The Fastest Chairlift in America Being Built Right Now in Montana
Ski season has wrapped up for the year in Montana, and unless you feel like hiking, heli-skiing, or hitting the hill at Beartooth Basin this spring, it's time to hang up the skis or board for the next six months or so. Many ski resorts utilize their short summer season for improvements and upgrades, and Big Sky Resort is no exception.
The new chairlift will be the fastest in North America.
In a social media post on 5/19, Big Sky shared the news regarding the construction of the new Swift Current 6 chairlift. Its specs are pretty awesome, including:
- Super fast, 1,200 feet-per-minute speeds. That's about 13.3 miles per hour!
- 126 total chairs with "Big Sky Blue Bubbles" offering protection from the wind.
- Ultrawide heated seats.
- Bike racks for summertime use.
- Capacity to transport 3,000 skiers per hour up the mountain.
The upgrade is part of the resorts 2025 Vision, an ambitious, $150 million plan to transform Big Sky into a world-class, year-round mountain destination. Regarding the new lift, their website states,
Replacing the Swift Current high-speed quad, this new state-of-the-art chairlift will increase uphill capacity out of the Mountain Village base area by up to 50%. A gearless drive makes for whisper-quiet operations and significantly improves energy efficiency. On the hill, the new 90-degree unload will exit skiers toward the bowl on Jay Walk, creating a smoother skier flow.
Big Sky Resort has come a long way since its creation by former NBC newsman Chet Huntley, back in 1973. Huntley died before the first chairlift was turned on in 1974, as recounted by Big Sky Journal. What was once a fairly sleepy mountain village has now become one of the most sought-after zip codes for celebrities and wealthy outdoor enthusiasts.