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Oldest double chairlift in New England to be retired this weekend

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  March 13, 2012 09:48 AM

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The oldest operating double chairlift in New England is being retired this weekend.

Cranmore Mountain will bid farewell to the East Double Chairlift, installed in 1955, on Sunday with a going away party featuring ski historian Tom Eastman. A new triple chair, purchased from Wachusett Mountain, will be installed in time for next season.

Here's a bit more from the press release:

The East Chair, known for its bright red chairs, is a favorite among Cranmore skiers and ski history aficionados alike. The public is invited to ride the East one last time on March 18th, starting at 8:30am (lift ticket or season pass required). Skiers are welcome to reminisce about their favorite days on the East, take a few runs, than meet at the Meister Hut at 9am. Ski historian Tom Eastman will present a short presentation on the history of the East Chair. GM Ben Wilcox will then talk about the new triple chair being installed in its place.

The going away party will also give East Chair fans a chance to sign up for a waiting list to purchase one of the 60 chairs from the lift later this summer.

The new fixed-grip triple chairlift was purchased from Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts. It will have an increased vertical in a new location on the south side of the mountain, adding 300 vertical feet compared to the East Double. The lift will be slightly longer than the East Double but has the same number of chairs. The new lift will have 11 towers where the existing has 9 towers.

The top of the lift will remain in approximately the same location. The lift base would be moved to the Tommy's Trail area which would add trails including Gibson, Gibson Chutes, Artist Falls, Koessler and Upper Beginner's Luck to the current East Chair trail access (East Bowl, Easy Street, Gibson Pitch and Schneider). The East Slope experience would go from 3 to 9 trails and the ski vertical from 526' to 826'. It will increase the uphill capacity for that lift by 50%.

Cranmore President and GM Ben Wilcox stated, "We are excited to be adding this new triple in to the mix here at Cranmore. Due to the age of the East Double, there are no longer parts available to purchase so upgrade options have also become difficult without major retrofitting. This new triple will provide a new experience for our guests who will now find it worthwhile to stay in the East Slope area of the mountain longer, especially during busy days."


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Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.

Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.

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