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Arizona Snowbowl marks milestone with launch of gondola Saturday

(Arizona Snowbowl Photo)

PHOENIX – Traveling up the mountain at Arizona Snowbowl will be a little quicker starting Saturday, when the resort officially flips the switch on its high-speed chairlift.

Ribbon-cutting for the gondola is set for 9 a.m. at the snow park near Flagstaff.

The Arizona Gondola replaces the Agassiz chairlift and joins the Grand Canyon Express as the site’s large-capacity people movers.

Park operators said the name change reflected rebranding efforts to expand its tourist base beyond the region.

“As 2020 has been a year of change, our team feels the timing of the name change is perfect with the addition of the new lift,” J.R. Murray, an executive for Snowbowl’s managing company, said in a press release Friday.

Resort staff said the gondola will take riders 2,000 feet up in just seven minutes, about half the time as the Agassiz lift.

The gondola features cabins for eight people, along with a pair of six-person chairs. The resort said there were only five other similar lifts in the country.

Skiers will be able to load and unload using the same process as the other lifts. Cabin passengers will load and unload on the opposite side of the terminals.

Ski season began Nov. 20 with several coronavirus restrictions in place.

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