- More new trail maps are out with new lifts on them: Brian Head, Jackson Hole, Montana Snowbowl, Schweitzer, Revelstoke and Windham.
- Sea to Sky Gondola turns its parking lot into a drive in theater while rebuild of the lift continues.
- “Boyne is looking at replacing a lot of lifts throughout the whole company and we’re on that list,” says Karl Strand of Sugarloaf in an annual fall update. His wish list includes replacing Timberline, Double Runner, Sawduster and West Mountain.
- Mike Solimano at Killington also has a lift replacement wish list for Powdr.
- Arapahoe Basin plans to replace both Pallavicini and Molly Hogan next summer.
- Sunrise Park says a replacement for the decommissioned Cyclone lift would cost more than $10 million but is a long term goal.
- Hunter will convert its D triple to a double with Partek chairs.
- The Forest Service tentatively approves Arizona Snowbowl’s proposed Agassiz Telemix project.
- An Orlando TV station plays some 911 calls from the night the Disney Skyliner broke down two weeks ago.
- Seven months after an announced sale of Granby Ranch, the ski area still hasn’t changed hands.
- Montana Snowbowl’s long-awaited expansion lift on TV Mountain will be called Snow Park and open in December.
- Sugar Mountain puts the finishing touches on its first high speed quad.
A new detachable quad will soon join the lift fleet at Whitefish Mountain Resort, although the exact timeline is uncertain. The Chair 4 Express (name TBD) will be the first detachable lift servicing the mountain’s new day lodge, where nearly 70 percent of Whitefish skiers now start their day. The big lift will replace Great Northern, a Stadeli triple which opened in 1978 but loads higher than the replacement. The top terminal will be very close to where the old Chair 5 unloaded.
The new lift will open a half hour earlier than the workhorse Big Mountain Express and relieve pressure from the Base Lodge and Bad Rock beginner lifts. Hourly capacity will be 2,200 skiers, more than double Chair 4 on the rare occasions it is open. A number of trails will be re-graded to converge at the new load point. “When people stand at the current carpet lift and look up the mountain when this project is done it will look very different from how it looks today,” says Whitefish.
The resort did not release a timeline or manufacturer although planning is well underway. Whitefish is already seeking Forest Service approval for its Hellroaring Basin improvement project, which includes two new lifts. If approved, all three new lifts will be well worth the wait on an already great Big Mountain.
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
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Now that's what we call a drive shaft, the heavy equipment is being rolled in and on schedule for completion in Decemburrr🚦 We sure can't wait! #FantasticFamilyFun #SasquatchMountain #SMR #GetOutandPlay #construction #hemlockvalley #newblueprogress #mountains #mountainlove #driveshaft #progress #winter
Disney Skyliner is transporting guests around Walt Disney World Resort again this morning, eight days after a malfunction caused a few cabins to stack up in the Riviera angle station. The system has been operating since then but without passengers. Hours today are 8:00 am to 10:30 pm for all three gondola lines. New signage reminds riders that Skyliner flights may occasionally be interrupted with stops and delays. “Following a complete review with the manufacturer, we’ve made adjustments to our processes and training, and we are improving how we communicate with guests during their flight with Disney Skyliner,” a statement from Disney read. “We again offer our deepest apologies to the guests impacted by the malfunction that resulted in extended operating delays on October 5th.”
According to the Skyliner website, temporary closures will follow this week for “system updates.” On Wednesday, the Hollywood Studios line will be closed all day while the Epcot and Pop Century/Art of Animation lines will spin from 1:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Thursday and Friday, all lines will be closed in the morning and open at 1:00 pm.
Skyliner launched on September 29th, linking Hollywood Studios to Epcot and four Walt Disney World resorts. Doppelmayr designed and built the lifts and maintains them through its Doppelmayr Cable Car subsidiary in partnership with Disney. “We greatly appreciate your ongoing patience and understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you back aboard Disney Skyliner,” the theme park operator told guests.
- Mt. Rose wants to replace Lakeview and build a two stage detachable Atoma lift instead of two separate alignments shown here.
- Two people survive after their small plane crashes into and is caught by chairlift cables in Italy.
- The Forest Service seeks public comment on issuing a special use permit to Mountain Capital Partners to operate Elk Ridge, Arizona, which closed in 2017.
- The owners of 100 year old Pocono Manor want to build a 1.5 mile chairlift to the upcoming Pocono Springs lifestyle and entertainment complex.
- The New York Times considers whether a planned four station gondola is appropriate in historically holy Jerusalem.
- All three Disney Skyliner lines remain closed following Saturday’s mishap at the Riviera station.
- The replacement for Big Burn at Snowmass may be a six place bubble model.
- Hermitage Club founder Jim Barnes is ordered to pay a member more than $5.4 million for making misrepresentations.
- Crystal Mountain adds 12 gondola cabins with the mountain’s new logo, bringing the Mt. Rainier Gondola to its maximum capacity of 900 passengers per hour.
- Magic Mountain’s new quad may not spin by Christmas but hopefully MLK weekend.
- Environmental review of the New York Capital Gondola project should commence next week.
- Lake Louise’s VonRoll gondola towers finally fly away after 60 years.
- The VonRoll in Oklahoma thrills riders for a 54th year.
- Fatzer fast tracks a new haul rope for the Sea to Sky Gondola.
- The recently opened 3S in Norway successfully toes the line between an urban gondola and ski/tourism lift.
- Vail seeks to buy the Hermitage Club’s snowmaking guns.
- A super cool LST T-Bar on the roof of a waste-to-energy plant opens for skiers in Copenhagen.
- Poma begins constructing a five section urban gondola on the remote Indian Ocean island of Réunion.
- Grouse Mountain acknowledges the Blue Skyride‘s days are numbered and will study replacing it over the coming year.
- Frost Fire, which was unable to spin its brand new Skytrac quad last winter, says it will open this winter.
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
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The terminal is up and sitting pretty here at Tucker mountain @coppermtn Excellent work by the LPOA crew again today and also the guys form Terry’s Crane and Rigging! Hard work pays off and winter is coming. #chairlift #skilift #crane #liftmaintenance #leitnerpoma #leitnerropeways #threebearslift #leitnerpomaofamerica #coppermountain #summitcounty #colorado #skiing #winter #heavylifting #craneday #rigging #precisionconstruction #workwithuourhands #hardwork @leitner_poma_of_america
An in-station collision on the Epcot line of the Disney Skyliner caused a stop that left people stuck in gondolas for more than two hours Saturday night and led to a partial evacuation.
The first tweet about the situation at Walt Disney World Resort appeared at 8:43 pm eastern time, followed by pictures of stacked cabins in one of the outgoing sections of the Riviera Resort angle station. Riviera is the second of four stations on the longest Skyliner line, which links Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Epcot’s International Gateway.
The unfortunate incident happened just a week after the gondola system opened to the public. Crews practiced repeatedly in the months prior to launch for such a scenario. Each cabin is equipped with two way communications, emergency supplies and water.
As of 9:30, Reedy Creek Fire Department trucks and specialized lifts were being used to evacuate people from a few cabins. The Epcot line passes over a narrow body of water plus multiple roads and buildings, necessitating a variety of rescue equipment. The shorter Hollywood Studios and Pop Century/Art of Animation lines were unaffected but unloaded as a precaution.
The Interstate 93 corridor in New Hampshire could soon be a hotbed of lift construction. Four exciting projects appeared on the White Mountain National Forest proposed actions page this week. In what would be a major move, Loon Mountain is seeking to replace the Kancamagus detachable quad with an eight seater chairlift. Next, the Seven Brothers triple would be replaced with a detachable quad, presumably utilizing equipment removed from the Kanc. This project would be similar to one Loon’s owner Boyne Resorts completed last year at Big Sky. There, the Ramcharger detachable quad was replaced by North America’s first eight passenger chairlift and the old machine moved to replace a Heron-Poma double.
Just to the south at Waterville Valley, the White Peaks Express is proposed to be replaced by a six passenger detachable lift. The current machine was built in 1988 and shortened to its current length in 1996. In a second project, the Sunnyside triple would be swapped for a fixed-grip quad and the Northside double removed. Both of these lifts were built decades ago by Stadeli. Waterville Valley has been independently owned and operated by a local group of investors since 2010. They recently replaced another aging Stadeli lift with an LST T-Bar.
It is unknown whether any of these new lifts will feature bubbles and/or heated seats, which have become popular across New England. The Forest Service expects to make decisions on whether to approve the projects in December.
- The West Virginia Timberline may be sold out of bankruptcy to an LLC offering $2.5 million.
- A Quebec resort is ordered to pay out six figures after leaving a guest stranded on a lift.
- Steamboat’s new gondola haul rope is spliced.
- Doppelmayr becomes a billion dollar company by annual revenue, up 10.5 percent from last year.
- Manning Park narrows the names for its new quad down to four and wants your help choosing one.
- A very long stop and near evacuation makes the local newspaper in Sun Valley.
- Another first is brewing in Europe: a gondola with cabin doors on two sides.
- Indy Pass adds eight more resorts.
- Eastlink Park in Alberta is adding a used Mueller T-Bar for this winter.
- ‘Qualified and reputable’ investors have expressed interest in the Hermitage Club assets in recent weeks.
- There are now four alternatives for possible Snow King Mountain expansion.
- Wired looks into the failures of both urban gondolas in Rio de Janeiro.
- Attitash assures skiers its Summit Triple is finally fixed after last year’s extended closures.
- Revelstoke receives a shipment of 22 new gondola cabins.
- Cooper releases the trail map for its Tennessee Creek Basin expansion and Little Horse T-Bar.
- The Orlando Sentinel hosts a half hour podcast all about the Disney Skyliner.
- Mont St. Sauveur’s new heated seat chairlift will be named Sommet Express.
When the family that operates Timberline Lodge & Ski Area bought nearby Summit Ski Area last year, an interconnect immediately entered the realm of possibility. The Forest Service recently accepted RLK and Company’s new Summit Master Development Plan, which includes a 10 passenger gondola from the Summit base area in Government Camp to historic Timberline Lodge. The combined resort would feature a vertical drop exceeding 4,500 feet, longest in the United States with all lifts open.
A Timberline Gondola would span 12,952 feet with a vertical ascent of 1,890′. It would require a boundary expansion of 228 acres between the top of Summit’s Homestead double chair and the bottom of Timberline’s Jeff Flood Express. Importantly, the Summit base area would become a transit and parking hub for both mountains, reducing congestion and parking demands at higher elevations. An approximately 30,000 square foot base lodge would replace the existing one at Summit. Guests from Portland would save almost 12 miles of driving each day, instead enjoying an 11 minute flight from Government Camp to the base of Timberline’s Magic Mile quad. “The gondola would not only provide direct, aerial access to Timberline from the Summit’s base area, for both guests and employees, it would also alleviate the congestion on Oregon Highway 173 and re-prioritize the need for additional parking at the bottom of Timberline’s Molly’s Chairlift,” notes the master plan, which was prepared by SE Group. The gondola would travel up to 1,200 feet per minute with a capacity of 2,400 passengers per hour in each direction. It would operate approximately nine hours per day in both winter and summer, serving skiers, snowboarders, sightseers and mountain bikers.
Additionally, the plan prescribes replacing Summit’s 1980 Riblet double with a fixed grip quad called Summit Pass. This lift would parallel the gondola for 1,933 feet and terminate at 4,290 feet in elevation. “By upgrading the existing chairlift conveyance, the overall guest experience would improve by having updated lift technology, allowing ski school and parties of four or less to ride the chairlift together,” the plan notes. Capacity would increase from 1,200 per hour to 2,000. A new carpet lift would also be installed.
The Forest Service’s acceptance of the master plan does not constitute approval of individual projects and, if approved, gondola construction is likely still years away. Timberline’s immediate next lift project is set to be a detachable replacement for Pucci, benefiting beginner and intermediate skiers. The gondola link would be even more impactful with major environmental and guest service benefits year round.