Mount Bohemia to Replace Frontside Lift

Skytrac will build the first truly new lift at Mount Bohemia over the next three years, replacing a used Riblet triple built in 2000. Bohemia announced a new drive terminal will be installed next summer, a top return terminal in 2024 and new towers and triple chairs will follow in 2025. The phased lift replacement will spread the capital cost of the project out over multiple seasons and bring Bohemia into the era of modern lifts.

“These build outs have been done by Skytrac all over the country,” said Mount Bohemia, using the above example of a Skytrac Monarch drive terminal retrofitted on a 1961 Riblet double at Mt. Spokane, Washington. “In a very short time Bohemia will have a completely brand new triple chairlift that will increase uphill capacity by roughly 50 percent. It will reduce our maintenance season on the new lift to four weeks allowing us to run the new chairlift for scenic lift rides all summer and fall.”

News Roundup: Back in Action

News Roundup: Gondola Party

Park City Lift Mechanics Vote to Unionize

The results are in. Park City Mountain’s lift mechanics and electricians voted by an 85 percent margin to form a union. Nearly every eligible employee cast a ballot over the past two days with 35 choosing yes and 6 voting no. The Park City Lift Maintenance Professional Union will be part of the Communications Workers of America, the same union which represents ski patrollers at Park City, Crested Butte, Stevens Pass and other mountains. “Hard work pays off!” read a social media post from the union. “We would like to thank the community at large for their continued support, and we’re extremely excited for a phenomenal winter season and some productive bargaining sessions,” the post continued.

Park City parent company Vail Resorts had advocated for a continued direct relationship with employees who maintain the largest lift fleet on the continent. “We care deeply about all of our employees, and we are going to do what’s right for our team members regardless of today’s outcome,” said Deirdra Walsh, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Park City Mountain. “While we are disappointed with the result, we are grateful to those who took the time to vote. As we have shared both publicly and to our team throughout this process, we sincerely believe that direct communication works best to build strong relationships, ensure a safe working environment, and allow every employee’s voice to be heard through direct and open dialogue,” Walsh continued. “We respect the decision of those who chose to pay to have a union speak for them with regard to their wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.”

Assuming the election results are certified by the National Labor Relations Board, Park City will become the first ski lift maintenance union in the United States. The union plans to elect leaders soon and work toward its first contract with Vail Resorts.

News Roundup: To the Polls

News Roundup: Project Status

New Whistler Lifts Delayed due to Supply Chain and Labor Challenges

The top executive at Doppelmayr Canada apologized Friday for delays in completing the new Big Red Express and Creekside Gondola on Whistler Mountain. While both new lifts were originally scheduled to be commissioned before the resort’s November 24th opening day, Big Red is now expected to open in early December with Creekside’s timing to be determined. The new 10 passenger gondola’s 13,000 foot haul rope has not yet arrived in Whistler.

Doppelmayr agreed to build the new six passenger chairlift and 10 passenger gondola at Whistler in November 2021. The ambitious project is the largest in the Epic Lift Upgrade initiative to build new lifts across a dozen Vail Resorts. Contracts for all 18 lifts were split roughly evenly between the two largest manufacturers, both of which face supply challenges amid high demand. “We would like to apologize to all who plan to visit Whistler Blackcomb and the impact they may experience as the result of the delayed opening of both Big Red and the Creekside Gondola,” said Luc Guy, CEO of Doppelmayr Canada. “We experienced significant global supply chain and shipping challenges, and did not anticipate delays to this degree. We understand the importance of these projects, and how this delay will impact uphill access and the overall guest experience out of Creekside. We are doing everything we can in partnership with the Whistler Blackcomb team to complete the gondola as safely and quickly as possible. We will move with urgency and align to all safety protocols once the haul rope arrives, and we are confident that the new Creekside Gondola will truly provide an improved experience for visitors to these beautiful mountains.”

In addition to supply chain delays, Doppelmayr also faces a labor shortage. Whistler Blackcomb employees have been providing extra support to the installation team and Vail Resorts is bringing in additional lift mechanics from its recently-closed Australian mountains to assist. “We appreciate Doppelmayr’s commitment to this project and their partnership,” said Whistler Blackcomb Chief Operating Officer Geoff Buchheister. “We are disappointed that these projects are delayed and I want to reiterate my gratitude for the incredible Whistler Blackcomb team and all they have done – and continue to do – in service of these projects and the guest experience. We are focused on what we can control and remain resolute on finishing these projects as quickly as possible, while still providing a great start to the season for everyone who joins us.”

Whistler Blackcomb will modify its opening strategy with a focus on offering as much terrain as possible, particularly on Blackcomb Mountain where all lifts are operable. The resort will also offer free and frequent bus service from Creekside to Whistler Village until the new lifts open. Guests arriving from Creekside will be offered priority access to both the Whistler Village and Blackcomb Gondolas. Base area lifts will also open 15 minutes early – at 8:15 am – conditions permitting until Big Red and Creekside are completed.

News Roundup: Long-Awaited

News Roundup: Reimagine Crystal

News Roundup: Allegations

  • With energy at a premium in Europe, Leitner showcases technology which regulates the speed of a ropeway based on rider demand.
  • The nonprofit which has been running Big Squaw says the sale to Big Moose Development still hasn’t been completed and this season will continue as normal.
  • Sugarbush confirms a Heaven’s Gate replacement is in the works but it won’t happen in 2023 as lift prices surge and lead times increase.
  • Ropeway pioneer Willy Garaventa dies at the age of 88.
  • Los Angeles releases the Environmental Impact Statement for the Dodger Stadium gondola project.
  • Names for the five new Skytracs at Jack Frost Big Boulder are: Blue Heron, Harmony, Paradise, Pocono and Tobyhanna.
  • Groupe Le Massif remains interested in acquiring Mont-Sainte-Anne from Resorts of the Canadian Rockies and would also be open to acquiring Stoneham as part of a deal.
  • After multiple years of construction, Ontario’s Mt. Baldy finally has a new chairlift.
  • Mount Snow will sell more double, triple and quad chairs for charity.
  • New York’s Attorney General sues the owners of Labrador Mountain and Song Mountain, alleging their purchase and closure of nearby Toggenburg was anti-competitive. Former Toggenburg/current Greek Peak owner John Meier agreed to pay the State $195,000 and will cooperate in the case against Labrador and Song’s parent company.
  • The Governor of Utah throws his support behind the Little Cottonwood gondola project.
  • A new document shows where Mammoth’s relocated Panorama Gondola and new Big Bend chairlift would run as part of the Evolving Main project.
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania again seeks an operator to revive the Denton Hill Ski Area.