Sugarloaf to go forward with improvements

Posted Feb. 23, 2011, at 4:38 p.m.

CARRABASSET VALLEY, Maine — Sugarloaf ski resort plans $4.3 million in off-season upgrades, including replacement of the Spillway chairlifts where an equipment failure in December caused several chairs to fall to the ground.

Officials say the improvements will take place before the 2011-2012 ski season. The new Spillway chairlifts will be the centerpiece of the upgrades. Other improvements include additional lift upgrades and continued expansion into new terrain on Burnt Mountain.

The new Spillway lift will be a state-of-the-art, fixed-grip, quad chairlift. It will be installed in the same path as the existing lift. It will cost roughly $3 million.

The new quad will feature a conveyor loading system and allow the lift to run at speeds of up to 500 feet per minute. It’s designed to be as wind-resistant as possible.