News Roundup: Connected

  • See for yourself is how Aspen parks its gondolas for the offseason.
  • The supremely-talented James Niehues is painting an all-new map of Copper Mountain to debut next winter along with two new lifts.
  • This month’s Poma Link spotlights good stuff from Europe…a new brand platform, details on Diamond Evo cabins and new sheave liners coming in 2019.
  • The Leitner Ropeways 2017 annual report is packed full of photographs and drawings for 32 new lifts the company completed last year.
  • The world’s tallest tubular lift tower goes up in La Paz at 194 feet!
  • A man who said he was stuck on a Gore Mountain chairlift the night of April Fool’s Day is charged with making false statements.
  • Two hackers say they were able to access the Doppelmayr Connect control system for an Austrian gondola in March, raising cyber security concerns.  Doppelmayr says the issue has been fixed and no riders were ever at risk.
  • The first Skyliner station is going up in Florida and it’s a monster that appears to have two separate turnaroundsA sea of lift parts is also on site at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Leitner unveils cabins clad with Swarovski crystals for the new Matterhorn 3S.
  • Berkshire Bank pays propane, electric and tax bills to keep the heat on and prevent a tax sale as it asks a judge to allow a receiver to take over operations at the Hermitage Club.
  • Doppelmayr names a new managing director set to take over later this year.
  • LST combines wireless operator controls, 3D cameras, RFID tags and LED lighting to encourage safety bar usage and increase loading safety.
  • The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management approve Sun Valley’s Cold Springs Canyon project.
  • Big Sky teases an updated rendering of Ramcharger 8 and the first photo from the factory.
  • I’ll end this week’s roundup with some interesting thoughts on recent ski resort sales and valuations from Mike Krongel.

13 thoughts on “News Roundup: Connected

  1. Doppelmayr FTW April 26, 2018 / 7:07 am

    Im very interested to see how that double loading works, those terminals are INSANE!


    • reaperskier April 26, 2018 / 8:17 am

      We haven’t had a double loading lift since the Quicksilver Superchair in 1999.


    • Peter Landsman April 26, 2018 / 6:04 pm

      With a gondola, they won’t be able to load along the front turnaround as Quicksilver does because there will be a trench in the way. But there could be loading at the two straightaways and the rear turnaround. There is some speculation on the Disney forums that every __th cabin will be directed to the rear turnaround for persons with special needs to board without the need to stop the lift. Whatever the setup is, it appears to be mirrored at the Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Pop/AoA stations too.


  2. Peter Landsman April 26, 2018 / 11:40 am

    Sun Valley got back to me with a tentative timeline for Cold Springs Express:

    “This summer we will be preparing the terrain and infrastructure for the new lift installation. It likely will not be complete until summer 2019. However, this winter we will be offering guided tours of the new terrain that the lift will access.”


  3. Dave howe April 26, 2018 / 4:53 pm

    I found the LST video on safety bar technology interesting. Most American skiers leave the bars up (if they’re even available). I was skiing in France this winter and the lifties will shout at you to lower the safety bar if you don’t pull it down right after liftoff


    • Doppelmayr FTW April 26, 2018 / 5:30 pm

      It is against the law in europe to leave the bar up, most new lifts there have the bar come dowm and lock automatically, i believe big skys new one will lock if you put it down, and will raise automatically in the top.


    • Peter Landsman April 26, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      It depends where you are in the States. Where I grew up in Washington, most lifts didn’t have bars and even on the ones that did, almost no one used them. The Rockies seem like a mix and the Northeast has universal availability and near 100 percent usage. It is state law in Vermont to put it down and would be an interesting future post to see how that affects fall rates. My hunch is there’s little correlation between bar availability and the number of falls from chairs.


      • Dave howe April 26, 2018 / 5:58 pm

        The sample size (of falls) is probably to small to draw meaningful conclusions. I was just at whistler and most skiers use the bars. I still live and ski in Washington and nothing has changed here.


      • Matt Z. April 27, 2018 / 12:03 pm

        Mid-Atlantic and Southeast skiers almost never use the bar. Most of the lifts are older, and only some have restraining bars.


      • Lucas April 27, 2018 / 9:30 pm

        could the reason for the double turnaround also be so that they could keep some cabins empty for loading at some of the other stations along the line? so every 2nd or 3rd cabin would go around the inside turnaround, and remain empty, and the other cabins would go around the outside turnaround and be loaded? In Breckenridge, on the breck connect gondola, they keep every 3rd cabin empty, so passengers have a chance to load at the two other stations. Realistically, it would work with a double turnaround


  4. David howe April 29, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    Maybe someone could explain something. What are the advantages between top drive and bottom drive lifts? And why do resorts build one vs the other?


    • smacpats April 30, 2018 / 4:46 pm

      I think that top drive is more efficient than bottom drive, but bottom drive is often used because the lift needs an easier electrical source, somebody else here probably actually knows.


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