Coming next winter, a brand-new quadruple chairlift will be installed at Manning Park Resort ski hill to replace the existing Orange Chair.
At a large gathering on Sunday morning, General Manager, Vern Schram, made this major announcement at the ski hill location where the new lift will be installed. Schram stated that “work will commence at the end of the current winter season and the new Doppelmayr four-person chairlift will be ready to take skiers and snowboarders up the mountain at the beginning of Winter 2019/20.”
Schram’s enthusiasm was evident as he talked about the work that is in progress for the mountain already this winter, as well as referencing the many improvements in the past five years at Manning Park Resort, which include the addition of the Alpine Room for weddings and group functions, the completion of five new premium cabins, new pavement around the Resort and other significant infrastructure upgrades.
The new quad chairlift represents the largest investment since owners, Kevin and Donna Demers, purchased the company in 2013. The new chairlift will replace the iconic Orange Chair, which has been in place since 1970.
In attendance for the announcement were representatives of local user groups, season passholders, staff and local residents, who were thrilled to learn the news. Many had no idea of the plans for the chairlift. The mayor of Princeton, Spencer Coyne, was also in attendance to hear about it firsthand.
“We are looking forward to a great year at the ski hill to celebrate the Orange’s last year,” says ski area manager, Andy Boulé. “We can’t wait to show you the areas on the mountain where we have completed brush cutting, entrance widening and run reclaiming this year, as well as showcase our new Rockstar sponsored terrain park.”
Gibson Pass Ski Area, more commonly known as Manning Park Ski Area or simply Manning Park, is a small ski area located within E. C. Manning Provincial Park. The hill itself is not owned or operated by BC Parks, instead by the current park facility operator, Manning Park Resort. The land is used through a lease with the provincial government. The hill has two tandem, single speed chairlifts, a handle tow, a T-Bar, and a tube cable lift. Facilities at the hill itself include a day lodge and restaurant, rental shop, ski patrol cabin, and a daycare. Rental shop and base of the Orange Chair
The Hope-Princeton Highway was constructed in 1949, allowing easy access to the park. A small motel was constructed near the site of the current Manning Park Resort. Throughout the years, multiple different layouts and locations were tried for the ski hill, and many proposals (including a bid for the Winter Olympic games) were put forward, but ultimately the Gibson Pass location was a success. Facilities All facilities are located at the base of the chairlifts and the top of the handle tow.
There are eight buildings onsite at the ski hill, not counting lift operation buildings and disused buildings. There is no permanent lodging at the ski hill, but power hookups are available for RV's. The parking area is two-tiered and unpaved, and ploughed by Manning Park Resort. Power is supplied to the ski hill by a diesel generator located near the base of the Blue Chair.