Already dreaming of Idaho ski season? Brundage Mountain will install a high-speed chairlift

With temperatures expected to reach 106 degrees this week, some Idahoans may already be looking forward to winter days spent hitting the slopes.

Starting in the 2023-24 season, skiers will be able to reach the top of a nearby mountain faster than ever.

Brundage Mountain Resort in McCall has announced plans to replace the Centennial Triple Chair with a high-speed detachable quad chair next year. Dubbed the Centennial Express, the Doppelmayr 4-CLD will take skiers from the bottom of the mountain to the upper terminal in just six minutes, halving the current 14-minute journey, according to a press release.

This means slower wait times and more opportunities to ski. And the number of people the elevator can carry will increase from 1,300 to 1,800.

Construction of the elevator, which will have a vertical rise of 1,616 feet, is expected to begin next summer.

The station said in its statement that the new elevator will replace one that has been in place since 1990.

“Upgrading the Centennial Lift to a high-speed quad does more than just reduce travel time,” Brundage Mountain general manager Ken Rider said in the release. “The loading experience will be so much smoother – especially for families – which will make some of our best land infinitely more accessible.”

A rendering shows what the new 20,000 square foot base lodge at Brundage Mountain Resort will look like.

The project is part of a major update planned by the station’s new owners. A new ski patrol facility, employee housing, mountain bike trails and an upgraded ski school are also in the works.

“The front lift upgrade is a key part of the resort’s 10-year improvement plan, which includes a new modern day lodge, on-site accommodations and a long list of mountain recreational upgrades” , the station’s statement said.

Brundage Mountain said it “plans to invest between $25 million and $30 million in the resort over the next two to three years” and will announce other plans soon.