Vermont fall

Evaluating Our Lift Lines From Above

One of the many things I do on a daily basis is sift through all of our guest feedback. Your questions, comments, and concerns shared through surveys, emails, social media, and at Guest Services are greatly appreciated, and an important piece of how we continue to improve the guest experience.

One of the trends I often see mentioned are our lift lines. It’s been a pretty hot topic with plenty of positive feedback on our lift line management and a fair amount of concern from others about it. Lift lines are also one of the things we quickly refocused our efforts on early season. After some initial feedback, we spaced lines out horizontally to allow for six feet in between each line. Staff were added to help monitor mask usage. We also added additional signage.

The feedback has shifted to overwhelmingly positive over the past few weeks, but I wanted to share some imagery anyway to help shed further light on the situation. You see, from ground level a lift line can often look pretty crowded. I can’t blame anyone who looks at a lift line and thinks, “where’s the social distancing!?” But the truth is, it’s all in the angle from which you’re viewing things. We THOUGHT we had a good system in place for social distancing in lift lines. We just needed to prove it. So up and away we went with a drone to capture some overhead shots. And we did it this past Saturday, one of the busiest days we’ve seen all season, at a peak lift line time.

Gate House Quad

Here’s the line at the Gate House Quad. This was taken between 10:00 – 11:00 AM, which is typically when the lift line is at its longest. If you walked by this line at eye level, it would likely seem a mess. It’s just difficult to ascertain the spacing from that view, particularly between each line. But as you can see above, people are well spaced, both between each line, as well as ski tip-to-tip. It just took a better view to see it.

Lincoln Peak Base Area

Now here’s an image at more of an angle, looking back at the Gate House Quad, Super Bravo Express Quad, and Valley House Quad lift lines. Look in particular at that Gate House line we just saw from overhead. It looks way worse from this angle, even though these shots were only a couple minutes apart. Imagine what it looked like on ground level! But as we saw in the first image, people were actually spaced out quite well.

Also, take a look at the parking lot in that photo. Clearly it was a pretty busy day.

Super Bravo Express and Valley House Quads

Here’s the overhead of the Super Bravo and Valley House lines. Much easier to see the proper spacing here than in the previous image right? It’s not perfect, you can certainly point out problem areas where people aren’t quite in line yet, but overall it’s hard not to be encouraged by these photos.

So I guess the takeaway here is don’t necessarily judge the lift lines based on your ground level perspective. I realize we all have examples of times where there wasn’t proper spacing or where you saw someone not wearing their mask properly. Just know that’s what our staff is out there trying to mitigate and we encourage you to do the same. But I hope these photos, taken during one of our busiest times, helps shed light on the lift line situation. Overall guests are doing a great job with proper spacing, and we thank each and every one of you for that.

These shots were all taken by Sugarbush employee, Andy Madea. You can check out more of his imagery at or on his Instagram

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