News Roundup: One Billion

  • Despite competition from the Ikon and Epic passes, Peak Resorts reports sales of its Peak Passes are up 14 percent year over year through 4/30.
  • HTI, the parent company of Leitner, Poma, Aguido, MiniMetro, Prinoth and more reports it built 75 ropeways in 2017 and exceeded $1 billion in revenue.
  • The Hermitage Club opposes its primary lender’s motion to appoint a receiver and says it has found a financial firm willing to loan $26 million in restructuring capital.  A key court hearing is scheduled for one week from today.
  • TransLink’s ten year, $8.8 billion vision includes funding for Burnaby Mountain Gondola planning.
  • Gondola fever spreads in Edmonton.
  • A gondola is being looked at for Idaho Springs, Colorado along I-70.
  • SE Group and the White River National Forest test an interactive storyboard as a public engagement tool for Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park Expansion.  Comments are due May 29th and a decision is expected in September.
  • The Forest Service proposes quickly approving the replacement of Arizona Snowbowl’s Agassiz triple with a 6,100 foot combination lift utilizing gondola cabins between every three or four chairs.  Capacity would be only 1,200 passengers per hour.
  • Magic Mountain commits to finishing the Green lift and weighs the future of its nearby Pohlig-Hall-Yan contraption.

17 thoughts on “News Roundup: One Billion

  1. Collin May 3, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    Most Eastern skiers are very unhappy with the Ikon Pass since they killed the Max Pass and the Ikon Pass costs way more and has way fewer days.

    The Max Pass was great for the Boston area skier with 5 days each at Wachusett, Sunapee, Loon, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf. If you ventured over to Vermont, you had 5 days each at Stratton, Okemo, Pico, and Killington. The Ikon Pass dropped Wachusett, Sunapee, Okemo, and Pico and limited days from 5 each to 5 between Loon, SR, and SL. Stratton and Killington are the same as before. This is with the equivalently priced Ikon Base Pass. Epic increased their offerings for Boston skiers with 7 each at Okemo, Sunapee, and unlimited Stowe on the Epic Local, but it still doesn’t compare to what the Max Pass had.

    Meanwhile the Peak Pass costs about the same as the Ikon Base pass and offers fully unlimited access to Crotched, Attitash, Wildcat, and Mount Snow. I expect skier visits at all of them to be up significantly next year. Unless you are going out west, it’s a far better deal.

    In the New York market, the Max Pass had Mountain Creek, Belleayre and Windham, and if you went north of Albany you had Gore, Whiteface, Stratton, Okemo, Pico, and Killington. The Ikon Pass dropped everything but Stratton and Killington, but added Sugarbush. Epic has yet to really tap into the New York market.

    For the same price as the Ikon Base Pass, the Peak Pass is unlimited at Hunter and Mount Snow. Both mountains have received major investments and they’ve been marketing them hard. You’ve also got Jack Frost Big Boulder, but that’s more Philadelphia market. I expect them to market Hunter and Mount Snow hard there as well.

    Long story short, Alterra shot themselves in the foot by totally screwing millions of people in the two biggest cities in the Northeast. They don’t want their business, but Peak Resorts does.

    Liked by 1 person

      • tjskiloaf17 May 3, 2018 / 5:07 pm

        youre a loafer too? sweet. just peeked at your blog. definetly going to check back!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Collin May 4, 2018 / 7:03 am

        I’m mainly referring to former max passers. In that last year, if you had the standalone version you could ski a whole season off of it if you were willing to travel or simply lived in the right place.

        A lot of people also bought add ons through their local pass. It was a great way to encourage people to check out other mountains, and the price was so much lower since it was assumed you wouldn’t use it as much as someone with a standalone version and nothing else.

        The Ikon Base Pass is impossible to ski a whole season off of unless you live in Canada near Tremblant. They limited days everywhere else and it costs just as much as the Max Pass and has blackouts. Only Stratton is unlimited if you pay 300 dollars more for the full pass and still has fewer days elsewhere than the max pass. Most unlimited destinations are in the west. They want the East to pay for the West to have artificially low pass prices.

        There’s no add on so if you have a local pass at one of the mountains, you get no benefit from your mountain being an Ikonic destination like you get with Epic and Mountain Collective and used to get with Max. I ski at Whiteface most often and had their local pass with the add on. I was able to get an Ikon Base Pass and still keep my local pass because I’m in college and can get the student rate on both, but if you’re paying full price it is ridiculously expensive and most people will pick one or the other.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A.G. May 3, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    Very pleased Magic is getting serious about the Black Chair. Continuing to pour money into that unreliable frankenlift is like trying to keep a 25 year old car running. Looking at Google Maps, Snow Bowl over at Stratton is about 4,600 feet, Black is about 4,500 feet. Any chance Magic ends up with Stratton’s old lift?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kai Glidden May 3, 2018 / 6:22 pm

      I agree that pouring more and more money into that “frankenlift” isn’t a great idea, but right now I think Magic Mountain is focusing on the Green Chair, before the Black Chair, which they have been trying to install for over 10 years.
      There are currently 3 standing lifts at Stratton that could work in place of the Black Chair (two six-packs and a quad). The quad, Snow Bowl, has plans to be replaced by a new Doppelmayr Detachable Quad this summer. This Poma quad currently at Stratton is 4800 feet and would probably work great in place of the Black Chair.
      Magic’s website says, “We’ve also put a lot of money into repairing the Black Summit Lift over the last two seasons with a bit of a mixed operating performance record. We will have important information on our plans for this lift shortly, so stay tuned. But our goal is to improve summit access reliability and capacity to keep our lines to a minimum while keeping our slopes open and uncrowded.”

      So it sounds like Magic has plans to replace or repair the Black Chair and Stratton is removing a lift that would fit in place, so yes, I think there is a chance Magic will end up with Stratton old lift.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Max Hart May 3, 2018 / 8:01 pm

        Burke’s old Willoughby Quad (decommissioned before the 2017-18 season) would also fit neatly in the Black Chair’s alignment. Perhaps a Skytrac refurbishment similar to what Pat’s Peak did with its new Peak chair?

        Liked by 2 people

    • JJ Upton May 6, 2018 / 7:04 am

      I am an employee at Stratton and I can confirm that Magic has been looking at the old Snow bowl lift as a replacement for the black lift based on the rumors that have been circulating.

      Liked by 1 person

      • smacpats May 6, 2018 / 2:46 pm

        Sorry for being completely unrelated to your comment (besides you being an employee at stratton), but is there any rumors of a Kidderbrook HSQ? I’m a stratton local, and with Alterra basically immediately buying a snowbowl HSQ after buying the mountain, I have a new faith in us actually maybe getting decent access to that side of the mountain in the near future. Is there any news about it?


  3. Ryan Murphy May 3, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    Am I correct in assuming Agassiz will lose the midstation? Is it redundant with the new 6 pack next door?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kai Glidden May 3, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      I agree that Agassiz doesn’t NEED the mid-station with the installation of the Grand Canyon Express Sixpack, but I don’t think it will be worth it for them to remove it. Removing the mid-station would most likely result in the lift towers needing to be changed in positioning and angle. It also doesn’t seem like they have any plans to replace Agassiz anytime soon, so its possible, but unlikely. Plus, if they stay open later into the ski season they might only open this lift to access the summit, but people that are not as advanced might want to take the easier way down from the mid-station.

      Anyone else have any other opinions?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Andy May 3, 2018 / 8:29 pm

        yes in fact Arizona Snowbowl does want to replace the Agassiz lift sooner rather than later and the Forest Service is on their side :

        Click to access 108359_FSPLT3_4292213.pdf

        this was one of the story links on Liftblog’s May 3, 2018 One Billion blog entry.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kai Glidden May 3, 2018 / 9:30 pm

          That surprises me just because Agassiz isn’t that old. I guess they probably want to increase the capacity and make the ride time shorter. Maybe a detachable quad or 6 pack?

          Liked by 1 person

      • Thomas Jett May 4, 2018 / 9:00 am

        Capacity is going to remain the same, at 1,200pp/h. They’re planning to upgrade it to a Chondola, and I’d guess that it’d be 6/8 chairs/cabins.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ryan Murphy May 4, 2018 / 3:14 pm

      I wasn’t clear, my fault. I meant to ask if the Agassiz chondola would have a midstation. I didn’t see anything in the FS document linked here, and looking at the map, it seems somewhat redundant, so I assumed it wouldn’t, but I wanted to clarify.


      • Peter Landsman May 6, 2018 / 3:01 pm

        For a lot of reasons, I’d be shocked if there’s a mid-station on Agassiz 2.0. It would be redundant with the GCE, there is not enough space for one and it would be incredibly expensive.


  4. Jonathan May 4, 2018 / 8:29 am

    I think that since Arizona Snowbowl runs the lift in the summer they need some gondola cabins because some guests are not comfortable riding on a chairlift. Also,the cabins will keep people dry in the ¨rain¨ and keep people form getting pounded by sand.

    They need the chairs because people who Mountain Bike may need to cool off. I mountain bike at Vail, Keystone and Beaver Creek, an I hate biking at Vail because of all of the tourists, and the cabins on both gondolas get really hot. I like Beaver Creek, but maybe because I am a Doppelmayr fan and they have lots of Doppelmayr equipment. The Centennial Express is nice because one morning it as raining and we did a round trip in one of the cabins to see what it was like up top, but by the time we got down, the storm had passed, and we went biking.

    I don´t see a point in the rain piece because it is Arizona after all. Maybe they want cabins because of the sand storms and they don´t want sand in peoples eyes. They may need to get people off the mountain in a lightning storm, and they may want to do it by cabin. The Agassiz lift has lots of operating hours on it, but it could be refurbished and relocated to replace the Aspen Chair at Arizona Snowbowl. Since the line is shorter, they could sell some of the chairs to the guests to make some money.

    Liked by 1 person

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