JOHNSBURG -- Gore Mountain Ski Center is replacing what it says was the oldest high-speed triple lift in North America in a $6.2 million project this summer.
The funding comes in part from increases in the budget for the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority facilities included as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2014-2015 budget.
Gore General Manager Michael Pratt said some of the project is being financed.
He said the state-owned ski area in Johnsburg will make payments over the next couple of years on the financed portion, and the project will likely facilitate about a dozen construction jobs.
The 30-year-old Adirondack Express triple lift will be replaced with the Adirondack Express II, a high-speed detachable quad lift with a capacity of 2,400 people per hour, which is 300 people more than the current lift.
According to a news release from Gore Mountain, the new lift will operate 38 percent faster and provide a smoother and more reliable ride with padded chairs and eight fewer towers.
Gore Mountain spokeswoman Emily Stanton said the new lift will feel similar to the “luxurious high-speed Burnt Ridge quad.”
She said when the current Adirondack Express was installed in 1984, it was the first of its kind.
But it became difficult to maintain, especially with scarce replacement parts.
At one point, Gore had to have parts specially machined for the old lift, said Johnsburg Town Supervisor Ron Vanselow.
“I think any improvement they make to improve the experience, and the experience of visitors, only helps people in this vicinity,” Vanselow said.
Stanton said Gore has already started preliminary work and expects to complete the project by the next winter season.
As for the old lift, “we’ll use some parts to support other lifts here at Gore, while some of the towers and machinery will be retained for use in the future,” Stanton said. “Some parts will be sold, so we are going to make this project as much a recycling effort as we can.”
ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin said the project will improve the experience at Gore.
“It’s a lift that’s been there for a long time, and our goal is to give our skiers, riders and visitors to Gore the best experience every day they’re there, and this will certainly do that as it will allow them to up and down the mountain even faster,” Lundin said.
The Adirondack Express II provides access to terrain on Gore, Bear, Burnt Ridge and Little Gore Mountains.
Connector trails to facilitate access to the four-peak network of development, such as the Hedges connector that opened last season, will continue to be added, the release said.
Vanselow said Gore Mountain’s ongoing redevelopment of the historic North Creek Ski Bowl helps his town.
The lower portion of “Moxham” was widened for better access into the North Creek Ski Bowl.
“To tie the hamlet of North Creek into the greater Gore experience, and bring more people to our business district, that’s been welcome,” Vanselow said,
The project also includes lowering and restructuring a new unloading zone near the mid-mountain Saddle Lodge for an easier egress to the slopes.
Other improvements include a “soft start” feature from the J-bar.
That is expected to provide an easier, more comfortable guest experience when the lift restarts in that beginner area.
Gore also is working on placement of permanent tower guns on the Topridge trail.