I’ve got my boot warmers my mitt warmers, my neck warmer and now Sunshine Village in Banff National Park has my butt warmed.
At 36 years old, Teepee Town was one of the older lifts at Sunshine Village and has always been plagued by chilly crosswinds on a slow ride to the top. Over the last year the lift was removed and reinvented with a doom and heated seats. Now the Teepee Town Luxury Express is the comfy couch of the Canadian Rockies.
The orange-coloured bubble concept is commonly used in Europe and this will be the first in Canada. The orange colour designates that the seat is heated. For anyone riding in the chair it makes for a quiet ride in a odd coloured world.
Talking to Warren Sparks, (soon to retire) Executive Vice-President & General Manager of Doppelmayr Canada Ltd., we find out the engineering behind the new system is as Sparks says, “Rather simple.”
As the chair comes into the station sensors are activated to do many jobs. One sensor lifts the bubble and foot rest while another switches on the heated seats. As the chair makes the corner there is another sensor waiting to see if any riders sat down. If no weight was sensed, the bubble is automatically closed.
The comfy seats are actually the same you’d find in vehicles with heated seats but are only activated for roughly 20 seconds when they come into the base station. “That is long enough to offer a heated seat so that when someone sits down, their body holds the heat in the padding until they are close to the top.” said Sparks.
To keep the 47 chairs in top shape, they are stored at the bottom in a protective rack each night. On warm days, the heated seats are not activated.
The new TeePee Town LX can move 1,200 people per hour uphill and climb 397 vertical meters over 1,334 horizontal meters. It will move 305 metres per minute, double the speed of the old TeePee Town lift.
On those nasty cold days when you are looking for the fresh powder – that comfy chair is waiting to warm you up and shield you from the wind. And, that makes Sunshine Village the hot spot of the Canadian Rockies.
Sunshine Village in Banff National Park, Alberta, also has 11 other lifts accessing 115 named runs with an average annual snowfall of ten meters. Only four snowguns are used to get the base set for the season but the rest if it is 100% natural fluff. Sunshine is also the only ski resort in Banff National Park with ski-in, ski-out accommodations. Click here for more about Sunshine Village.