Heaven's Gate lift at Sugarbush Resort. Photo courtesy Sugarbush Resort

Construction of the new Heaven’s Gate Quad at Lincoln Peak is well underway.





Resort marketing and sales vice-president JJ Toland said this week that foundation and infrastructure work for the top terminal is on schedule and work on tower foundations is moving along from top to bottom of the lift line.

“After teasing this project dating back to last spring, we’re excited to finally get underway with our big Heaven’s Gate Replacement Project. As most of you already know, we will be replacing the current Heaven’s Gate Triple with a new fixed-grip Heaven’s Gate Quad to open for the 2024-25 winter season. It’s been a good run for the triple, with 40 years of service under its belt, and it’s time for a well-deserved retirement,” Toland said.

The new Heaven’s Gate quad will be similar to the Valley House quad in that it’s a fixed grip lift which allows the lift to runner fast.

Sugarbush is under a very tight timeframe to get the old lift removed and the new lift installed by next November. The resort ruffled a few features when it closed Heaven’s Gate at the end of day on Sunday, April 6, prior to the April 8 full eclipse. But that was necessitated by an endangered bird, Bicknell’s Thrush. Bicknell’s Thrust is a high priority species of greatest conservation need in Vermont and the northeast, and is listed as threatened in Canada and vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.




The bird nests in the northern Green Mountains, breeding and raising its young in spring and through the summer. This requires that Sugarbush minimize and/or mitigates its work between May 15 and August 1. That requires that the more disruptive parts of the replacement project – blasting, drilling, and excavating at upper levels must be completed by May 15 or the lift won’t be ready for fall.

The Heaven’s Gate replacement is part of $12.6 million in capital improvements at Sugarbush this year. The new Heaven’s Gate chair will be realigned to lower wind exposure and feature slatted seat backs to reduce wind holds.

Other resort improvements include $3 million in snowmaking upgrades, mostly at Mount Ellen. These investments cap a multiyear effort to improve snowmaking systems at Mt. Ellen including upgrades to Northstar, Inverness, and the Summit Quad terrain with energy efficient infrastructure.