Breckenridge Opens Highest Chairlift in North America

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Breckenridge luminaries open up the Imperial Express with hungry skiers awaiting easy access to the goods. Courtesy Breckenridge

(Press Release) Breckenridge, Colo. Dec. 5, 2005 - Breckenridge Ski Resort opened the highest chairlift in North America today, the Imperial Express SuperChair. Breckenridge's newest high-speed quad will reach an elevation of 12,840 feet and transport skiers and riders to the top of Breckenridge's renowned Peak 8. The Imperial Express is opening more than a month early due to record snowfall that has allowed mountain operations to open more than 80 percent of the ski resort.

"As the highest chairlift in North America, accessing some of Breckenridge's most amazing terrain, this lift is the crowning touch on an already fabulous resort," said Roger McCarthy, chief operating officer for Breckenridge Ski Resort.

The trend toward increased backcountry use by many skiers and riders has prompted resorts to offer expert-level extreme terrain in-bounds, providing a more controlled option for those with little or no backcountry experience who still search for adventure. With a vertical rise of 939 feet and a ride time of a little more than two-and-a-half minutes, the Imperial Express SuperChair will serve 400 acres of Breckenridge's famed existing in-bounds double-black diamond and extreme terrain previously accessible only by hiking 45 minutes to the summit of Peak 8.

Due to above average snowfall, the terrain accessed by the Imperial Express is expert only. However, Breckenridge ski patrol and mountain operations are hoping to make some terrain open to advanced-intermediate skiers and riders. As grooming starts and signage goes up, advanced-intermediate skiers may be able to take advantage of the much sought after, above timberline, groomed terrain. From the top of the new lift, skiers and riders of intermediate, advanced and expert levels will be able to challenge themselves in Art's Bowl, Peak 7 Bowl, North Bowl, Imperial Bowl, Whale's Tail and the resort's in-bounds extreme terrain located in the Lake Chutes.

The new lift will increase Breckenridge's uphill capacity this season by 600 people per hour, allowing greater access to the resort's 2,208 acres.

For information on Breckenridge, visit www.breckenridge.com.