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OUTDOORS & RECREATION

Utah’s fastest lift opens at Brighton Resort

Dec 8, 2023, 6:02 PM | Updated: Dec 11, 2023, 5:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The sounds of the season: lift gates were beeping and snow was crunching underneath skis and snowboards at resorts across Utah.

However, nothing brings out the kinds of sounds skiers and snowboarders have like a fresh powder day.

“I hit the powder and was like pagash! And then I spagosh! And the pow was just bagaah! It was fantastic,” said one snowboarder, who got away before we could ask him his name.

It was quite an exciting day with the snow falling at Brighton Resort because those who came here were among the first to ride the new Crest 6 chair lift.

The lift opened Friday morning and is now the fastest lift in Utah.

“It’s definitely a lot faster. It’s cool. You get to like slide on and it’s really smooth,” snowboarder Ilya Petrov, who lives in West Jordan, said.

Petrov is talking about the conveyor belt system as you load onto the chairlift.

That’s something new, but it helps load six people onto a chair quickly.

This lift is all about speed.

It brings 2,400 people up to the top each hour. That’s a thousand more than the old Crest lift.

“Normally this line is a lot longer, especially on how busy it is,” skier Annika Kaun said. “I’m a season pass holder and I’m excited for how quickly it moves.”

“I’m super excited. The less lift time, the longer you get to ski,” Savannah Pritchett, who lives in Salt Lake City, said.

That’s the whole idea of this lift, which took Brighton nearly two years to finish.

It gives people more time on the mountain instead of waiting in line.

That’s become a concern at many resorts with how busy Utah ski areas have become in the past few years.

“It causes that circulation in our parking lot that’s already a busy parking lot” Jared Winkler, Brighton Resort’s director of marketing, said. “That way people can ski a half a day but feel like they got a full day of skiing in by making so many runs. And then they leave, and the people who are coming skiing after them gets their spot in the lot if they’re coming for afternoon or night skiing.”

Crest 6 was manufactured by Doppelmayr, a company well-known for chairlifts.

The D-Line design of the lift is also new to Utah.

It uses a gearless drive design, which makes it low-vibration as well as energy-efficient and maintenance-friendly.

Not having a gearbox also helps with operational and a quiet ride.

“Listen. We are right next to it and you can barely hear it running,” Winkler said. “It’s a great ride up. Lagoon has the roller coasters, but we got a pretty fast roller coaster up here now, so we’d love to see people come and try it.”

If it helps keep skiers and snowboarders moving along, then as one boarder said,

“Spagosh!”

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Utah’s fastest lift opens at Brighton Resort