New $6.2 million chair lift for Gore Mountain
The state-owned Gore Mountain ski area will be replacing its Adirondack Express chair lift this summer.
Only days after the end of this year's skiing on Easter Sunday, the Olympic Regional Development Authority announced it will replace the 30-year-old three-chair lift with what officials are calling Adirondack Express II — a quad-lift with comfortable chairs that will also get skiers up the mountain faster.
The lift will cost $6.2 million, with most of the funding coming from increased ORDA funding the Cuomo administration sought in this year's state budget.
"We're excited to be announcing this investment," said Gore Mountain spokeswoman Emily A. Stanton. "It adds a lot of reliability and efficiency in getting visitors out of the base area and up the mountain."
The lift runs roughly 7,100 feet. It will end at a new unloading zone near the mid-mountain Saddle Lodge, with the unloading area lowered and restructured to provide easier egress.
The lift will have a capacity of 2,400 people per hour, 300 more than the old lift — and a Gore press release said it can operate 38 percent faster.
The facility includes ski trails on Gore, Bear, Burnt Ridge, and Little Gore Mountains. Stanton said the new lift will be similar in comfort to the existing Burnt Ridge quad lift.
The previous triple lift was the oldest high-speed lift in North America, and maintenance and parts replacement was becoming more complicated due to its age, Gore officials said.
Other improvements scheduled for this spring and summer include a "soft start" feature for the J-bar in the beginner area and the placement of permanent tower snow making guns on the Topridge trail.
The long and snowy winter resulted in a strong season this year, Stanton said, though statistics on the number of visitors who made their way to the northern Warren County resort are still being compiled.