News Roundup: London’s Gondola

  • The non-profit organization that bought Soldier Mountain in Idaho from Bruce Willis wants out after three years.  Now the entire ski area is for sale for just $149,000 (that’s the amount the organization owes its bank.)  Included are two Stadeli double chairs built in 1970 and 1974.  I’ve also heard Soldier has at least one lift from nearby Sun Valley in storage for expansion.  The ski area’s master plan includes four new lifts that we may never see.
  • Doppelmayr and Skidata think they have perfected gondola loading with the “easy boarding gate.”  The system uses multiple ‘pods’ with turnstiles to enter.  Flat screen monitors display how many spaces remain in each pod and guests self-select where to go. As gondola cabins enter the loading area, full pods are assigned to cabins with LED lights directing riders.  I’m sure it works but why would a ski area want to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to do what a $9 an hour lift operator can do?
  • 22 towers fly at the Hermitage Club, soon to be home to the only 6-person Doppelmayr bubble lift in North America.  Ironically the same helicopter flew towers from the Hermitage Club’s old triple the very next day at West Mountain in New York.
  • Lots of new pictures of Sipapu’s new quad chair and an update on their blog.
  • Drone footage of Crystal Mountain, Michigan’s “Backyard” expansion with eight new runs served by a used CTEC triple chair.
  • Leitner-Poma takes the Facebook plunge.  Their counterparts in Europe also have a pretty cool page!
  • Peak Resorts, the fourth largest operator of lifts in North America, secures a $15 million line of credit for “resort development and acquisitions.”  Might we see a new lift at one of their 13 resorts next summer?
Lift towers and terminals have arrived for Solitude's Summit Express. Towers were flown up the hill last Saturday.
Lift tower and terminal components for Solitude’s Summit Express as seen last week.  Towers were flown up the hill on Saturday.
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