In ski-crazy Durango, old lift chairs are a recurring aspect of home décor.
When Purgatory Resort announced it was going to tear down Lift 8 to make way for a new, high-speed lift, Durango residents who’d grown attached to the iconic lift – which has ferried skiers to the mountain’s backside summit for three decades – grew wistful about its closure.
But anyone who was hoping to purchase a piece of Lift 8’s history better rethink their interior-design strategy.
Purgatory spokeswoman Kim Oyler said though the “Legends” chairs are not going to be incorporated into the new, high-speed quad lift that the resort is currently installing to replace Lift 8, the resort plans on finding another use for them.
“We’re going to stow them, then reuse them at another location on the mountain at a later date,” she said.
There are no plans to raffle any old Lift 8 chairs to Durango residents who want to purchase a piece of the mountain’s history.
Oyler said locals who are nostalgic about Lift 8 had the opportunity to mourn its passing at the end of the last ski season, when Purgatory threw a party at Dante’s to commemorate its demise. The resort invited sentimental ski buffs to enjoy a final ride on the contraption.
Since then, most people who cared about Lift 8 have managed to adopt a forward-looking attitude after a period of grieving.
“Overall, everybody’s very excited for a new high-speed lift,” Oyler said.
The original Lift 8 was installed more than 30 years ago.
“It ran its course. It was time for it to be retired,” she said.
The new high-speed lift, designed by Leitner-Poma, will deposit passengers on the mountain’s backside summit in five minutes. Oyler said the same journey on Legends took 13 minutes.
And the new high-speed lift will have a vertical rise of about 1,500 feet and will run the same route as the old Lift 8.
“This is going to provide skiers with more time on the slopes to enjoy making turns,” she said.