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49 Degrees North opens with new features for the season

The Chewelah resort celebrated opening day with new additions, hoping to bring back old and new guests.

CHEWELAH, Wash. — The 49 Degrees North ski resort opened on Friday with some new additions. One of those new adds is the "Northern Spirit," the resort's new chair lift.

The lift includes four-person chairs and moves riders to the top of the hill in half the time as the old one. The new lift boasts a 900 horsepower system and is the state's longest chair lift.

The old lift experienced several breakdowns over the past few years, including one accident last year where two riders fell off the lift.

The former lift is still on 49 Degrees North's property, but management said it will come down in the spring.

"We wanted to put all our effort into getting the new lift ready for opening day," Rick Brown, director of skier and rider services, said.

Opening day came later this year than past years for the resort. It typically tries to open around Thanksgiving Day. Mild weather conditions pushed back opening day for several ski resorts in the Inland Northwest.

In addition to the new lift, the resort made several other upgrades over the summer. It expanded it's retail gift shop, created a new equipment and maintenance building and update it's lockers to be smartphone compatible.

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