West Mountain received approval from the Queensbury Planning Board earlier this week to construct and operate a mountain coaster and zip line. This afternoon I spoke with Mike Barbone, owner and General Manager of West Mountain, about the plans.
Mike described the zip line as being "almost 4000 feet long, with speeds up to 60mph. Guests will start with a scenic chairlift ride to the top of the mountain. The zip line will be on the Midway trail, right next to the triple chairlift, and will go top to bottom, nearly 1000 vertical feet." Mike also hinted at the possibility of adding additional features such as a canopy tour, perhaps as soon as within a year.
The mountain coaster will be located on the slopes just above the main lodge. Like the zip line, guests will ride one of the chairlifts to access the top of the coaster. Mike expects to have the zip line ready to go by early July, with the mountain coaster later in the summer. "The engineering work has all been done, but the manufacturing process and installation of the coaster takes longer. We'll have it for this summer."
Both the coaster and the zip line will be year-round attractions, Mike says. "We're expecting to do a lot of groups, birthday parties, that sort of thing. It fits in really well with other attractions in the region, it gives tourists another reason to stay an extra day." Mountain Coasters, zip lines and canopy tours have been installed at several ski areas in the region in recent years, including Hunter Mountain, Okemo, Jiminy Peak and Catamount. "It's another way for us to make West Mountain an exciting destination, and it's a great fit for this region."
A couple other recent news links for West Mountain, courtesy of The Saratogian:
- Five Questions for West Mountain owner Mike Barbone
- West Mountain stays ahead of the curve