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Replacement of the Atomic Express lift

March 2nd, 2019 Saint-Sauveur, versant Avila Ski


Replacement of the Atomic Express lift
Details of upcoming work


As announced in spring 2018, Les Sommets has planned major investments in the upcoming years. For Sommet Saint-Sauveur, this means the replacement of the Atomic Express chairlift, the installation of a new snow line, 48 new high-performance and automated snow guns, the acquisition of a next-gen grooming machine and a service robot for ski and board maintenance, the construction of a new garage for the ski lifts, and the complete renovation of the restrooms of the main pavilion and those of the versant Avila. Most of the improvements have already been completed, and others are still to come.

Work on the Atomic lift will begin this spring and we wanted to keep you informed of the progress.

What does the work consist of?

The Atomic lift will be entirely replaced by a new detachable and heated, six-seater chairlift manufactured by Doppelmayr, thereby increasing the hourly capacity by 600 skiers and bringing it to 3000 per hour. The ride up the mountain will also be shorter by one minute.

Dismantling of the Atomic lift will begin in spring 2019, around the end of April.


What are the characteristics of this new chairlift?

This new lift manufactured by Doppelmayr will be a six-seater. The seats and backrests will be heated to offer top comfort to skiers. This chairlift will have an hourly capacity of 3000 skiers, which represents an increase of 600 skiers compared to the Atomic lift. Ascent time will also drop from 4 minutes 10 seconds to 3 minutes 30 seconds. The chairs will also be equipped with a ski rest.

Why replace the Atomic chairlift?

This change is part of Sommet Saint-Sauveur’s long-term improvement and investment plan. The Atomic chairlift was inaugurated in 1985, which means it has been in service for nearly 35 seasons. The acquisition of this new lift has thus been planned for a number of years already.

Will the Atomic lift be moved elsewhere?

No. After 35 years of service, the Atomic lift has reached the end of its life cycle. However, many of its parts are recent or in excellent condition. All reusable parts will be recovered and used for future repairs on other similar lifts belonging to our Sommets.

How does the chairlift’s heating system work?

The heating element is integrated in the seat’s horizontal part and works just like a heated car seat. When the chair arrives at the lower station, heating is activated for approximately 16 seconds and is deactivated once the chair leaves the station. The seat is then warm enough to remain comfortable during ascension.

Can the seat become too hot?

No. The seats’ temperature is adjustable and entirely controlled by our ski lift experts. We can thus adjust the temperature according to weather conditions. Remember that Sommet Saint-Sauveur is renowned for its amazing night skiing experience. These heated seats will thus help skiers survive the cold during frosty winter evenings.

Will this lift consume more energy?

No. The electrical installations currently in place for the Atomic chairlift will be the same for the new lift. There is no need to supplement the existing electric power.

Why choose a lift with a “heated seats” option?

Widely used throughout Europe for more than five years already, this technology has only recently made its way to ski resorts in North America. The Banff Sunshine ski resort has had a lift with heated, four-passenger chairs since 2014. Our new heated, 6‑seater chairlift will thus be the first of its kind in Canada. Remember that in the 1990s, manufacturers introduced padded chairlifts into the skiing market. Chairs made of plastic and wooden slats were replaced by this new “comfort” option. Almost twenty years later, heated chairs emerge on the market. And, of course, Sommet Saint‑Sauveur had to offer the best equipment available to its clients. We are proud to innovate and have the audacity to give this new technology a try. We are confident that, over time, this option will become as unique a feature as that of heated car seats.

What other advantages does this chairlift model offer?

Weather conditions in Quebec vary greatly; we have cold temperatures, snow, freezing rain, icy winds, etc. That is why it was important for us to choose a model adapted to the North American reality. In addition, with this new chairlift, chairs can be put away when they are not in use (e.g. over night), which will help make operations safer and more efficient; above all, it will allow us to offer snow- and ice-free chairs from the moment we open.

Also, this model will have download capacity of 50%. In our jargon, “download” means carrying downhill passengers, which was not possible with the Atomic chairlift. Hence, pedestrian clients can access the top of the mountain and easily come back down, thereby enhancing our service offering.

Will the chairs of the old lift be put up for sale?

Yes. Fifteen chairs will be put up for sale this spring for $500 (plus tax) each. Buyers will have to come in person to the customer service counter. It is also possible to purchase some now. Note, however, that it is the buyers’ responsibility to pick up their chair, manage the logistics, and cover the inherent transportation costs.

We will be keeping the unsold chairs for future use as decorative elements (benches).


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