Copper Mountain Resort opens new American Eagle lift |

Copper Mountain Resort opens new American Eagle lift

At the end of the skiing and riding day on Monday afternoon, Copper Mountain Resort announced on its social media channels that its new American Eagle chairlift is now open.

The new American Eagle is a Leitner Poma high-speed lift that includes a combination of both 6-person chairs and 8-person gondola cabins. The new lift is supposed to increase uphill capacity by more than 40 percent. It replaces Copper’s former American Eagle lift, which was a high-speed quad, in servicing some of the resort’s most popular skiing and riding terrain out of Center Village.

Copper’s opening of the new American Eagle lift comes in the wake of a few setbacks for the opening of the lift. Most recently, the resort said early last week on its social media channels that it expected to open the lift on Saturday. Then, on Friday evening, Copper released a statement saying the lifts would not be open for the weekend.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and share your frustration with the delayed opening,” Copper said in its statement.

The new American Eagle and American Flyer chairlifts are the first two lifts in North America to run on direct drives as opposed to a complex gear system.

As for the new American Flyer lift, it will be a Leitner Poma, high-speed six-person chair with bubble enclosures that should increase uphill capacity by 33 percent. In a Facebook video posted on Nov. 25, Copper spokeswoman Stephanie Sweeney provided an update on the new Flyer lift.

“They are working on splicing the cable and getting that lift up and running as soon as possible,” Sweeney said in the video. “Same with that. As soon as we have any updates, we promise to share them with you guys. And we, again, we will be enjoying these all so soon.”

On Monday, training began at the resort for this week’s Toyota U.S. Grand Prix International Ski & Snowboard Federation World Cup halfpipe event. Qualifers for the event are scheduled for Wednesday (skiing) and Thursday (snowboarding) with finals scheduled for Friday (skiing) and Saturday (snowboarding).

Also on Monday, Copper reported having open 12 lifts, 73 trails and 825 acres to the public for skiing and riding. Due to continued construction on the new American Flyer lift, though, an on-mountain connection between East and West Villages was unavailable.

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