Sunrise Express Upgrade, Improvements to Snowmaking, RFID Technology Upgrade, Building Improvements, and More.

Greer, Arizona – October 24, 2023 – Sunrise Park Resort announces over $2M spent on improvements in Summer of 2023 for the upcoming 2023/24 ski season. Sunrise focused on guest experience with improvements this summer, including an overhaul of Sunrise Express, a high-tech RFID pass system for faster lift lines and ticket pickup, snowmaking upgrades with highly increased output, and renovations to buildings and facilities across the resort.

“Our focus is on the entire Sunrise experience, Summer and Winter. We have identified some of the most significant guest-centric improvements and really pushed the throttle to complete these projects – with one person in mind, the guest, and their experience. We take great pride in making Sunrise Arizona’s ultimate mountain adventure.” – Todd Clarke, General Manager

Sunrise Express Lift 1 Upgrades

Old computer and electrical removed

New operating systems delivered

New systems being installed

Lift Upgrades and Maintenance

Sunrise Express Overhaul

Sunrise Express (lift 1) is undergoing a complete overhaul of the lift’s control systems, electronics, and safety sensors. The lift, installed in the mid 1990s, is a true workhorse and the spirit of Sunrise. The electronics and related elements were showing their age, leading to routine faults and potential operating delays. This state-of-the-art retrofit will bring the lift to modern operating standards and will improve reliability for years to come.

Other Recent Lift Improvements

Spirit Ridge (Lift 8) had the motor removed and completely rebuilt this summer. All base-area lifts (Sunrise Express, Spirit Ridge, Pony Double, and Fort Apache) were professionally painted, both lift terminals and towers for each lift over this summer. Fort Apache (Lift 4) received a digital upgrade and motor rebuild last season. Pony Double (Lift 2) received a digital upgrade and a new haul rope last season. Geronimo (Lift 5) received a digital upgrade and bull wheel repairs last season.

All lift upgrades and projects are to ensure longevity and reliability for guests both this winter and for years to come.

RFID Technology Upgrades

Faster ticket pickup, faster lift lines, and more accurate pass cards are coming to Sunrise with new, high-tech radio-frequency identification (RFID) passes this season. Guests can now order passes online and pick up Day Passes from the Ticket Office at Sunrise or Cyclone base areas on a brand-new automated kiosk, called Skiosk. Guests just scan their purchase confirmation and the Skiosk will issue a Day Pass card on-the-spot. RFID cards also remove the need for barcode and scanners at the lifts, allowing guests to keep the pass in their left jacket pocket. As guests pass through a gate, it will automatically scan your pass. Finally, the new cards can be re-loaded online at any time, so guests who visit multiple times this season don’t have to return to the Ticket Office after the initial pass card is issued.

RFID Ski Pass Gate Scanners
SMI Snow Fan Guns

Snowmaking Improvements

Increased Snowmaking Capacity to the Peak

A new water pump system is being installed at Midway that will enable nearly double the water capacity to be delivered to the top half of the mountain. This allows Sunrise to run more snowmaking machines and higher output for upper-mountain trails.

Additional Fan Snow Guns and Air Compressor Upgrades

Sunrise operates a few different types of snowmaking arsenal including air/water guns and fan guns. Sunrise recently recommissioned 10 SMI high-volume fan snow guns, which will be added to the 10 current TechnoAlpin fan snow guns, nearly doubling the number of fan snow guns on the mountain. These seven SMI fan snow guns are currently being serviced and will be integrated into our snow making operations in the coming weeks. Additionally, Sunrise’s million-dollar Centac air compressor system received service upgrades and extensive repairs after being out of commission for over 10 years. This air compressor can operate up to 17 air/water snowmaking guns, compared to four with the prior system. Sunrise’s total arsenal now includes nearly 50 snowmaking guns in total.

The improvements have led to Sunrise getting the peak open several weeks earlier and the overall quality of snow has dramatically improved.

Building Improvements and Mountain Maintenance

Night Skiing to the Peak: About 100 new LED lights were installed from base to peak of Sunrise Peak, allowing night skiing to operate to the peak this winter for the first time in over seven years. Night skiing will be offered after Christmas through New Years Eve (Dec 26-Dec 31), MLK Weekend (Jan 13-14), and President’s Day Weekend (Feb 17-18).

Midway Day Lodge has an all-new deck, renovated bathrooms, and received interior flooring repairs.

Ticket Office was professionally repainted, and three windows are being retrofitted with new automated kiosk systems to issue new RFID Day Passes and speed up ticket lines.

Sunrise Day Lodge has an all-new deck, and the exterior was professionally renovated and painted

Apache Peak Lodge has an all-new deck and received interior flooring repairs.

Sunrise Day Lodge New Exterior Deck and Paint
Midway Day Lodge New Deck

Midway Café (new deck in progress)

Sunrise Day Lodge

Mountain Learning Center "After"

Mountain Learning Center

Sunrise Ticket Office

Ticket Office

Cyclone Day Lodge

Cyclone Lodge and Cord Lift

Cyclone Day Lodge and Regular Operations

Cyclone Day Lodge received a new deck, and the exterior was professionally sealed and repainted. The Cyclone Day Lodge is slated to open Thursdays through Sundays (plus holidays) when snow levels are sufficient. Cyclone Lodge will also feature a ticket kiosk with our new RFID cards and will offer a selection of rental equipment on operating days.

Cyclone Cord

Cyclone Circle is slated to be open Thursdays through Sundays (plus holidays) when snow levels are sufficient. The Cyclone Cord will provide access to the peak of Cyclone Circle via Geronimo (Lift 5) then riding Sunset Meadow to Denny’s Way. Cyclone features some of the most unique terrain in the region and we are excited to offer access regularly this season.

Additional Improvements for Winter

Prinoth Winch Snowcat: In an ongoing effort to offer a world-class skiing experience in Arizona, Sunrise invested about $500K on a brand-new Prinoth Bison X Winch Snowcat, which was delivered at the end of last winter. The winch cable can be mounted to an uphill anchor point to allow the cat to operate on extreme slopes, difficult terrain, and icy slopes with ease. It also allows us to push snow uphill and create more features in the terrain park.

All-New Rossignol Rental Equipment: Sunrise Rentals is featuring all-new skis and snowboards from Rossignol. We also offer new high-end Rossignol skis and boards for sale, with the ability to try before you buy with gear demos.

Premium Brands Now Available: The Sunrise Sports Shop is now a Patagonia retailer, featuring high-end jackets and winter wear. We also feature other great gear from these excellent brands: Rossignol, Dynastar, Helly Hansen, Smith, Spy, and Flylow.

Prinoth Winch Snowcat

Season Passes Now Available

New RFID Sunrise One Pass Season Pass Card

Season Pass

Are you an avid skier or snowboarder? Ready to shred the slopes this season? A season pass to Sunrise Park Resort is the best way to have full access to Arizona’s largest ski resort.