skiing

A snowboarder rides under the Lenawee Mountain lift at Arapahoe Basin Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

With recent approval from the U.S. Forest Service, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area will replace a chairlift and add amenities to the iconic mountain in Summit County.

The fixed-grip, three-person Lenawee lift will be converted into a faster detachable ferry. Accessing the upper Montezuma Bowl and East Wall, the lift is anticipated to increase uphill capacity from 1,800 people per hour to 2,400 people per hour.

While that job is planned for next summer, operators say they'll soon construct a warming hut near the Lenawee Parks ski trail. With food, toilets and an outdoor deck, the Steilhang Hut is intended to also serve summer customers of the new via ferrata on the East Wall.

The third part of the plan is a restaurant that Forest Service documents name Midway Barbecue. The approximately 2,100-square-foot building will be adjacent to the Black Mountain Lodge.

"The approved projects will better meet the expectation of visitors by improving skier circulation and enhancing the quality of the on-mountain guest experiences at A-Basin," reads the Forest Service decision.

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