Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to replace 41-year-old Pallavicini lift after season ends

About 100 lift chairs to be sold via lottery and auctions

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area's popular Pallavicini chairlift, pictured at last year's 30th annual Enduro ski-a-thon fundraiser, will be retired after this season and replaced with a new chairlift with the same capacity.
Summit Daily file

FRISCO — Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Chief Operating Officer Al Henceroth wrote in his blog Friday morning that A-Basin plans to replace the popular Pallavicini chairlift at the end of the season.

“Pallavicini is an incredible chairlift,” Henceroth wrote. “It is my favorite chairlift, anywhere. The new lift will be just as good and the spirit and culture and vibe of Pali will be as strong as ever.”

Henceroth described the current chair, which was built by Lift Engineering (YAN) in 1978, as “a car with 400,000 miles.”

“At the time, putting that lift in the north side terrain was a very big and bold move,” Henceroth wrote. “It has been a great chairlift. … The machine is still humming right along, but eventually, like a car, it has to replaced.”

Henceroth said the ski area will replace the current fixed-grip double chairlift, which has a capacity of 1,200 people per hour, with a 2020 Leitner Poma fixed-grip double chairlift with the same capacity.

“While there is a heck of an argument to build a much bigger lift here, there is also an argument to replace Pali with the same type of lift,” Henceroth wrote about the replacement decision. “The Pali Lift and terrain work so well, we didn’t want to mess with that little chunk of paradise. Looking back to 1978, I think Jon Reveal, Bob Maynard and John Rutter knew what they were doing when they built Pali.”

Henceroth added that A-Basin plans to sell about 100 of the old Pallavicini lift chairs, the majority of which will be offered in a lottery sometime in May, similar to the lottery the ski area conducted a couple of years ago for the old Norway lift. That lift was removed from A-Basin’s above-timberline terrain when the ski area installed the new Beavers lift before last winter. Henceroth said details on the lottery will be available in the coming weeks.

Along with the lottery, Henceroth said A-Basin will auction four of the Pallavicini chairs. The first chair will be auctioned at the Enduro Party on April 8 in the 6th Alley Bar & Grill at the ski area’s base. The second chair will be auctioned at the Pali Party, a going away dinner for the Pallavicini chairlift scheduled for April 25 at the Black Mountain Lodge. The final two chairs will be auctioned online in May.

Henceroth said all proceeds from the Pallavicini chair auctions will be donated to The Summit Foundation, the Family & Intercultural Resource Center, the Summit Community Care Clinic and a couple of A-Basin employees going through some significant medical challenges this season.

The Pallavicini lift, which is accessible via the Mountain Goat Plaza base area, serves popular advanced and extreme terrain on the ski area’s front side.

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