- Crystal Mountain reopens after being closed nearly a week. Mudslides along its access road cost the resort more than $1 million in business.
- Dave McCoy, the visionary founder of Mammoth Mountain, dies at 104.
- Great job Elk Mountain staff for this rescue of a dangling young skier.
- You can also watch a heroic Mt. Hood Meadows employee remove seven inches of ice from Vista Express towers this week.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola finally reopens, six months after a crime which cost nearly $4 million dollars in damage and lost revenue.
- Chair 5 at Greek Peak breaks down and gets rope evacuated.
- Highland Mountain Bike Park will add 40 chairs to its chairlift, increasing uphill capacity by 50 percent.
- Vail Mountain COO Beth Howard explains the circumstances behind last weekend’s epic lift lines.
- The Balsams may be closed but Les Otten opens the doors for himself and four others to cast first in the nation presidential votes.
- Swiss manufacturer Bartholet launches a fresh website.
- The Little Mountain that Could is a short film by L.L.Bean exploring the rebirth of Whaleback as a nonprofit.
- Locals frustrated with Whistler Blackcomb operations and staffing petition Vail Resorts to do better.
- One of those involved in the Stoos chair accident succumbs to his injuries. Two others have been released from the hospital.
- Stevens Pass reopens Seventh Heaven 11 days after this incident.
- A man dies in a terrible accident involving the Skyline Express at Vail. A preliminary investigation suggests he slipped through a chair’s seat, was caught by his jacket and asphyxiated.
- Former Vail Resorts mountain division head Chris Jarnot becomes a consultant for the upcoming Mayflower Mountain Resort in Park City.
- Sunday River President Dana Bullen talks about the Merrill Hill expansion, future lift projects and which lifts are staying put.
- Al Henceroth confirms the Pallavicini double will be replaced by a Leitner-Poma double this summer.
- Utah Business magazine makes the case for One Wasatch.
Timberline WV is allegedly replaced both of it’s lifts with fixed grip quads. Both lifts are supposedly being torn down currently
anyone think Les often will ever get his balsams expansion plan off the ground? I hope he someday does. Not a very bright man to invest so much in this industry but I respect him for trying.
It’s Less Otten, he’ll get it done.
Other than vertical and location, the Balsams has a lot of potential. It also looks like it’s private land, so development shouldn’t take a lot of time.
Unless vail resorts or Alterra collapses, the BCC-PC link is never happening. They should be campaigning for the LCC-BCC link, since that could actually happen in the near future.
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The Grizzly Gulch project at Alta has potential, although it is probably five or so years out. That would go a long way in fostering that connection.
It’s always a delight to peek at Stevens Pass’ social media feeds and watch the insurgency in the comments against the Vail takeover. Their regulars are not happy.
What’s happened to Stevens Pass and Whistler Blackcomb ever since the Vail acquisitions a few years back? I’ve been hearing about a lot of unhappiness from locals regarding Vail’s management of both resorts. I haven’t skied at either of those areas since the pre-Vail days so it’s been a few years, but I’ve noticed ever since Vail took over both ski resorts got a lot of new lifts on the other hand.
Vail has had a few major PR disasters at Whistler. They defaulted to Fahrenheit and the imperial measuring system when they first implemented their own software, created a market of price instability as everything is converted from USD (meaning prices fluctuate frequently based on the CAD/USD conversion rate which has recently been more favorable for Americans), and real estate prices have continued to soar leaving many employees being priced out of the market without sufficient resort owned subsidized housing. Even the new flagship lift, the Blackcomb Gondola, has been notorious for its unreliability, with it going down for wind or maintenance more frequently than its predecessors. Whistler is also known for its huge crowds, and the problem has escalated as the Epic Pass has drawn a record number of visitors to the mountain. This becomes especially bad during times when there is low snowfall at Vail’s other destination resorts, which happened a few years ago, causing destination skiers to flock to Whistler, or during years like this one where low snowfall delayed terrain and lift openings, forcing skiers onto fewer acres than normal. The 2018 lift upgrades did help, but they were really only a start. The Whistler Village Gondola, Creekside Gondola, and 7th Heaven are just some of the lifts with frequently long lines. Whistler has always been popular for international visitors, and Vail has continued to push the resort at that market with locals feeling like they are doing so at their expense.
Stevens has had some bad community feedback, but not nearly the same blowback as Whistler, with the recent lift upgrades drastically improving the flow of the mountain. However, the recent 7th Heaven incident is embarrassing for a company that stresses lift safety (despite the two recent incidents on Skyline at Vail), and the PNW has been an overall mess this season due to the little early snowfall followed by a ton of snow in January. Frankly, Crystal Mountain and Alterra have been hit the hardest by this and taken the largest PR blow, with parking lines stretching for miles and the resort stopping the sale of day tickets as a way to combat large crowds.
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Ahh, that explains a lot. Thank you.
I wonder how the Skyline Express accident happened. I’m guessing wind blew the chair seat up or something.
That’s what I guess. I was riding Pony Express at Steamboat today and one of the chairs was flipped up like what happened in the skyline express so the liftie had to flip it back down.
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I once rode up a flipped up chair and it wasn’t all that bad. Circumstance might be different depending on the chair type and your size of course.
This was the second incident at Skyline in the past few weeks, with both having the exact same circumstances, although drastically different outcomes. This leads me to believe either the lift itself has a mechanical problem that is not being addressed or the operators are not properly ensuring the safety of guests.
The only mountain I have visited where the wind has blown the chair seats up on an operating lift has been at Stratton, and the lift operators there make sure the chair seats are righted as they decelerate into the bottom terminal and enter the loading area.
This doesn’t sound like a mechanical problem.
update from the coroner indicates that he did NOT fall through the chair. Just a bad accident with the worse possible outcome.
I skied Mt Hood yesterday! I rode up the Vista lift too. A lot of ice near the top
Also I’m not surprised that Greek Peak’s triple broke. That lift has a lot of issues, it jams up frequently (at least every other time I’m there it has an extended emergency stop). I haven’t gotten out there this year yet so it’s cool to see the picture with the new chairs though