News Roundup: American Rescue Plan

37 thoughts on “News Roundup: American Rescue Plan

  1. Mi_skier December 17, 2021 / 7:41 am

    Is caberfae keeping the shelter lift? It’s still on the map


    • Randy December 17, 2021 / 12:24 pm

      “The new East Peak Triple Chair will replace the Shelter Double Chair as the main base area lift and have a modified alignment, serving the full vertical and the new East Peak.”

      from their website


      • Mi_skier December 18, 2021 / 5:33 pm

        That’s what I thought, I was just confused because it’s still on the map. Personally I still think they should keep it, since if the east peak lift goes down for any reason there’s no way out of the base, plus it’s less intimidating for beginners than a lift going to the summit.


  2. skitheeast December 17, 2021 / 10:44 am

    The Silver Lake replacement will be a gondola. The only question is whether or not there will be some sort of connection to a potential second stage down to Main Street.

    I am willing to bet that West Double Double’s closure at Attitash is due to staffing issues. Vail has been pretty open about its desire to consolidate parallel or redundant lifts due to lower staffing and maintenance costs, and this just allows them to do so ahead of fully replacing the lift next year.

    Mountain Capital Partners sure has ambitious plans at their resorts. They have done a decent job of following through so far, so I do not doubt they will get at least some of that built at Brian Head if the permitting is sorted. Brian Head will continue to be successful given their status as the best resort within three hours of Vegas, and increasing the bed base through real estate in a hot market will be positive for them. However, it is unfortunate that nothing can really be done to combat their biggest weakness that results in some Vegas residents making the longer drive to either SLC or Mammoth: the relatively small vertical.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Randy December 17, 2021 / 12:13 pm

      Guess Mountain Capital gave up on their ambitious plans for Nordic Valley so now moving on to Brian Head. Rather see them update Hesperus. Pave the parking, build an actual ski lodge, snowmaking, add a lift on their tubing hill. Also bring skiing back to the Elk Ridge ski area that they bought. Sure Pajarito and Sipapu, could use some updates as well.


      • skitheeast December 17, 2021 / 3:28 pm

        I don’t think they have given up on Nordic Valley. They may not go for the full plan they outlined a couple years ago, but they still believe they have a prime opportunity in the SLC-area market given its rapid growth in both population and skier visits.


      • Utah Lost Ski Area Project December 17, 2021 / 4:01 pm

        I wouldn’t say that they gave up on Nordic Valley’s plan. Nordic Express was built last year and more trails are being added for this year. Brian Head is so much more of a money maker than Nordic and it’s the highest ski area in Utah. I don’t think Mountain Capital had a master plan for Brian Head previously.


    • Brendan Granger December 17, 2021 / 1:28 pm

      Exactly what I was thinking with the West Double-Double. I understand covid has really hit the ski industry hard, and thus these staff shortages, but I just wish they would be honest about the situation. Unless there’s a major issue with West I’m unaware about, it is not believable that they need a season to prep for it being replaced when there’s a virtually identical lift next to it that can perfectly run this year, and it is also being removed next summer.


    • Gavin December 17, 2021 / 5:31 pm

      If that’s their thinking then I hope they look into replacing Franz’s and the Tbars with one detachable quad, that areas pretty under-utilized and Franz’s only spins during peak times. It would open some above tree line terrain earlier too, and allow you to return to Roundhouse from the bottom of the Peak chair without going back to Big Red, which is also being replaced to increase capacity.


    • Donald Reif December 18, 2021 / 10:11 am

      Silver Lake becoming a gondola does seem logical, since it’s pretty redundant with Carpenter and Homestake adjacent to it as an alternate chairlift option.


  3. VailSucks December 17, 2021 / 11:10 am

    I think this is proof right here where Vail’s priorities are at. They don’t have one care for their NH resorts or pass holders.

    It doesn’t take 1.5 years (summer + winter + summer) to tear down a lift.

    They have a total of 4.5 ski routes (other than bunny slopes) open amongst the 3 NH resorts they’ve bothered to open. They keep kicking the can down the road with opening Crotched.

    Wildcat and Attitash sharing one snowmaking crew.

    Sunapee snowmaking crew assisting over at Okemo.

    Vail is the epitome of monopolistic practices. Gobble up competition. Sucker the customer in. Screw them over with lack of service.

    Liked by 2 people

    • skitheeast December 17, 2021 / 11:33 am

      Vail is by no way perfect in the northeast, or anywhere for that matter, but it is hard to fault them for the lack of open terrain at the moment. It has been incredibly warm with little snow so far, and Attitash’s 11 open trails are the same as neighboring Cranmore’s. Attitash’s 15% of terrain being open is current above other drought-stricken resorts in the portfolio such as Beaver Creek (10%) and Keystone (11%), and Wildcat (10%) and Sunapee (8%) both beat Park City (6%). While not in NH, the fact that Okemo has both bases open is extremely impressive.

      Liked by 3 people

      • VailSucks December 17, 2021 / 12:04 pm

        This has nothing to do with the weather. Yes it’s been a very warm December with a washout last weekend. But look to the non-Vail NH resorts (I report acres unless the area doesn’t):

        Bretton Woods 21% acres — Cannon 26% trails — Cranmore 19% trails — Gunstock 26% acres — King Pine 35% trails— Loon 44% acres — McIntyre 11% trails — Pat’s Peak 44% trails — Ragged 26% trails — Waterville Valley 18% trails

        Average? 27% open

        The only areas not yet open are Dartmouth, Black and Whaleback, none of which is a major corporate area: one college-owned, one family owned, one non-profit.

        What about Vail’s NH ops?

        Attitash 16% trails (only because they pushed out Cathedral a day early because of wind holds) — Crotched CLOSED, delayed 3rd time — Sunapee 8% trails — Wildcat 10% “terrain”

        Average? 11% excluding Crotched, 8% including Crotched

        Vail’s VT ops are closer to peers around 25% open.

        This is Vail’s lack of interest in NH. Two years in a row Cranmore has beaten Wildcat to open. Cranmore has a lower summit elevation than Wildcat’s base. Wildcat has the better early season snowmaking and routinely opened WEEKS ahead under Peak Resorts.

        Pat’s Peak will beat Crotched by 3 weeks; Wachusett will beat Crotched by 4 weeks.


        • skitheeast December 17, 2021 / 2:50 pm

          In the last four years of Peak ownership, Crotched opened on December 29, 10, 15, and 8. So far under Vail, they have opened December 6 and 12 (with this year being a TBD). If they open within the next week, which I think is fairly reasonable, I do not see how this year is abnormal for an unusually warm year. Comparing the resort to Pats Peak, who have not opened later than December 11 since the very warm 2011/12, and Wachusett, who have not opened later than November since the same warm 2011/12, is not a good comparison.

          Using acres as a comparison can be tricky because of glades and rules for in-bounds tree skiing. Trails and lifts are not a perfect measurement either, but they can be more useful for early season conditions. Bretton Woods has 11 trails and 4 lifts, Gunstock has 15 trails and 4 lifts, Cranmore has 11 trails and 3 lifts, Pats Peak has 15 trails and 7 lifts, King Pine has 6 trails and 3 lifts, Ragged has 15 trails and 3 lifts, and Waterville Valley has 14 trails and 5 lifts. I do not see how Attitash is an outlier at 11 trails and 4 lifts. The two real exceptions are Loon (26 trails and 6 lifts), which to be fair is one of the best-run mountains in the state, and Cannon (24 trails and 4 lifts), whose base elevation sits 100 feet below the top of Bear Peak.

          You do have a fair point with Wildcat and I will say that I have also been disappointed in Vail’s stewardship of Wildcat because they have refrained from shooting for the extremely long season like Killington and Sunday River. However, I do understand why, as it is not profitable, and I could see them changing their mind in the future like they did with Keystone and Breck in Colorado a couple years ago.

          Regardless, having all of these mountains be on the same Epic Passes as Vermont mountains that have more terrain open is a great benefit to passholders who have the option to go to another resort within a reasonable drive should there not be enough open terrain at their preferred mountain. If this was 2015/16, another warm and dry year when Peak was in control, Attitash and Crotched would both not be open yet, Wildcat would only have a handful of trails, and the only other option for passholders within a reasonable drive would be Mount Snow with less than 20 runs.

          Liked by 1 person

        • carletongebhardt December 17, 2021 / 3:21 pm

          My neighbor is an instructor at Sunapee. Not only are they short on instructors, but he said that they only have four snowmakers and usually have around 15. Instructors are also being asked to help out in the parking lot….. I don’t know that this is Vail’s fault as much as the overall staffing crisis. Maybe it’s Vail’s vaccine mandate – given that they are in the “Live Free And Die” state. Vail’s passes are so cheap now, it may not be as big a work incentive as in the past.


        • skitheeast December 17, 2021 / 3:24 pm

          There is absolutely a staff shortage, but that is not unique to Vail. I know Killington is having issues as well, and Alterra has not filled all of their positions either.


    • Brendan Granger December 17, 2021 / 1:34 pm

      I ski at Okemo (not in NH, but still a good example of this) regularly and I have noticed this as well. They are definable short on lift operators, and likely more positions too. One time, there were lift mechanics running the Glades Peak Quad (which then switched over to the South Face Express once it came off hold, for wind or some other reason). Another time, there was a snowmaker bumping chairs on the South Ridge Quad A.


  4. HoodRacer December 17, 2021 / 11:48 am

    Big news for Mt. Hood Meadows… happy to see this happening. I thought it would be years before another new lift because their lodge expansion was so recently finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Randy December 17, 2021 / 12:18 pm

    So is Moosehead Mountain the new name for Big Squaw? In the Dec 3rd news roundup the article says “Williams said the ski area will be renamed. A new name has yet to be determined, he said.”

    And in other news the James Niehues map of Mad River Glen has finally been posted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Muni December 17, 2021 / 12:54 pm

    A learning area lift, servicing runs like “Deer” and “Fox” is called … War Horse?

    eh … it’s better than “Resort Chair”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dave B December 17, 2021 / 1:17 pm

    Exciting news on the Cannon Tram front! I wonder if they’ll go with a straight up replacement, or if they are considering a gondola also? I’d love the increased capacity, shorter wait times, and comfort associated with a modern gondola. It would make the place a little easier to lap top to bottom. It’s not like there is a terrain limitation forcing them to go with a tram, although I suppose it may be cheaper if they can reuse some existing infrastructure. I guess we’ll see what happens!


    • carletongebhardt December 17, 2021 / 3:12 pm

      I think if the Federal gov’t is paying they will go for a Tram. It’s what differentiates them from neighbors Loon and Bretton Woods in the summer tourism market. Gondola would be more efficient for winter, I definitely agree, although there isn’t that much terrain that leads back to the Tram that would necessitate a gondola.


      • Dave B December 20, 2021 / 11:25 am

        I respectfully disagree here…I’m not exactly the summer tourism demographic, but I don’t quite see how a tram could attract more tourists vs. a gondola; I’m not sure a tram is a differentiator versus say a 3S or something else new & exciting. The real draw at Cannon is it’s surreal location & views at the head of Franconia Notch which are not going anywhere. As for winter, there are plenty of trails in the Zoomer/front-five pod, just as many as for the other lift pods on the mountain, to justify it. Easy top-bottom laps & consistent Mon-Sun service would be a game changer at Cannon for a lot of winter visitors…I can dream!


    • Donald Reif December 17, 2021 / 9:28 pm

      And to save people a click:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mike B December 18, 2021 / 5:33 pm

        Terrain and layout looks meh to me, but who knows given the great position they are in re: Las Vegas. Doubt even half of that comes to life.


        • Ernest Jelchir December 18, 2021 / 7:48 pm

          The only lifts I see being built are the Roulette replacement lift, The Dragonsback lift, and possibly the Sugarloaf lift. Would the Hwy 143 get enough snow to operate ski runs that low down without major snowmaking?


      • Patrick Sullivan December 19, 2021 / 1:22 am

        This is an ambitious plan, to be sure. Essentially a significant expansion + a whole new major ski area connected by some catwalks and a transfer lift. If it were all built, it’d boost vertical to around 2,900′, but even the bottom at Hwy 143 should have good natural snow for the core winter season. In addition to attracting the local Las Vegas market, this should help turn Brian Head into a very strong compliment for the overall MCP portfolio–it’ll be a great draw for passholders from Phoenix, Texas, and Oklahoma. And if MCP ends up adding a Southern California ski area, Brian Head can be a really strong complement in fighting for that market.


    • Randy December 18, 2021 / 9:36 am

      Is the old (mid 80’s) Crystal Mountain proposed ski area part of the Brian Head MP? It was planned to connect with Brian Head and have 16 lifts between the 2 areas.


  8. mzg December 17, 2021 / 5:25 pm

    Any word on Vails plans for their new Pittsburgh trio of 7 Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel Mountain?


    • Vail Borg December 19, 2021 / 12:45 am

      Off the top of my head id say their usual 5 step plan; 1)Shorten the season, 2) reduce snowmaking 3) never open runs+lifts, 4)understaff everything except “safety” patrol who’s only job it is to pull passes for having fun, 5)hype then oversell said passes. You know vails standard MO. Phase 2 is cutting summer activities.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Donald Reif December 20, 2021 / 1:51 pm

        That’s being very pessimistic.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Resolve.Action.Love (@Snowman55403) December 25, 2021 / 2:57 pm

          It sure seems like they are underinvesting at Afton Alps.
          I don’t doubt the pandemic and workforce changes have played a role, but after a great first winter under Vail, it feels like they just slammed shut the money tap and have lost any focus or attention at all.


  9. Charlie December 17, 2021 / 9:20 pm

    The Cannon Valley Quad at Welch Village debuted today


  10. RT December 20, 2021 / 3:28 pm

    Why put a link to a video about a rollback in Kyrgyzstan if it’s behind a pay wall? Anyone know where else to find it?


    • jfoldno7 December 20, 2021 / 6:19 pm

      It wasn’t behind a pay wall on Friday. They must’ve reclassified the article.


  11. Donald Reif December 20, 2021 / 6:02 pm

    Considering Reunion has the puck style footrests, I’m guessing the McCoy Park Express also has them, and these are the first Beaver Creek chairlifts to have this style of footrest…

    …instead of the traditional style.


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