Our primary lifts open at 8 am and then we follow with secondary lifts. For example, the Bluebird, Canyon Express, Nitro Express, Ski Baba, Challenger Triple, Tumbleweed and Discovery Shuttle are examples of primary lifts. This opening schedule gives access to most of the mountain. And then we fold in the secondary lifts like Grand Summit Express, Outpost, Ego Alley, Heavy Metal, Sunbrook, etc. Opening all 19 lifts at 8 am is operationally impossible. The pre-operation process on each lift takes time and starts at dawn so you only have about an hour plus to get everything done. And the volume of skiers and riders from 8 -9 am does not justify having all 19 lifts open. We add redundant lifts as the volume increases. The same process happens in the afternoon. We close secondary lifts around 2 pm because not many people ride them. The other day we ran Ego Alley until 4 pm and I watched chair after chair go up empty for about the last 3 hours. All that being said, we have had some late lift openings this past week and I apologize for that. We are working on getting them open earlier and making great improvements each day.
Some areas close at 3:45 because the process to close those areas takes time and if we do not start early, we have guests and staff skiing down at the end of the day in the dark. I will check on this process to make sure that we are not closing any earlier than scheduled and to see if we can get Sunbrook a little earlier.
Thanks for the feedback!