So yesterday, I sent Steve a question regarding the lift rumours, along with links to this blog and the thread on AlpineZone. He responded very promptly and also (coincidentally?) posted a public explanation today on AlpineZone. Good for you, Steve, and it's a good answer. The denizens of AlpineZone seemed to respond favourably. For you non-readers of forums, here is Steve's response:
Mill's grist.Sorry about not chiming in sooner on this. We're not 100% sure on any of this so I'll give you a snapshot of where we are (philosophically) right now with it. Part of the reason we haven't been talking in public about this was to try and avoid the West Bowling of information as we've done in the past (having it on the trail map as coming soon for a decade sort of thing). As things come together in a more solid fashion, we'll let you know. For now though..
The existing Bonnie is scheduled to be replaced for next season. Current thinking is that the new lift might be placed on the Power Line trail with the top terminal on or about the top of St. George's-this is very similar to the old alignment of the original Bonnie Chair and would offer access to the JFK pod-insert 'If it aint broke, why'd you fix it' axiom here. To that end, we're installing an anemometer this fall to measure wind at that unload section to compare it to winds we've measured (ranging from Wow to Good Lord) along the Flyer line and the Tram Summit to make sure that if the new lift does go to St. George's then it will not be (as) affected by winds that tend to shut down the Flyer.
In order to address wind and chair-swing issues that were present in the original Bonnie line (great trail access aside), we are thinking that the new lift may be a six-pack (potential apologies Dale) as the chairs are considerably heavier (and thus less susceptible to wind), there will be fewer of them (giving folks more time to load) and we will design the uphill capacity to be in harmony with that of the terrain's downhill; capacity that is.
Side note-a number of bloggers and members of the social-media elite have asked why detachable chairs are more susceptible to wind than fixed-grips. It has to do with the need for the chair to be properly and well aligned with the terminal entry (not swinging) and this causes the lift to shut down (I'm oversimplifying here).
Current thinking also has us retrofitting the existing Bonnie Quad (we're not very good at throwing things away anyway) and used to replace the Jet Triple. Again uphill capacity would be designed and tweaked to sync with that of the terrain capacity so stay tuned here. The Jet Triple could then be re-installed to serve a lower-mountain pod that could include the terrain park (+1 to Riv here) and other pieces of intermediate terrain as well as access back to Tram Base from Stateside.
T-Bar his history-but we may end up with another conveyor lift to serve some beginner terrain and the kids area at the base of Stateside.
Sufficiently ambiguous? Sorry if I am but this stuff isn't near stone yet. As always, we'll try to make the best, most informed decision we can. Feel free to post or send (firstname.lastname@example.org) comments and we'll consider them. Hope you're all well and looking forward to getting rolling soon.