins can carry 12 people comfortably, however the sign above the loading station states that the maximum capacity is 10. I rode the gondola today, and despite a long line, only 8 people per cabin were being loaded. Can anyone clarify this?

    1. Steve, the Gondola loading station states the correct maximum capacity, that being 10. I apologize for the confusion; I’ll be editing any mentions of 12 to the correct number. Typically 8 are loaded so no one is forced to stand.

  2. What is the capacity of the new gondola cars? I have read that the capacity is 12, but when I was there Sunday the lift operators were loading 8 per car.

  3. Loading only 8 people per gondola car is a big mistake. On weekends and holidays, which is the only time I am able to ski, the line at the gondola is typically quite long. I think most skiiers would rather have 10 people per car so that the wait is shorter. Why can’t you have a separate line for standing room? Or else the standing room could be filled from the singles line. I would gladly stand in the gondola every time if it meant shorter wait times, and more runs on your wonderful mountain.

    1. Steve, that’s an interesting idea. With the addition of the new cabins this season, we prefer to give every guest a chance to sit down. We promise to do an informal survey to see if other guests would like to stand up too! Another concern of loading 10 is that all guests will feel the impact in a crowded cabin, not just the guest that wants to stand up. You make great points and we’ll be looking for more guest feedback via surveys as we more forward, addressing this concern.

  4. I was up there the other week, and the old guns were just laying about on the ground? What are you doing with them, because I’d like to have the nozzles for my home snowmaking?

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