'Days, possibly weeks'; resort shifts gears to make up for it, says Summit lift should reopen Friday
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Skiers and snowboarders at Mt. Bachelor were greeted Thursday by a new round of fresh snow – and the disappointing news that a main chairlift, out of commission since before Christmas, will be down for “days and possibly weeks” because some parts are hard to replace and may need to be re-manufactured.
The Skyliner Express, a quad (four-chair) high-speed lift built in 1989, has been down since Dec. 23 for repairs described as “complex” by Bachelor General Manager and President John McLeod.
Here's the Thursday morning update he posted on the resort's website:
"Since we originally took Skyliner down due to mechanical failure, we knew this would be a complex repair but were hopeful that the damage was limited to standard, available components. Had this been the case, we had all the parts necessary to have Skyliner back in action for the upcoming weekend.
"Unfortunately, yesterday we learned that Skyliner sustained damage to major components that are much harder to replace and may ultimately have to be re-manufactured. Meaning we will be without Skyliner for an indefinite period while we engineer a solution with our Doppelmayr partners.
"Our teams are already implementing contingency plans to re-imagine our resort for a period without this important lift and the terrain and parking area that it serves. This will include:
- Moving some of our Woodward Parks to new areas of the mountain
- Expanded grooming of less frequently groomed areas of other parts of the mountain
- Running shuttles from the Skyliner parking lot so we can continue to utilize that parking area and provide access to Skyliner trails for those willing to ride a bus back to West Village for their next lap (think untouched powder runs on certain days!)
"Our resort will transform over the next few days and possibly weeks as we explore ways to make lemonade from this bunch of lemons. The good news is that our crews completed recovery work on the Summit chairlift yesterday, the haul rope had extensive icing from our four-week storm cycle, but the lift is now ready to go.
"Unfortunately, the weather is against us operating Summit today; however, once patrol has completed control work tomorrow morning, Summit should be good to go tomorrow (weather and wind permitting). The weekend looks clear for continuous Summit operations.
"As always, the Mt Bachelor team's dedication and creativity will shine through, and although we are all sad to be without Skyliner for a bit longer, we will do whatever we can to make the most of what we have, which is still plenty!" McLeod concluded.
Meanwhile, Mt. Bachelor reported the Rainbow lift, also out due to maintenance work, should return to operation on Friday.