Receiving a lift

Recent expansion to contiguous Grey Mountain now comes with a chair lift, scheduled to be completed for the coming ski season.

  • Thu Jun 20th, 2013 5:00am
  • News

Recent expansion to contiguous Grey Mountain now comes with a chair lift.

The fixed-grip Poma quad chair is set for installation starting Thursday, June 20. The new lift is on schedule to be completed for this coming ski season.

In addition to the ski area’s Red and Granite peaks, skiers can now access one more stellar peak, Grey Mountain by chair lift—with 360-degree skiing off the top.

This development of Grey Mountain marks one of the single largest expansions of an existing resort in North America in four decades. It places Red Mountain Resort in the scale of resorts such as Breckenridge, Col., or Jackson Hole, Wy., in terms of skiable acreage.

Grey Mountain adds 997 acres to Red bringing the total skiable acres to 2,787. This puts the “local legend” hill in the Top 20 of all North American resorts in terms of terrain scale.

Funding for the new chair lift came in-part from a loan from the Southern Interior Development Initiatives Trust (SIDIT). SIDIT’s funding programs are specifically targeted toward investments in self-sustaining projects that support the ten mandated themes as defined in legislation. Performance measures include job creation, retention and enhancement, increased revenues, sustainability, leverage and economic diversification to the Southern Interior area of British Columbia.

“We expect a significant increase in lift ticket sales as a direct result of this new, lift-accessed terrain—and that obviously spells good news for the local and regional economy,” said Fran Richards, vice president of marketing.

“Destination skiers have unique needs,” explained CEO Howard Katkov.

“They come for the powder and fall-line vertical, absolutely, but they also need coffee in the morning, groceries to fill up that condo fridge, rental cars, gas, beds to sleep in and a few beers après-ski! They need entertainment, fine sushi and maybe a nice bottle of wine to take back to their room.”

The expansion ultimately means more jobs in the Rossland area, a more robust and diverse local economy, and more of the word-of-mouth that put Red on the map in the first place, he added.

The new Grey terrain alone is about the same size as Mount Baker.

Hardcore snow sliders will love the challenging new chutes and steeps off the north and eastern slopes of Grey.

“We feel the new lift will enhance the experience for all our customers,” said Katkov. “Lift-lines have never been a deterrent around here … and the new lift on Grey will spread guests out even more. Local powder fiends have nothing to worry about and new visitors have a lot to look forward to.”

The Grey Mountain expansion makes RED the eighth largest ski area in Canada and, for comparison, the 18th largest in the USA out of approximately 500 resorts.