- Vail Resorts has sold 850,000 season passes as of September 18th, an 18 percent increase compared to last year at this time.
- CEO Rob Katz assures skiers reservations should be widely available for most resorts on most days.
- Vail lost $153.6 million in the quarter ended July 31st compared with an $89.5 million loss in the same period last year.
- For the full fiscal year 2020, Vail reported a net income of $98.8 million, a decrease of 67.2 percent.
- The company also recently cut 410 jobs.
- Regarding capital projects and the seven lift projects Vail postponed this year, Katz said on the conference call:
“We are of course going to be monitoring the season closely before we come out with any plan for calendar year 2021. We’ll make sure we’re incorporating what happened this year. We will likely still be in a conservative approach though hopefully not as conservative as last year because the environment around Covid and travel has all improved. We will definitely be prioritizing projects that we think will have a significant impact on the guest experience and certainly some of the projects that we deferred from last year will be top of the list.”
- Government-owned Marble Mountain remains on the hunt for a private operating partner.
- Towers are up for the largest new lift of the year.
- A fire comes uncomfortably close to Mt. Waterman, California.
- More than 6,500 people commented on Little Cottonwood Canyon transportation alternatives including a possible 3S.
- Mont-Sainte-Anne’s gondola remains inoperable following last winter’s mishaps but the ski area expects it to reopen in December.
- Disney won’t open chairlift-accessed Blizzard Beach until at least March of 2021.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola reopens its base facilities.
- Defunct Vermont ski area Snow Valley is for sale.
- The Town of Mountain Village acquires 20 used gondola cabins for social distancing at the base of Telluride.
- The last chance to comment on Burnaby Mountain Gondola routes is Wednesday.
- The Forest Service signs off on two new lifts and removal of three old ones at Waterville Valley.
- Snow King’s gondola is approved by the Town of Jackson.
- Whiteface will auction off retired cabins from the Cloudsplitter Gondola.
- Indy Pass adds Swain Resort in New York.
- The Central Wasatch Commission seeks feedback on potential 3S gondola transportation from Alta to Brighton and/or Brighton to Park City.
- Le Relais eliminates season passes entirely. Guests will buy blocks of skiing until they reach a certain total for the season, then all remaining blocks are free.
- A local investment banker will take over operations of nonprofit Sleeping Giant Ski Area.
- Bogus Basin’s Morning Star Express will miss the final two weekends of the season.
- A lot of Covid operating plans are coming out these days. This one from Mt. Hood Meadows stands out as excellent.
- Sugarloaf GM Karl Strand joins the Storm Skiing Podcast for a discussion on the West Mountain expansion and Sugarloaf 2030 lift plans.
- Former Aspen CMO Christian Knapp launches Lift Ticket, a new series about resorts navigating Covid.
- Doppelmayr unveils a new Wir magazine.
If the gondola up LCC does not go through, I think a rail link up the canyon would be the best option, with the ability to build a tunnel at the end to extend it to BCC. Switzerland has shown the value of a rail connection to ski resorts, and it could easily be replicated in Utah. Regardless, any public transit up LCC would probably be best served if connected to TRAX.
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The question in that case will still be “who wants to put up funding?” considering that a rail link would probably entail a lot of blasting work.
There would really only need to be blasting if there was a BCC-LCC link. Otherwise, it would likely be at-grade the entire way, having to share right-of-way with roads and highways. Funding would definitely be an interesting question, as a rail line up the canyon would probably cost $400-$700 million while a line from the existing network to the base of the canyon would likely cost $400-$500 million.
Reasoning on why rail was not selected is in the FAQ released last week by UDOT – https://littlecottonwoodeis.udot.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/LCC-EIS-Alternative-Report-FAQ-2020-Final.pdf
Underground rail would probably be the ultimate result if you include all the factors in. That way no existing parking, trail-heads, roads, or scenery would be impacted. Only a few above ground stations. It would also make it more reasonable to link Big Cottonwood and Park City. But the cost would probably be in the billions.
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Winter park will take the haul rope off and replace it after Sunday when the bike park closes. Apparently it was never installed and spliced correctly, but did pass load testing.
What lift are you referring to?
The new gondola
The Gondola that replaced Zephyr express?
The rope on the gondola had a high strand (manufacturing defect), nothing to do with the install or splice.