New high-speed lift at Snowbowl

Agassiz Lift at Arizona Snowbowl reopened on March 8, and after this ski season, it will be replaced by Telemix — a new high-speed lift. Construction is set to begin late spring, and the new lift will be complete by the 2020 to 2021 season. Photo courtesy of Arizona Snowbowl.

Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort reopened the Agassiz Lift Sunday, which concluded its closure and repair since January. Additionally, this summer Snowbowl is replacing the lift entirely when they unveil a detachable high-speed combination lift called a Telemix.

Arizona Snowbowl marketing coordinator Li Cui said the Telemix will have a ride time of seven minutes to the top of the mountain with a mix of six-person chairs interspersed with eight-person gondola cabins between every two chairs. The Telemix will be one of the largest lift construction projects in North America in 2020.

Cui said construction for the lift will start at the end of the ski season in late spring 2020. Due to this development and building, Snowbowl's usual summer activities —including scenic chairlift rides — will be relocated from the Agassiz Lift.

“Agassiz Lodge, the base area surrounding the lodge, and the lift will be closed during construction," Cui said. "The scenic chairlift ride is expected to operate on the Grand Canyon Express chairlift.”

The new high-speed lift will be installed where the Agassiz Lift originally was, which means the old lift will be repurposed and reinstalled in a different location. However, its placement is still unknown.

On Snowbowl's website, the frequent questions section included an inquiry about whether the addition of a new high-speed lift will cause more congestion at the top of the mountain. In response, Snowbowl's website stated that although the new lift will shorten the ride time to seven minutes, its chairs and cabins will be placed further apart. Therefore, the overall hourly uphill capacity will remain the same.

Furthermore, Cui said Agassiz Lift's replacement will reshape the alpine experience at Snowbowl.

“As the only lift that accesses the top of the mountain, the replacement of Agassiz lift redefines the alpine experience at Snowbowl for not just skiers and snowboarders, but also sightseeing guests in both summer and winter," Cui said.

The new high-speed lift will be ready for use at the start of the next ski season.