News Roundup: Formal Proposal

  • Sierra at Tahoe reports more fire damage than initially thought with a large amount of vegetation burned, six lifts damaged and a vehicle maintenance shop lost.
  • A GoFundMe has been established to support Sierra at Tahoe employees who lost personal property in the Caldor Fire.
  • Jay Peak is “actively engaged” with multiple potential buyers and reports improving finances, though both Jay and Burke Mountain both still operate in the red.
  • Sunday River will spin the new Merrill Hill triple select days this season with a full opening pushed to winter 2022-23.
  • With a new lift on the way, Kelly Canyon begins disassembling the Stony Mountain double.
  • A vaccine requirement for indoor entertainment venues in British Columbia won’t apply to gondolas.
  • Also in BC, the Zincton formal proposal is out and includes five chairlifts plus a gondola.
  • The New York Times does a feature story on green urban transportation including gondolas.
  • James Niehues announces his retirement from trail maps though he will continue painting.
  • Catamount continues construction on two new quad chairs, one of which will start out as a triple.
  • Skytrac flies towers at Howelsen Hill.
  • Snow King Mountain enters the home stretch on a $20 million summer and looks for public help to name new lifts.
  • Speaking of Snow King, towers went up last weekend for both lifts.

11 thoughts on “News Roundup: Formal Proposal

  1. Vintage Chairlifts October 8, 2021 / 7:14 pm

    Is Summit also coming down at Kelly Canyon, or just its counterfeit brother?

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    • Peter Landsman October 8, 2021 / 7:23 pm

      The pictures on their Instagram story show Summit still intact so far. I would link but it’s already gone!

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      • Vintage Chairlifts October 8, 2021 / 9:37 pm

        I was wondering if they were planning to keep one of them around for extra capacity.

        Interesting if it ends up being the older of the two.

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        • vons3 October 8, 2021 / 10:34 pm

          I am pretty sure that both old doubles will be gone by next summer, the resorts plan was to leave one up so access is maintained if there is a delay in getting the new lift open.

          Like

  2. Butterside October 8, 2021 / 8:51 pm

    Does anyone know what “select” days means for Merrill Hill at Sunday River? Weekends? Saturdays? As snowfall permits?

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  3. Myles Svec October 8, 2021 / 9:12 pm

    Where is Zincton getting all its money from? I know they own a Riblet Quad already but where is the money coming from for the base village and other 4 lifts. Also will the gondola in the plan be a pulse gondola considering it’s short distance?

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  4. icefaceny October 13, 2021 / 12:41 pm

    I find the proposed lift layout for zincton a little odd considering their own numbers for skier distribution. 70-80% of skier visits will be on lift serviced terrrain as per the proposal, however just looking at the topographical map, it seems clear to me that a large, beginner trail from the beginning of London Ridge down to the base area can/should be built. Looking at the difficulty terrain map shows this quite clearly. Additionally, there is a current trend of moving beginner areas further uphill.

    However. The proposed lifts do not support this possible trail properly. Regardless of what percentage of visitors will continue past the peak of lift service to the backcountry lodge, I imagine there will be a large portion of visitors who want to visit London ridge. From the base area, 3 lifts are required to achieve this. I worry that their plan isn’t accounting for success. The way I see it, everybody is gonna want to lap high up terrain, and from the top of the 2nd lift, will be funneled onto the left summit lift. Zincton’s claim to fame will be minimal trail development with a focus on clearing trees in a way that is not disruptive to the glade skiing they wish to offer across their entire area. The funneling is going to destroy the ‘trails’ to the summit lifts without proper preparation.

    Finally, not having a coherent “straight to the top” lift system will convince some people not to bother trying to get there. Because zincton seems to want to be a backcountry progression resort, there is an obvious benefit to providing more direct access to London ridge, as the skiers who want to go backcountry skiing probably want to get as many big mountain turns in per day as possible. I can easily imagine some disgruntlement being directed towards the slow process to arrive at London ridge.

    Zincton, as proposed, is a really cool and possibly flawed project. I do commend the proposal for its focus on local economic revitalization and values that encourage and support future growth in the area. I think the base area gondola is reminiscent of the tremblant cabriolet, more of a marketing thing than a useful piece of infrastructure (expensive to build detach lifts, not in a useful alignment for skiers, makes the base area pictures look a lot better). Zincton is ultimately after a small portion of the alps skiing market (big mountain activities), but hasn’t studied European lift systems and why they’re useful in their alignments.

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    • icefaceny October 13, 2021 / 12:53 pm

      Correction: industry trend of moving SKI SCHOOL operations uphill, NOT beginner areas in general, however I still think the terrain I’m talking about isn’t properly supported.

      Like

      • Myles Svec October 13, 2021 / 1:43 pm

        Where is Zincton going to get all its visitors from? It’s basically in the middle of nowhere. Also the gondola will likely be a used pulse as currently I only know they are buying used lifts. I can see why skiers would be funneled to the top lift some of the alignments don’t make much sense.

        Like

        • Donald Reif October 13, 2021 / 3:03 pm

          Yeah, that place is four hours from Kelowna, and eight hours from Calgary or Vancouver.

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        • icefaceny October 13, 2021 / 3:25 pm

          There’s a lot of stuff in their proposal that didn’t seem fully fleshed out, but from what I gathered their business strategy is to offer a unique backcountry experience unlike other resorts in North America. Their proposal does speak a lot about making their trails mostly as large glades, the proposal mentions 5-15m tree spacing depending on difficulty. Yes other mountains have large sections dedicated to this terrain, but I’m not sure those areas are as large as the proposed lift service terrain area, which is dwarfed by the huuuuuuuge backcountry area, which will have facilitated tours/extensive mapping. As far as I can tell, the project managers believe this is a unique and destination-resort-able selling point that will draw crowds in, considering there is a growing and already successful summer tourism sector in the area.

          As for the distance point, I never investigated how far away it was because the proposal never mentions it. It’s worth pointing out that this project has faced backlash from the local native population, has environmental issues due to wildlife conservation and old mining establishments, and the study area is absolutely massive. There are a lot of hurdles for this project to jump over, I do wonder if it’ll be approved.

          Like

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