Intrawest begins a $66 million expansion at Copper Mountain next week when work starts on two new high-speed chairs, a new day lodge and an expansion of the Colorado resort’s snowmaking system. The plans include the first six-passenger chair in Colorado — the Super Bee — which will cut the ride time from the base of the mountain to the top from 30 minutes down to about eight minutes. The second high-speed lift, a quad dubbed the Excelerator, will carry skiers and riders from the mid-mountain Solitude Station to Copper Peak in about three minutes. Both lifts will be built by Poma of North America and will be ready for the 1998-99 season. Construction of a new 40,000 square foot day lodge at the base of the Super Bee lift will also start this summer, although the building won’t be finished in time for next winter. The day lodge is part of $400 million in development Intrawest has planned for Copper over the next five to 10 years. The vision includes a new pedestrian resort village with more lodging, conference space, shops and restaurants and significant lift, terrain and restaurant improvements on the mountain. This year’s $66 million capital plan was made possible by the March 7 sale of all 108 units in the new Copper Springs Lodge — in a record six hours. The Copper Springs Lodge sale generated $33 million for Intrawest. "This is the first time a real estate sales event of this magnitude has occurred not only in Colorado, but also at any Intrawest-owned resort in North America," Intrawest Senior Vice President Michael Coyle said in a release. "(The March 7) response puts us on a fast track to bring the vision of the new Copper to fruition right away."