A Look Forward to 2017

This New Year’s Day, I thought I’d review Lift Blog’s second year and make a few predictions for 2017.  In 2016, North American lift construction reached a post-recession high, with large new lifts debuting at Arizona Snowbowl, Big Sky and Jackson Hole.  In April, we learned Leitner-Poma acquired Skytrac, changing the manufacturer landscape in North America again.  LST built its first detachable lift in France (although it’s not quite finished yet) bringing another player to the global market.  2016 also saw number of lifts catch fire and others fall apart.  Here’s a rundown of our most-clicked-on posts of 2016:

10. Yan High Speed Quad Retrofits 20 Years Later
9. In His Own Words: Carl Skylling of Skytrac on the Leitner-Poma Acquisition
8. New Owner Plans to Reopen Stagecoach, Colorado in 2017
7. First Look at Big Sky’s Powder Seeker Six and Challenger 2.0
6. Big Sky 2025: A $150 Million Vision for the Next Decade on Lone Peak
5. Sweetwater Gondola September Update from Jackson Hole
4. Construction Underway on New Lifts at Big Sky
3. Ober Gatlinburg Survives Fire, Sky Lift Fate Unknown
2. Sunday River Lift Severely Damaged as Terminal Falls
1. Big Sky Flies Towers for America’s Most High-Tech Chairlift

Blog wise, readership increased five-fold with more than 700 reader comments in 2016. Lift Blog now has 750 Instagram followers and almost 500 likes on Facebook.  I even started Tweeting.  Now a few predictions for 2017…

There was a lot less purple on this map on 1/1/2016, particularly in the Northeast.
  1. North America will build more than fifty lifts for the first time since 2007.  I’ve already identified 28 likely to be built this construction season with the announcement window really just beginning. American consumer confidence is at its highest level since 2001 and the snow is deep in every major ski region of North America.
  2. An American or Canadian city will commit to building a purpose-built gondola for public transportation.  New York City, Washington, Albany and Vancouver are likely candidates but there are dozens more possibilities.
  3. Vail Resorts will go East.  Since October 2010, Vail has acquired a new ski resort every nine months on average.  That puts the next purchase approximately May 2017.  A major New England or Mid-Atlantic mountain going Epic seems only a matter of time.  Wherever it goes, Vail Resorts will invest heavily in new lifts.

Tune in over the next year to see how I do.

Closing the Books on 2015

Since I started this blog last April, it’s been viewed more than 150,000 times and grown into a destination for news and information about lifts. Our busiest day on Monday, December 7th saw 3,949 unique visitors, more than the first three months combined.  In 2015, 81 percent of readers hailed from the United States, followed by Canada, the UK, Germany and Austria.  Below are some of the most popular posts we published in 2015.

More than 1,100 people clicked on this picture of Park City’s new gondola, our most viewed image of 2015.
  1. Sun Peaks Plans to Double in Size Again
  2. Oldest Operating Lifts in the US & Canada
  3. What $50 Million Looks Like at Park City
  4. Is This Doppelmayr’s New Detachable Terminal?
  5. Quicksilver Gondola August Update
  6. Top Ten Longest Chairlifts in North America
  7. Park City’s New Pinecone Gondola
  8. Touring Utah’s Newest Ski Resort
  9. Cabins and Towers for Park City’s Quicksilver Gondola
  10. Squaw Valley’s New Siberia Express Six-Pack

I am always looking for new topics to write about (and Park City won’t be building a gondola next year!)  You can reach me anytime at peter@liftblog.com or leave a comment with ideas.  Thanks for reading and see you in 2016.

Lift Blog’s 100th Post: How Are We Doing?

20,000 views and we're just getting started!
20,000 views and we’re just getting started!

Yesterday saw the 100th post on Liftblog.com, four months after starting this project out of off-season boredom.  I can see on my end that readership is increasing every week but I really would like to know who is reading and what types of posts you would like to see more of.  Google tells me that the most popular time for the site is 2:00pm on Tuesdays but they cannot tell me everything.  Please take two minutes to fill out the below survey and let me know your thoughts.  Thanks for the support!

Lift Blog 100 Post Feedback

And for the curious, below are the top five posts to date.  Notice a theme?

  1. Park City’s New Pinecone Gondola
  2. Touring Utah’s Newest Ski Resort
  3. Fly Day in Teton Village
  4. Snow King Rafferty Construction
  5. Park City Quicksilver Gondola August Update

New Blog about Lifts

There is no shortage of interest and information about ski lifts on the internet.
Skilifts.org, chairlift.org, lift-world.info and remontees-mecaniques.net are some of the best sites.  But as far as I know, no one has attempted to create a frequently updated blog about what’s going on in the lift world.

I am going to try.  My name is Peter Landsman and I work in the lift operations department at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.  But long before I started working in the industry, I was a skier and lift nut.  Over the last 15 years I created a database with statistics and pictures of every ski lift in North America.

My plan is to write longer form posts that fit more logically on a blog than a forum.  Please add your comments, contact me with ideas, or write a guest post and let’s see where this goes.