Orient Quad opens to cheering crowd

Mike Williams, Liam Simons, Mya Simons and Chris Simons were the first to load the Orient Quad. Photo SPIN

The crowd was cheering and bells were ringing this morning as skiers and boarders were given an early Christmas present with the opening of the Orient Quad chairlift in the East Village.

The Dec. 24 opening drew a line of excited riders to the base of the lift from 8 a.m. with long time locals and first timers joining the crowd.

Sun Peaks municipal councillor Ines Popig, her husband Petr, Mayor Al Raine and Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) director of skiing Nancy Greene Raine, shared the first ever chair. The first members of the public to load the chair were Mike Williams from Kamloops, B.C. and Liam, Mya and Chris Simons from Prince George, B.C.

Williams and the Simons own homes in Stone’s Throw beside the new addition and were pleased to see the lift complete.

Chris said they discussed being first in line the night before and considered camping out.

“It’s going to open up access to the international runs for us,” he said.

Michael, Donna, James and Martyn Bartlett from Australia were on the second chair. Photo SPIN

The second chair of public to load came from further afield, the Bartlett family lives in Sydney, Aus. but spends four weeks a year in Sun Peaks.

“Every year for the last eight years (we’ve come). There’s always snow and somewhere to ski,” Martyn Bartlett said.

“We’re staying in Stone’s Throw so we just think having this lift here will be exceptional,” said Donna Bartlett.

The family added they were excited for better access to the mountain from the East Village as they prefer saying in the quieter area.

The $4 million chairlift is part of two years of significant investment from SPR into lifts and food and beverage. It’s the first chairlift to open since Elevation in 2006. It will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.