The Steamboat Gondola will once again carry guests Thursday morning, ten days after a gearbox issue halted operation of the brand new lift. Through a holiday week and major snowstorms, teams worked diligently to make repairs including new parts shipped from Europe. During the downtime, the Christie Peak and Thunderhead Express lifts provided access to terrain normally serviced by the gondola.
Doppelmayr would like to apologize to the Steamboat community for the interruption in service on the gondola, which was caused by a failure of the main gearbox after only two days of public operation. The backup systems functioned properly and the Steamboat team reacted quickly and appropriately after the gearbox failure. Our technicians and engineers worked around the clock with Steamboat personnel and technical experts from Germany, Austria and Canada, to replace the failed gearbox and associated components. We also took additional steps to improve the overall design and brought in a technical expert to eliminate vibration that contributed to the original failure. We have conducted numerous tests and are happy to report that the gondola will return to service on Thursday. We offer a sincere thanks to Rob Perlman, Dave Hunter and Kurt Castor, and to the Steamboat community for their patience and support. We are confident and proud of the Steamboat gondola and look forward to years of use for skiers and snowboarders.
– Mark Bee, President, Doppelmayr USA
The new Steamboat Gondola is the product of a two part, $15+ million replacement project. This past summer, upgrades included new level walk-in cabins, grips, hangers, controls, tensioning systems, drive equipment, towers, line gear and parking. With the number of cabins increased to 137 and line speed pushed to six meters a second, travel time to Thunderhead Lodge is now under ten minutes. Capacity has increased by 38 percent versus the previous Silver Bullet Gondola.
Sometimes setbacks happen, especially with large scale projects such as this one. As the video above demonstrates, lifts are built by teams of dedicated people. I look forward to being one of the thousands to enjoy the new gondola in the coming weeks thanks to their hard work.