News Roundup: Letters from the Top

13 thoughts on “News Roundup: Letters from the Top

  1. Evilcamels January 21, 2022 / 2:24 pm

    Very happy to see that New Tom is making real changes at Stevens. SPAC (Race Club) will be helping run Big Chief (Kehr’s) this weekend which is something past leadership wouldn’t allow!


  2. Ryan January 21, 2022 / 3:04 pm

    Very nicely worded letter from Berkshire East and Catamount owner Jon Schaefer. I respect leaders who own up, apologize, and communicate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enumclaw kid January 21, 2022 / 4:43 pm

    Homewood reports that Ellis is repaired and running again, which I confirmed on the web cam. Looking forward to riding it on Sunday. Now we need some snow.


  4. skitheeast January 22, 2022 / 10:02 am

    Six-pack Mountain Express at Stowe will be $5.2 million and quad Snow Bowl Express at Stratton was $7.1 million four years ago, with both Doppelmayr lifts being roughly the same size in both length and vertical. The only difference I can think of is Stratton having to deal with the Bicknell Thrush habitat, which would make that obstacle worth millions of dollars.

    Mission Ridge is facing the same problems many modern ski resorts face when contemplating expansion, which is part of the reason they are few and far between these days. Modern zoning and planning laws are incredibly restrictive.

    I hope the Balsams project becomes a reality, but it really has a lot of financial challenges even with state and local backing. ASC’s demise tarnished Les Otten’s credibility whether or not he deserves the blame.


    • Peter Landsman January 22, 2022 / 10:08 am

      I doubt birds have anything to do with the amount Stratton paid for its lift. I suspect the real reason Stowe’s lift is cheaper is Vail ordered ~10 lifts from Doppelmayr at once.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Phoenix January 22, 2022 / 12:53 pm

    The Loon mountain letter confirms what I’ve thought for a while – adding an 8 pack rather than a 6 pack is more a publicity stunt than practical choice because it’s rare for an 8 person chair to be consistently fully loaded. It definitely doesn’t increase the capacity by 33% over a 6 pack. Having a super wide chair and queuing area also increases confusion and potential misloads so I doubt we’ll see 8 person chairs really take off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pbropetech January 22, 2022 / 1:03 pm

      I agree. I’ve been working on and around lifts my entire life and I just don’t see eights being a common sight. Heck, it’s difficult for eight people to *walk* into a gondola cabin.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Donald Reif January 22, 2022 / 1:28 pm

        Eight packs definitely make more sense for chairlifts like Silverlode that get slammed. (I honestly think Silverlode will be the only eight pack Vail Resorts ever builds)


        • Myles Svec January 22, 2022 / 1:43 pm

          Yeah, 8 packs would really only work on Silverlode like what you said, and URSA at Stratton.


  6. Rob Withey January 22, 2022 / 7:39 pm

    The theory with 8 packs is you un only the same or slightly higher capacity than a 6, but he carrier interval is much longer, giving people more time to get organized to get on the lift.


    • Erik January 23, 2022 / 9:23 pm

      Right, the Doppemayr President discussed that on the Ski Utah podcast last week.

      For example, a 2400 pph lift: if it’s a quad, that means a chair needs to arrive every 6 seconds. If it’s a 6 pack, it’s 9 seconds, and an 8 pack is 12 seconds. There are real issues loading 8 packs to full capacity at 6-second spacing, but with longer intervals it would be easier…and reduce semis-loads.

      I’m surprised we don’t see a lot more of them. There are more than 100 in Europe, and most of those are in the 3000-3600 pph range… squarely in the range of 6-packs but easier to load due to the longer interval. I wonder if they’re cheaper, too (at equivalent capacity to a quad or 6) since you have to buy fewer carriers?


  7. Calvin January 24, 2022 / 9:42 am

    The proposed grading plan for the Stowe Mountain Six kills the ability to ski from lowermost T-Line or further skiers’ right towards the Lookout Double or even up the hill towards the FourRunner. They are putting a deep drainage ditch/retention pond with culvert in the way.

    That’s fine for “safety” of not having crossing skiers there. But that means the Mountain Six must run every day and cannot go down else skiers get stranded.

    Click to access 008%20SMR%20MT%20Triple_Bottom%20Terminal.pdf


    • skitheeast January 24, 2022 / 11:18 am

      Having Crossover makes their plan okay. If you are lapping Mountain and want to head to FourRunner/Lookout/etc., you can use Crossover. Your point about Mountain going down is valid, and if it becomes problematic, they can always lower Lookout’s bottom terminal down adjacent to where Mountain’s is proposed to go. In the meantime, people will have to hike out a little and they would redirect incoming traffic via Crossover.

      Liked by 1 person

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