By David Schissler – One of my favorite areas is about to step it up a notch. Loveland recently announced it will replace Chair 1, a 1981 fixed-grip Yan triple chair, with its first high speed quad for the 2018 season. Regulars at Loveland know the eight-minute ride up Chair 1 is slow and can be cold and windy. After all, it sits atop the Continental Divide at 11,838 feet! Next year that ride will be cut to an amazing 3 minutes. This lift is also one of the more special in the country. It’s often the first lift to open, runs daily for one of the longest seasons each year, and can be seen from I-70 making it a highly visible marketing point for the mountain.
Last November, Loveland’s COO, Rob Goodell, told the Clear Creek County Commission, “One of the driving forces was the next generation of the Loveland family: the kids and the grandkids,” he said. “We’re very much looking toward the future because this lift is going to be there for 40 years.” Goodell went on to say there are only a few areas in Colorado that don’t have a high-speed detachable lift.
Loveland has been operating since 1937 and last year was its second busiest ever. Goodell said “So far business has been very strong compared to last season, but not just revenues from people being at the ski area but all the preseason pass sales…,” Goodell said. “We’re seeing double-digit increases percentage-wise, which is very encouraging going into this current season.”