- The Pandora’s high speed quad is a go for next summer on Aspen Mountain.
- Construction of a T-Bar on Golden Peak should begin even sooner at Vail.
- Prying doors open and jumping out of a gondola at Steamboat is not a good idea.
- Nor is bailing from a chairlift at Crested Butte.
- The owner of closed Timberline Resort writes an op-ed about the situation.
- Remember the avalanche that took out a six pack tower in New Zealand last winter? The lift is back together again.
- One of the last remaining Yan detachable lifts, out of service for much of this season, will be torn down this summer.
- Vail CEO Rob Katz says his company will continue to invest in infrastructure such as lifts and steer customers towards season pass products.
- The names for Schweitzer’s upcoming new lifts are Cedar Park Express and Colburn.
- Deer Valley-turned-Alterra executive Bob Wheaton discusses the benefits of being part of a conglomerate.
- Winter Park’s C.A. Lane explains Alterra’s capital allocation is based on resort wish lists.
- Hogadon considers putting $250,000 toward the purchase of a quad chairlift.
- Fernie announces the Timber Bowl Express will close this summer for a bunch of upgrades.
- Sugarloaf uses the backup to the backup on a busy Saturday at Skyline.
- The Austrian resort whose 1980s bubble detachable is apparently destined for Mission Ridge is building two D-Line Omega V 10/bubble 8 combination lifts worth $35 million.
- The first D-Line half station is coming to Sölden.
- There could be another gondola in Banff.
- The BreckConnect won’t spin for much of Breckenridge’s extended winter season out of concern for wildlife.
- A full complement of cabins is spotted on a second Disney Skyliner line.
- The owner of 49 Degrees North says he plans to build a detachable summit lift within three years.
- A Balsams update.
- Mountain Capital Partners will modify the Nordic Valley expansion proposal to address Forest Service concerns.
Month: March 2019
Instagram Tuesday: Perfection
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
Brian Head Announces Navajo Express
The two longest chairlifts at Brian Head Resort will both be detachable quads by next season. The Navajo triple chair will be retired this spring and replaced over the summer, enhancing beginner and family options at one of Utah’s highest elevation resorts. The move comes five years after the installation of Brian Head’s first detachable lift, the Giant Steps Express.
Lift Engineering constructed the current Navajo lift in 1980 to service almost exclusively beginner terrain. The existing lift runs 3,900 feet and rises 620 vertical feet over nine minutes. Brian Head lift maintenance is selling components from it including towers, sheave assemblies, pneumatic emergency and service brakes, grips and chairs.
The new lift will be built by Doppelmayr USA.
News Roundup: A Long Time Coming
- Above: groomers and mechanics deploy a new strategy to keep the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram flying above this winter’s huge snowpack.
- Despite planning to open this winter for the first time in three years, Spout Springs now says it won’t happen.
- A Boston private equity firm is reportedly interested in spending $25-30 million to reopen Maine’s third largest resort.
- We’ll have to wait awhile longer to ski year round in New Jersey
- Killington confirms North Ridge Quad is a go for this summer.
- This morning at 9:00 Pacific is a rare chance to score a classic Murray-Latta double chair.
- Mt. Mancelona in Michigan revives the world’s second oldest T-Bar but earns a cease and desist order from the state amid a host of financial problems.
- A revived Fortress Mountain would mimic Red Mountain and Whitewater but with a fleet of brand new lifts.
- Reader Christoph thinks he’s solved the mystery of where Mission Ridge’s new bubble lift is from: Brixen, Austria.
- County approval paves the way for Eldora to build the Jolly Jug expansion lift next year.
- Aspen Highlands’ Golden Horn platter is now a 2020 project.
- Mt. Hood Meadows says it’s announcing the most significant improvement of this century later today.
- There’s another new British Columbia resort idea floating around: Zincton Mountain Village.
- Shuttered two chair area Deer Mountain hits the market.
- On the other side of South Dakota, flooding damages the lone lift and ends the season at Great Bear.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola gets negative press for telling unprepared hikers to walk down from the summit after closing time.
- An ad in the New York State Contract Reporter suggests a new chairlift is coming to Belleayre this summer, though the resort tells me no decision has been made yet.
- We now know why Sun Valley pushed back the Cold Springs project to 2020: the alignment has changed for the high speed quad.
- Bretton Woods says its new gondola will open later this year. Reader Donovan Seabury sent me these pictures of its progress.
Red Mountain Details Upcoming Topping Expansion
Western Canada’s oldest ski resort will continue to expand next summer with the addition of a new triple chairlift. Red Mountain, situated along British Columbia’s famed Powder Highway, says the long sought Topping lift and terrain will debut for the 2019/20 season and bring the resort to 3,840 acres. “This new triple chair is exciting on its own,” said Red CEO Howard Katkov in a statement. “But what’s truly exciting is how the Topping Chair continues our dedication to improving the adventure for our guests. This new chair streamlines skier traffic around the resort beautifully.” Guests will now be able to access Grey Mountain (opened in 2013) from the Silverlode lift (opened 2007) without needing to ride the extremely long Motherlode chair. The 300 acre boundary expansion will also include six new intermediate trails approaching 1,000 vertical feet apiece.
The Mueller lift was purchased last year from Big White, where it operated for four decades as the Powder chair. At Red, Topping will join an all fixed grip fleet of lifts built by Mueller, Doppelmayr, Poma, Lift Engineering and Thiokol. With the confirmation of Red’s project, ski resorts across British Columbia have now committed to add at least four new lifts in 2019, more than any other Canadian province thus far.
Instagram Tuesday: Cavernous
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
Disney Skyliner Proving Runs Underway
The first of Walt Disney World’s three Skyliner lines is looking a lot like a gondola these days with cabins moving along at a brisk clip during test runs. Line speed appears to be at least 5 m/s with cabin interval around 10 seconds, translating to a 3,600 per hour capacity. We’ll have to wait and see what the final spacing and speeds are but it’s clear these gondolas are going to move a ton of people.
One of the many cabins now flying between Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Hollywood Studios was recently uncovered, providing some clues to how the system will look when completed. The landing below the cabin doors is wider and squarer than normal for easy loading and unloading. There are three windows that open out on the front of the cabin, one on the tower side and two at the rear. Additional vents at the bottom ensure there will be plenty of air flow. While gondola number 251 is a simple yellow with glazed windows, many other cabins will feature Disney character graphics.
The Epcot line, which stretches some 8,200 linear feet with two angle changes, is not far behind on its way to completion.
At the first angle station, landscaping is underway and stairs are being erected for worker access to the terminal.
Leitner-Poma to Build New Quad at Sasquatch Mountain
The original chairlift from Sasquatch Mountain Resort’s inaugural 1969-70 season will be replaced this summer with a Leitner-Poma fixed grip quad chair. The new 4,000 foot lift will supplant a classic Mueller center pole double called Skyline, which rises just over 1,000 vertical feet.
Sasquatch, situated along a gravel road north of the fast growing city of Chilliwack, British Columbia, also features a Doppelmayr triple chair and newer Mueller beginner lift. Back in December 2017, the resort announced a used Doppelmayr detachable quad chair would replace Skyline, a project which did not end up happening.
Sasquatch Mountain used to be known as Hemlock Valley Resort and is operated by the Berezan Hospitality Group.
News Roundup: Slow Boat
- After years of gondola negotiations with the Town of Jackson, a frustrated Snow King Mountain presses pause while it waits for the U.S. Forest Service to weigh in.
- Doppelmayr completes the final link in the world’s largest gondola chain. The stats: 10 lines, 21 miles, 34 stations and 1,324 cabins carrying 300,000 daily passengers.
- Crested Butte’s longest lift goes down for more than four days due to communication line damage.
- The announced sale of Montana’s Great Divide won’t happen.
- Peak Resorts posts a solid financial quarter with organic growth in revenue and earnings.
- The Whistler paper highlights what happens when the big Blackcomb Gondola goes down.
- SkyTrans Manufacturing says it’s not to blame for the Ohio State Fair’s delay in replacing potentially corroded chairs on its skyride. As a result of the chairlift situation, Ohio will require all ride operators to forward manufacturer directives to state inspectors going forward.
- After tons of hard work by its lift mechanics and contractors, Attitash concedes it won’t be able to fix Summit‘s gearbox this season. “We’ve heard your calls for a new lift to replace the Summit Triple, and while we appreciate all your feedback, this is not a project our parent company, Peak Resorts, is looking to do in the near future,” says GM John Lowell.
- Leaders of Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Big Sky and Jackson Hole all pen letters addressing the chorus of Ikon Pass crowding criticism.
- The Glenwood Caverns gondola takes flight tomorrow with 17 Sigma cabins. 27 more are on a delayed boat from France and will be put on line when they arrive.
Bogus Basin to Add Fourth High Speed Quad
Make it an even six new lifts slated for construction across the great state of Idaho this year. Bogus Basin announced today it will replace the Morning Star triple with a 3,100 foot detachable quad chair from Doppelmayr USA in time for next winter. Capacity will increase and ride time will quicken dramatically to just over three minutes. The Morning Star Express will rise approximately 625 vertical feet and service a variety of tails from beginner to expert.
“We are really excited about an improvement that will have a tremendous impact on the flow of guests throughout the area in winter and summer,” said Kevin Settles, Bogus Basin board chairman in a press release. “The community has been incredibly supportive of the changes that have happened at Bogus Basin over the past three years, all of which are part of a comprehensive master plan.” Bogus is the largest 501(c)3 nonprofit ski area in the country and operates a fleet of seven chairlifts on 2,600 acres. Expect the $5 million lift to open some time in December.