Boyne Resorts today unveiled an extraordinary addition to its collection of industry firsts, announcing installation of an eight-seater high-speed bubble chairlift at its Big Sky Resort in Montana—the first in North America. The next generation Doppelmayr D-Line chairlift will provide the greatest skier comfort and most technological advances ever experienced and welcome skiers beginning Winter 2018/19.
For nearly 70 years, Boyne Resorts has maintained a heritage of firsts with planning and investment focused on enhancing the guest experience. Its history with Doppelmayr, the world leader in ropeway transportation, dates back to the 1980s and a collaborative relationship formed in 1992 when the two introduced the first high-speed six-place chairlift in the U.S. or Europe at Boyne Mountain Resort in Michigan. It was then that a joint ambition to create an eight-seater chairlift was first discussed.
“This is a very exciting moment in our company’s history, being able to capture another industry first with whom I consider the best lift manufacturer in the world, is truly remarkable, and as well an important time for Big Sky Resort in its journey toward becoming an internationally acclaimed mountain destination,” said Boyne Resorts president, Stephen Kircher. “Big Sky Resort is considered America’s Alp due to its Matterhorn-like peak and we will now have lift technology that rivals the best of what Europe offers and is truly beyond anything that exists in North America today. Bringing this next generation D-Line and installing the first eight-seater on this continent reinforces our company’s long history of industry firsts and without a doubt, is a transformative next step for Big Sky.”
D-Line technology and features developed by Doppelmayr are visionary. So much so, the system boasts 31 innovations and holds 14 patents.
“Installing North America’s first D-Line eight-seater at Big Sky and treating guests of this incredible resort to the lift’s unrivaled comfort and safety is a proud moment for us,” said Doppelmayr president, Mark Bee. “In my opinion, this addition at Big Sky will make riding many older lifts like flying coach versus the upgraded experience of flying first class.”
The lift’s chairs will feature the signature Big Sky blue bubble covers for added warmth and seats that are heated, form-fitting and wider than any ever made, providing the most comfortable ride yet conceived. The direct-drive motor is the first of its kind at a North American ski resort, eliminating the traditional gearbox and resulting in significantly increased reliability, ultimately creating the quietest and most energy efficient design in existence. Other features include an integrated 30’ x 10’ high resolution LED screen for guest information and engagement, height adjustable conveyor loading for safety and efficiency, improved suspension and grip design for a noticeably smoother ride, and fully automated chair parking in an underground facility to keep the chairs in optimal condition. Also first to North America will be the lift’s European-style tapered towers which improve structural efficiency and provide aesthetic appeal. Diagnostics are greatly improved with Doppelmayr’s latest control system “Doppelmayr Connect”, and the lift will feature an audio system for communication with guests during uphill transport as well as a child restraint system for optimized safety. These advances and features combine to take the experience with the new lift--for both riders and operators, to an entirely new level.
“This custom eight-seater we are building for Boyne Resorts is the most technologically advanced lift Doppelmayr has ever delivered,” said Bee. “The folks at Boyne have always looked to change the game by capitalizing on our latest advances in lift technology, and setting new standards for guest comfort, safety and aesthetic quality. The massive high-resolution LED screen, which is integrated into the lower terminal, will be another first for us.”
Boyne Resorts’ heritage of innovation spans eight decades. From patented and proprietary snowmaking systems, to radical leaps in chairlift technology including claim to the world’s first triple and quad and America’s first high-speed six-place, to the first to transform ski resorts into four-season operations and a lengthy list of additional innovative launches, this introduction of North America’s first eight-seater chairlift showcases the commitment to maintaining its pioneering spirit. Innovative amenities, programs and partnerships offered across the company's eleven resorts and attractions remain distinguished drivers of Boyne Resorts’ growth and positioning within the ski, outdoor recreation and resort industries.