As part of its quarterly earnings report, Vail Resorts today announced one of its big ticket capital projects will be delayed due to lift manufacturer installation capacity. While work will begin this month on the planned Fitzsimmons 8 project, the Jersey Cream six passenger lift installation has been postponed to 2024. Both new lifts were slated to replace aging high speed quads. “Doppelmayr Canada has informed Vail Resorts that they cannot install both lifts this summer due to their labor and resource constraints,” said Vail in a statement. While equipment for both Fitzsimmons and Jersey Cream is coming largely from two postponed projects in Park City, the biggest constraint manufacturers face right now is installation capacity. Capital saved from the Jersey Cream postponement will instead be allocated toward accelerating Vail Resorts’ investment in its gear rental business.
The Fitzsimmons 8 project proceeding this summer will become the first eight seat chairlift in Canada along with the recently announced Adventure 8 at Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Ontario. “We are committed to working closely with Doppelmayr to ensure that the construction, installation, and testing of Fitz moves ahead safely as planned,” said Whistler Blackcomb, noting that preliminary work for Jersey Cream would also proceed this year. Vail is also adding new lifts at Attitash, Breckenridge, Keystone and Stevens Pass this offseason.
A part of this is due to the fact that when the Park city lifts were halted, production of the JC lift also stopped, so there is about 2/3 of it still to be built in the factory. Doppelmayr can’t guarantee that they would have all the parts in time.
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I wonder if this is going to effect any other projects?
Vail has a habit of announcing projects before actually signing contracts for them. Most other mountains sign a contract first, then announce. While I don’t know the specifics of this situation, it’s entirely possible Doppelmayr never agreed to build both lifts in ‘23. I expect both lift companies to deliver what they’ve agreed to this year just like they did last year, albeit late.
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I’m wondering how the whistler bike park is going to deal without the Fitzsimmons lift this year. Fitz would typically be the main lift for the park. Going to be very limited capacity without it.
Are there still permits to go through for Fitzsimmons or is that project good to go? The news yesterday made it sound like it wasn’t a done deal yet (“pending final permitting”), or maybe they are just being cautious with the Park City incident last year.