Big Sky Resort announces new 6-passenger lift for 2020-21 season

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In another upgrade to its facilities for skiers and snowboarders, Big Sky Resort has announced it will install a high-speed six-passenger lift to replace its existing Swift Current High Speed Quad.

Known as Swifty, the lift is one of three chairs that take off from the Mountain Village, the ski resort’s main base area. Swifty climbs 1,647 feet over 1.6 miles, the longest lift on the mountain. Last winter the resort opened its first eight-passenger lift, Ramcharger 8, which also leaves from the base area.

Like Ramcharger 8, the new Swift Current 6 will have heated seats, leg rests and a drop-down bubble to block the wind on cold days. The new chair will truly be swift, covering 1,200 feet per minute, or roughly 13.6 mph. Ramcharger 8 has a speed of more than 11 mph.

“The combination of the lift design and the new D-Line technology makes the ride whisper quiet and incredibly smooth,” said Stephen Kircher, CEO and president of Boyne Resorts, parent company of Big Sky Resort, in a press release. “The safety-bars auto-lock, the adjustable ramp makes loading seamless, and with wide, heated seats and a weatherproof bubble — the short seven-minute ride will feature extraordinary comfort and reliability.”

The current Swifty’s ride time is nine minutes. Big Sky touts the new chairlift as the fastest six-person chair in North America.

The Powder Seeker, which climbs to the base of Lone Peak Tram, is Big Sky’s other six-passenger covered chairlift. It’s a short ride, though, covering half a mile in about three minutes.

Swift Current 6 will be the fifth Doppelmayr lift infrastructure project at Big Sky in the past four years.

“Big Sky is on a path to rival the best lift systems in the world when the 2025 vision is completed,” said Mark Bee, president of Doppelmayr USA, in the press release.

Lift improvements are part of Big Sky’s 2025 vision that includes an emphasis on alpine enhancements like new chairlifts along with upgrades to the Mountain Village’s facilities, new workforce housing and increasing airline and ground transportation.

“We were able to bring Swift Current forward in our 2025 timeline and still keep on track with our next transformative steps of mountain improvements,” said Big Sky president and COO Taylor Middleton in the press release.

Construction on the new lift will start this spring. The ski hill is open until April 19. The existing Swift Current lift will be upgraded, refurbished and repurposed for installation at another Boyne Resorts sister property in 2021.

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