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Winter Park Resort to open Vasquez Ridge terrain, upgraded lift with mid-station

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WINTER PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- Winter Park Resort is opening additional terrain just ahead of the holiday season, resort officials announced Monday. The Pioneer Express Lift will also undergo a future upgrade to serve the terrain.

The Vasquez Ridge area of the mountain will officially open on Tuesday.

Next summer, Winter Park Resort is improving the "on-mountain experience" by also replacing the Pioneer Express Lift with a high-speed, detachable Leitner Poma Lift. According to resort officials, the lift upgrade will include a mid-station loading zone to allow ski and snowboard enthusiasts to make faster laps on multiple terrains.

Guests who use the current Pioneer Express Lift only have access to Vasquez Ridge terrain, which serves mainly blue intermediate trails and advanced, steeper runs. Those wanting to ride the intermediate or advanced runs will soon be able to skip through the beginner trails that are located at the bottom of the lift.

Resort officials said Pioneer Express Lift carries four passengers per lift, totaling 1,970 guests per hour. In comparison, the upgraded lift will allow around 2,800 guests but it will take longer because of the new mid-station stop. However, it's only a five-minute ride to the top from the mid-station.

“The Winter Park Resort team along with many of our guests have been anticipating a new Pioneer Express Lift, so we’re excited to move forward with the upgrade this summer,” said Sky Foulkes, president and chief operating officer of Winter Park Resort. “A new Pioneer Express Lift is an important upgrade to Winter Park’s entire skiing and riding experience.”

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