Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Imperial Express Chairlift to Open Early

After a year of planning, proposals, red tape and controversy, the Breckenridge Ski Resort will finally unveil the highest lift in North America next Monday.

The high-speed Imperial Express SuperChair, which will reach 12,840 feet and transport riders to the top of Peak 8, will start spinning five weeks ahead of its scheduled January 12 grand opening.

Great early season snow conditions, including the last few days of steady snowfall, can be credited for the surprise, according to Breckenridge spokesperson Katie Coakley.T

he $4 million quad lift will open access to 400 acres of intermediate to advanced terrain that now requires a hike above treeline. The opening of the lift could help boost skier numbers over the oft-packed Christmas holidays, but Breckenridge isn’t counting on a huge impact.

“It’s hard to tell,” Coakley said. “Half the population plans their vacations way in advance, (and) half the population makes last-minute decisions. If more of them decide to go here, then great. But we’ll just have to see.”

The resort is planning a grand opening celebration on Jan. 12.

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