Maintenance crews have been hard at work upgrading Mission Ridge’s Liberator Express lift during the offseason in preparation of the season’s winter opening.
The ski area spent its summer maintenance capital, converting the lift’s original analog controls to a modern digital system.
In addition to new PLCs and sensors, the upgrade included replacing and insulating wiring, re-building the electric drive motor and weather shielding the Summit return terminal. The Midway terminal received the same electrical controls and sensor upgrade.
“The electrical upgrade will significantly improve the reliability of the Liberator Express,” said Mark Milliette, Mission Ridge’s General Manager. “That’s important because the Liberator is our primary lift that provides access to a majority of our terrain.”
“The new digital system and sensors are pretty high tech,” said Lift Maintenance mechanic, Clement Mikkelson, “They allow us to resolve problems with less of an impact to the public.”
Milliette concurred, “If there are problems, maintenance mechanics will be able to remedy the issues more quickly, thus shortening the delay to get the lift back in service”.
Last season, electrical problems and weather delays plagued the Liberator Express. With these upgrades, electrical issues should be fewer and morning start-up more consistent during storm cycles.
In addition to the Liberator Express upgrades, Mission Ridge also kicked off Phase I of a base area revitalization aimed at sprucing up the buildings at the resort, starting with the Ticket Office.
“We think guests are really going to like the new improvements once the season gets underway,” Milliette said.