Crested Butte to Replace Teocalli Lift

Just weeks after declaring the Teocalli lift wouldn’t spin this season due to needed maintenance, Crested Butte Mountain Resort today announced the Riblet double will be replaced with a new fixed-grip quad next summer.  Teocalli opened in 1979 and was the last operating Riblet lift at the resort.  Pending Forest Service approval, the larger lift will increase capacity by more than 50 percent.  The lower terminal will remain in its current location while the top station will shift closer to the Red Lady Express summit.


“The realignment and improved capacity of the lift will provide an elevated on-mountain experience via quick terrain access, improved egress to the resort base area and access to Uley’s Cabin – one of CBMR’s premier on mountain restaurants,” said Tim Baker, general manager of the resort in a blog post.  “We believe this investment can provide a significant benefit to a variety of guests in the near future, and we’ll continue to listen to feedback and evaluate other potential investments that will have a similar impact for a spectrum of guests moving forward.”  Ten of Crested Butte’s eleven lifts are of Leitner-Poma lineage but no manufacturer was specified.  The new lift is the third to be announced by Vail Resorts for 2019, following the company’s commitment to replace two chairlifts at Stevens Pass next summer.  Both Crested Butte and Stevens were acquired by Vail last summer.


29 thoughts on “Crested Butte to Replace Teocalli Lift

  1. Terry Godbout January 3, 2019 / 12:15 pm

    Hi Peter,

    Terry Godbout founder of Elite Skiing Facebook page.

    Is there currently a US chairlift manufacturer? Is SkyTrans an actual manufacturer or do they only refurbish used lifts?



    • Paul Manafort January 3, 2019 / 2:26 pm

      Skytrac is American.


    • Bennett Dugas January 3, 2019 / 4:02 pm

      Leitner-Poma of America is based in Grand Junction, CO.


      • Ryan January 3, 2019 / 6:34 pm

        Eh. It’s still French. Just like Doppelmayr is still Austrian–Swiss. Just like Crapota America is still Crapota Japan and Fiet Chrysler is.. well.. owned by the Italians. Just like Airbus aircraft made in the USA is still.. French owned Airbus. Not a true blue American company. Those rarely exist anymore.


        • Cameron Halmrast January 3, 2019 / 9:58 pm

          Leitner-POMA is quite American compared to Doppelmayr. Its line of terminals are all designed in America compared to Doppelmayr.


    • Max Hart January 3, 2019 / 4:58 pm

      Partek is also American, based out of Pine Island NY.


  2. DANIEL MICHALSKI January 3, 2019 / 12:19 pm

    Good news!


  3. Teddy January 3, 2019 / 2:00 pm

    This is sad news, soon there won’t be any Riblet center pole doubles left.


    • Peter Landsman January 3, 2019 / 4:10 pm

      Still 172 Riblet doubles in service, the majority of which are center pole. It will be decades before they are all gone.


    • MavRat January 3, 2019 / 5:02 pm

      We still have our 1969 Riblet center pole up here at Maverick Mountain, Montana! …and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!


    • Charlie January 5, 2019 / 5:36 pm

      Lutsen has 4


  4. Ryan January 3, 2019 / 6:36 pm

    I wonder if they can revive Twister with parts from Teo?


    • Cameron Halmrast January 3, 2019 / 10:03 pm

      The two lifts are quite different. However, Teocalli was a pretty well maintained lift in my opinion when I have visited CB and I was just there this winter. I’m not sure if shuttering the lift for the year was a “way” of getting it replaced by one that newer one or not. However, if the bullwheel was cracked, it would be quite hard to get a new one fabricated.


    • John January 6, 2019 / 12:52 pm

      Line machinery is the same. Clips could be the same, depending on rope size. Chairs are the same. I don’t know what’s in the respective motor rooms but many parts are transferrable. It would be a question of whether my counterparts at CB would be willing to do that, or if VR would rather just replace or remove it.


  5. Jonathan January 6, 2019 / 7:58 pm

    Will the lift be scrapped?


    • Ryan January 8, 2019 / 12:21 am

      95% sure it will. No need for it anywhere else with newer stuff out there for cheap.


    • Michael January 9, 2019 / 6:16 pm

      Nothing new. They always work with both manufacturers…and select the best price. It makes the manufacturers keep their pencils sharp and the erasers handy!😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michael January 9, 2019 / 6:23 pm

        I should have said “All” manufacturers- I’m sure Skytrac will bid as it is a fixed grip.


        • D howe January 9, 2019 / 7:52 pm

          You’d think one of the benefits of buying skytrac for LP is that they won’t undercut each other on bids


      • Collin Parsons January 9, 2019 / 6:44 pm

        Vail only has two mountains that always go with the same manufacturer. Beaver Creek will always go Doppelmayr, and Breckenridge will always go Leitner-Poma. I think that ultimately the brand loyalty will be upheld at the Triple Peaks areas.


        • Pretty much. Breckenridge has been solely a Poma/Leitner-Poma buyer for 33 years. And every lift at Beaver Creek is either from Doppelmayr or a company that was merged with Doppelmayr, with the exception of Highlands (and even that has Doppelmayr lifting frames).

          Vail proper doesn’t fall into this brand loyalty because their streak of 13 years of Poma loyalty was broken when they went to Doppelmayr for their first two high speed six packs, then back to Leitner-Poma for the Sun Up Express and Northwoods Express lifts. Keystone went with Doppelmayr for the River Run Gondola, then Leitner-Poma for the Montezuma Express, and they’ve even had Skytrac come in to do modifications to A-51.

          Leitner-Poma is a shoo-in for Teocalli, and it’s a guarantee at this point it’ll be the first lift the mountain has received that features the current type of footrest used on LPA models, though it will have Omega chairs owing to the inability of LPA chairs to work on fixed-grips. And if Twister gets replaced with a fixed grip quad in the future (per the master plan), it’ll be the same case, though hopefully running daily and being realigned so as to make it possible to access High Lift from it.


        • Peter Landsman May 10, 2019 / 7:26 pm

          Teocalli is going to be a Skytrac Monarch.


        • themav May 11, 2019 / 12:37 am

          Ooo, Vail’s first complete Skytrac lift. Vail has bought replacement/retrofit parts from Skytrac before, but this is big news for Skytrac as most of their customers have been smaller, independent resorts. My guess is this lift will come with LPOA sheaves, instead of Skytrac/CTEC sheaves.


  6. Jonathan January 9, 2019 / 9:14 pm

    I called today about getting one of the chairs from the old lift. They nice lady made it sound like the lift was going to be scrapped as the chairs were going to be “divied up between people”.

    I personally would like to see this lift be a Skytrac, because I feel as though Colorado needs some Skytrac lifts. I love their product for fixed grip chairlifts and I think they are some of the best Fixed Grips ever made! From my understanding, they are a higher speed fixed grip chairlift at a lower cost. I don’t know what Vail will do since they do not operate many Skytrac Lifts.


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