Progression will be the name of the game next winter at a reimagined Sunrise base area on the east side of Mt. Bachelor. Powdr Co. today revealed three new lifts, a remodeled lodge and new parking lot will make up the first Woodward Mountain Park, designed to offer a fun and intuitive learning experience. Woodward Mountain Parks will eventually come to multiple Powdr resorts, building on the success of the company’s Woodward indoor action sports parks located throughout North America. At Mt. Bachelor, 70 foot and 300 foot covered carpets will be joined by a 629 foot long Doppelmayr quad chair servicing five new acres below the Sunrise Lodge.
“Woodward is all about stoking passion and I’m excited for our guests to enjoy reimagined on-mountain environments that’ll be fun for every age and ability level,” said John McLeod, president and general manager of Mt. Bachelor in a statement. “The Mt. Bachelor Woodward Mountain Park will debut expanded terrain and new and inclusive experiences that our guests will love. Combined with our significant Sunrise lodge and base area upgrades, we’re transforming the Mt. Bachelor the guest experience for the future.” Relatedly, Mt. Bachelor will debut a new trail map next winter painted by James Niehues.
Utah-based Powdr is on an epic building blitz. The Bachelor addition will be the fourth chairlift for the firm this year on top of new lodges at Killington and Lee Canyon, a major snowmaking upgrade at Pico and the all new Woodward Park City ski area. Last year, Powdr added six lifts at its resorts for an impressive total of ten in two years.
Vail Resorts reports a great quarter: skier visits up 14.3 percent and lift revenue up 16.4 percent with season pass sales for next year trending up 9 percent and 13 percent in units and dollars. “We are still absolutely aggressive on looking for additional resorts that we think add to our network and make the experience that we provide our guests better,” says Rob Katz on the quarterly conference call.
Quebec tallied 4.6 million skier visits last winter, a ten year high for a province with three new chairlifts already under construction for next year.
New Hampshire resorts logged 100,000 more skier days than 2017-18.
One worker was killed and six were injured this morning while performing maintenance work on an eight passenger gondola at the Swiss ski resort Engelberg-Titlis. The three most seriously hurt were transported to the hospital by helicopter. Cabins were not on the line and no guests were involved. The lift, called Engelberg-Trübsee, was built by Garaventa in 2015 and is operated by Bergbahnen Engelberg-Trübsee-Titlis AG.
Nineteen people were working on a routine haul rope splicing project at the time of the accident. The man who lost his life had worked for the resort firm for over 20 years. “It’s the darkest day in our company’s history,” said Chairman of the Board Hans Wicki at a press conference. “The deceased had many years of experience with maintenance and loved the work,” he continued.
An investigation into the accident will be performed by the Forensic Science Institute Zurich and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research.
As I first wrote last summer, Big White Ski Resort is eyeing its most ambitious expansion since the 1996 Gem Lake megaproject. This time, a pair of quad chairs are planned for east of the Black Forest Express, servicing 300 acres of new intermediate trails and glades within the mountain’s existing controlled recreation area. The expansion is in place of one once planned for west of Gem Lake. “The Black Forest Connector and Backcountry chairs will build on and complement the Black Forest ski pod, the most popular area at Big White,” notes Brent Harley and Associates, which prepared the plan. “Together, these chairlifts represent the full realization of the vision described in the 1999 Master Plan, and the fulfillment of the Controlled Recreation Area’s physical potential to offer a world class alpine skiing experience.”
A gorgeous new daylodge and parking lot opened at the base of Black Forest in 2015, encouraging regional guests to bypass the congested village portal. The upcoming lifts are envisioned as gateways to even more terrain planned for East Peak eventually. Both lifts would be 2,400 passenger per hour quads with Backcountry being detachable and Black Forest Connector being fixed grip. The former would rise 1,250 feet over a slope length of 4,977′ in under five minutes. The smaller lift would be about 4,354 feet long with a vertical of 666′ and ride time just under nine minutes.
Big White operates a mix of mostly older Doppelmayr lifts and a few newer Leitner-Poma models, so I could see either company winning the next contract. Just last year, the resort’s Powder triple was replaced with a Leitner-Poma Alpha quad. Big White initially intended to build both Backcountry lifts in 2019 but the project is still listed as “Under Review” by the province. Not to worry though, the resort is focusing on new bike trails, Gem Lake base area improvements and new employee housing this summer.
More than $200 million was invested to create Revelstoke Mountain Resort, an Ikon Pass destination in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia. While the skiing is undeniably fantastic, the resort’s timing was poor, launching on the cusp of the global financial crisis in December 2007. Acquired by Northland Properties from an American developer just a year into operation, Revelstoke has slowly grown to 3,100 acres, two gondola sections and two quad chairlifts with a third set to open this year.
Revelstoke features a continent-leading vertical rise 5,620 feet and the longest run goes on for nearly ten miles. The lower village lies along the Columbia River at 1,680 feet. Despite the addition of snowmaking in 2011, the entire lower mountain is sometimes closed due to lack of snow. The resort’s new master plan focuses on higher alpine terrain where snowfall is plentiful and reliable. The lift currently under construction, originally called Cupcake but now known as Stellar, will service a teaching zone at 5,600 feet near the summit of the Revelation Gondola.
In addition to the new Leitner-Poma quad, all four existing lifts will be brought up to their maximum capacities of 2,600 to 2,800 passengers per hour this summer through carrier additions. That means 22 new gondola cabins, 21 chairs for The Stoke and 42 more for The Ripper.
After this summer, Northland plans to shift back to adding alpine terrain Revelstoke is famous for. A high speed lift in the North Bowl of Mt. Mackenzie will provide access above The Ripper with a vertical rise of 1,970 feet. The new South Bowl quad will add 395 acres at even higher elevation with panoramic views of the Columbia. Phase 2c envisions a lift duo backing up the Revelation Gondola and a new intermediate quad known as Lift 15. “The focus of Phase 2 will be on increasing uphill lift capacity to accommodate increased visitation, as well as terrain development at higher elevations in more snow-reliable areas within the resort’s current boundary,” notes the approved plan.
Breckenridge proposes building an infill chairlift on Peak 7 to improve skier circulation.
Local electeds vote in support of an urban gondola to Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby Mountain campus.
Retired Riblet double chairs bring in $146,000 for nonprofit organizations surrounding Schweitzer Mountain Resort.
Towers supporting the world’s first eight passenger monocable gondola are history.
This video shows how the Disney Skyliner’s innovative loading works. Every 9th gondola goes to a second turnaround, stopping about 50 seconds for unloading and another 1:10 for loading before rejoining the moving line. Pretty slick!
The Hermitage Club files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, listing more than 200 creditors. A company called Restructured Opportunity Investors could lend the club up to $1.75 million for restructuring if approved by a bankruptcy court.
Berkshire Bank wants the Hermitage receiver to stay on the job while a different bankruptcy court considers whether to initiate a Chapter 7 liquidation, which at least 187 club members now support.