Lutsen, MN – The installation of a new Leitner-Poma six passenger high-speed chairlift on Moose Mountain brings big change for Lutsen skiers and snowboarders this winter. Replacing the fixed-grip double Caribou Chair, the new detachable Caribou Express triples the lift’s uphill capacity and reduces the former lift’s 10-minute ride to a quick 3.5 minutes.
“The new lift will dramatically change time spent on the slope,” says Jim Vick, Marketing Director at Lutsen Mountains. “The efficiency of a high-speed chair is fully realized on Lutsen’s longer runs. The Caribou Express will save more than five minutes per ride. When extrapolated with the increase in capacity, the number of runs in a ski day will grow three or four fold.”
The new Caribou Express is strategically located where it takes full advantage of Lutsen’s 800 feet of skiable vertical and can access 95% of the terrain on Moose Mountain, effectively serving more than half of Lutsen’s total skiable acreage.
“When we purchased the area in 1999, we had a vision for improvements to carry the resort into the future,” says Charles Skinner, co-president at Lutsen Mountains. “Base facilities, terrain expansion, lodging, and snowmaking capacity along with the less glamorous but equally important projects like storm water and waste water management, roads, parking and public safety are all essential pieces of the puzzle. The high-speed lift has been the number one guest-requested improvement. All these other investments, though, were a prerequisite to supporting the new lift. We are thrilled to be at a point in our development plan to deliver this prized addition.”
The new lift at Lutsen is also expected to boost the economy in Cook County and the north shore of Lake Superior. “Alpine skiers are a driving force in the winter economy,” says Linda Kratt, Executive Director of the Cook County Visitors Bureau. “About two-thirds of winter tourism is tied to alpine skiers. An investment of this scale and the impact it will have on the ski experience is expected to translate to millions of dollars for our local economy.”
Lutsen’s new Caribou Express lift is being manufactured at Leitner-Poma’s facility in Grand Junction, Colo. Towers for the new lift were flown into place by helicopter yesterday, and the resort is targeting a December debut.