- After just three weeks being open, the Disney Skyliner flies its one millionth guest.
- The new Park City trail map shows exactly where Over and Out goes.
- Poma inaugurates a lift full of superlatives in South Korea: the longest span between towers (4,000 feet) and tallest concrete tower (492 feet) for a monocable gondola.
- The Boston Seaport Gondola project is officially dead.
- Timberline Four Seasons Resort is scheduled to be auctioned November 19th.
- Aspen Skiing Company will try again for approval of the Ajax Pandora expansion.
- With an expansion coming, a dispute arises between Idaho and Montana over how much of Lookout Pass Ski Area each can lay claim to.
- The Forest Service approves Timberline Lodge’s request to replace Pucci with a high speed quad.
- In what could be a preview of an eventual lift sale, Alterra, Vail Resorts and Seven Springs all bid to buy the Hermitage Club’s snowmaking guns (Vail won.)
- The latest Pomalink newsletter previews Téléo, the first 3S urban gondola in France.
- Tampa Bay will study gondola transportation.
- Park City elected leaders discuss the same topic.
- Grafton SkyTour is now open.
- Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers visits Granite Peak to see how lifts are inspected and learn about a proposed expansion.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola replacement haul rope is spliced.
- A guy BASE jumps off a tram tower in Germany.
- The urban gondola promoter in Edmonton unveils its first proposed station location.
- The new Gould Academy T-Bar at Sunday River will be open to the public whenever four or more major chairlifts go on hold.
- The name of Manning Park Resort’s new Doppelmayr quad is Bear.
- Steamboat’s new gondola completes acceptance tests.
- The Swiss gondola which lost a cabin on October 20th reopens.
- Val Saint-Côme, Quebec looks to build its first six place detachable lift.
- The opening of the first lift at Skeetawk is pushed back to midwinter due to delays with SkyTrans’ other project in Illinois.
- Maine’s Eaton Mountain will not operate this season.
- Leitner and Kitzbühel partner to build Austria’s fastest monocable ropeway which will travel 7 m/s at a cost of $30 million.
- Mt. St. Louis Moonstone’s new six pack will be named Josl Huter Express in memory of the mountain’s founder.
- Aspen Highlands’ Goldenhorn surface lift is on track to be built next summer.
- Just 75 days after the Sea to Sky Gondola haul rope was severed, a new one arrives in Squamish.
- Another great podcast episode features the owners of Plattekill Mountain discussing competition from the State of New York, Vail’s purchase of a competitor and the decision not to join the Indy Pass.
- The Forest Service says yes to Breckenridge’s Peak 7 Infill high speed quad project.
Mark Bee will cap a 30 year career in the lift business when he retires as president of Doppelmayr USA on March 31st. Austrian-born Katharina Schmitz will be promoted to fill the role. Bee will remain on the board of directors for the company’s North American entities.
Mark joined VonRoll Tramways in 1989, seven years before that firm was acquired by Doppelmayr. He was instrumental in merging Doppelmayr USA with Garaventa CTEC in 2002 and oversaw more than 400 lift installations over his tenure. “It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the Doppelmayr organization, and to work in the ski industry,” said Bee. “I could not have imagined a better career or a better company to work for,” he continued.
Katharina Schmitz joined Doppelmayr in 2018 as Vice President, Project Management. She had moved to the United States back in 2005 and previously worked in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Earlier this year, she was promoted to Vice President, Operations where she is responsible for production, logistics and construction. “When we hired Katharina last year, I thought she might be overqualified for the position we were trying to fill, and as it turns out, she was,” said Bee. “She immediately earned the respect of her co-workers with her team-oriented approach to problem solving, and her ability to quickly learn our business.”
“As a native Austrian and avid skier, I was well aware of the Doppelmayr name and I was ready for a career change,” Katharina said about joining the 126 year old ropeway company. “When I was offered a position, I jumped. Since joining Doppelmayr I have been impressed with the dedication and talent of the employees, and the continuous focus on solving problems for our customers. I will work very hard to continue to advance the capabilities of our team to make sure we are prepared to provide the best products and services to our many loyal customers who have placed a great deal of trust in our organization,” she continued.
Change at the top comes as Doppelmayr continues to serve the ski industry while also growing the tourism and urban transportation segments of the lift market. Doppelmayr USA has increasingly become a maintenance and operations provider for installations such as the Portland Aerial Tram and Bay Area Rapid Transit Oakland Airport Connector. The company also recently introduced new products such as D-Line detachable lifts, Alpen Star fixed grip terminals and Omega V gondola cabins.
It should be no secret Doppelmayr is a company I admire and I would like to wish Katharina success in her upcoming role as well as Mark a happy retirement.
- More new trail maps are out with new lifts on them: Brian Head, Jackson Hole, Montana Snowbowl, Schweitzer, Revelstoke and Windham.
- Sea to Sky Gondola turns its parking lot into a drive in theater while rebuild of the lift continues.
- “Boyne is looking at replacing a lot of lifts throughout the whole company and we’re on that list,” says Karl Strand of Sugarloaf in an annual fall update. His wish list includes replacing Timberline, Double Runner, Sawduster and West Mountain.
- Mike Solimano at Killington also has a lift replacement wish list for Powdr.
- Arapahoe Basin plans to replace both Pallavicini and Molly Hogan next summer.
- Sunrise Park says a replacement for the decommissioned Cyclone lift would cost more than $10 million but is a long term goal.
- Hunter will convert its D triple to a double with Partek chairs.
- The Forest Service tentatively approves Arizona Snowbowl’s proposed Agassiz Telemix project.
- An Orlando TV station plays some 911 calls from the night the Disney Skyliner broke down two weeks ago.
- Seven months after an announced sale of Granby Ranch, the ski area still hasn’t changed hands.
- Montana Snowbowl’s long-awaited expansion lift on TV Mountain will be called Snow Park and open in December.
- Sugar Mountain puts the finishing touches on its first high speed quad.
Disney Skyliner is transporting guests around Walt Disney World Resort again this morning, eight days after a malfunction caused a few cabins to stack up in the Riviera angle station. The system has been operating since then but without passengers. Hours today are 8:00 am to 10:30 pm for all three gondola lines. New signage reminds riders that Skyliner flights may occasionally be interrupted with stops and delays. “Following a complete review with the manufacturer, we’ve made adjustments to our processes and training, and we are improving how we communicate with guests during their flight with Disney Skyliner,” a statement from Disney read. “We again offer our deepest apologies to the guests impacted by the malfunction that resulted in extended operating delays on October 5th.”
According to the Skyliner website, temporary closures will follow this week for “system updates.” On Wednesday, the Hollywood Studios line will be closed all day while the Epcot and Pop Century/Art of Animation lines will spin from 1:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Thursday and Friday, all lines will be closed in the morning and open at 1:00 pm.
Skyliner launched on September 29th, linking Hollywood Studios to Epcot and four Walt Disney World resorts. Doppelmayr designed and built the lifts and maintains them through its Doppelmayr Cable Car subsidiary in partnership with Disney. “We greatly appreciate your ongoing patience and understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you back aboard Disney Skyliner,” the theme park operator told guests.
- Mt. Rose wants to replace Lakeview and build a two stage detachable Atoma lift instead of two separate alignments shown here.
- Two people survive after their small plane crashes into and is caught by chairlift cables in Italy.
- The Forest Service seeks public comment on issuing a special use permit to Mountain Capital Partners to operate Elk Ridge, Arizona, which closed in 2017.
- The owners of 100 year old Pocono Manor want to build a 1.5 mile chairlift to the upcoming Pocono Springs lifestyle and entertainment complex.
- The New York Times considers whether a planned four station gondola is appropriate in historically holy Jerusalem.
- All three Disney Skyliner lines remain closed following Saturday’s mishap at the Riviera station.
- The replacement for Big Burn at Snowmass may be a six place bubble model.
- Hermitage Club founder Jim Barnes is ordered to pay a member more than $5.4 million for making misrepresentations.
- Crystal Mountain adds 12 gondola cabins with the mountain’s new logo, bringing the Mt. Rainier Gondola to its maximum capacity of 900 passengers per hour.
- Magic Mountain’s new quad may not spin by Christmas but hopefully MLK weekend.
- Environmental review of the New York Capital Gondola project should commence next week.
- Lake Louise’s VonRoll gondola towers finally fly away after 60 years.
- The VonRoll in Oklahoma thrills riders for a 54th year.
- Fatzer fast tracks a new haul rope for the Sea to Sky Gondola.
- The recently opened 3S in Norway successfully toes the line between an urban gondola and ski/tourism lift.
- Vail seeks to buy the Hermitage Club’s snowmaking guns.
- A super cool LST T-Bar on the roof of a waste-to-energy plant opens for skiers in Copenhagen.
- Poma begins constructing a five section urban gondola on the remote Indian Ocean island of Réunion.
- Grouse Mountain acknowledges the Blue Skyride‘s days are numbered and will study replacing it over the coming year.
- Frost Fire, which was unable to spin its brand new Skytrac quad last winter, says it will open this winter.
- The West Virginia Timberline may be sold out of bankruptcy to an LLC offering $2.5 million.
- A Quebec resort is ordered to pay out six figures after leaving a guest stranded on a lift.
- Steamboat’s new gondola haul rope is spliced.
- Doppelmayr becomes a billion dollar company by annual revenue, up 10.5 percent from last year.
- Manning Park narrows the names for its new quad down to four and wants your help choosing one.
- A very long stop and near evacuation makes the local newspaper in Sun Valley.
- Another first is brewing in Europe: a gondola with cabin doors on two sides.
- Indy Pass adds eight more resorts.
- Eastlink Park in Alberta is adding a used Mueller T-Bar for this winter.
- ‘Qualified and reputable’ investors have expressed interest in the Hermitage Club assets in recent weeks.
- There are now four alternatives for possible Snow King Mountain expansion.
- Wired looks into the failures of both urban gondolas in Rio de Janeiro.
- Attitash assures skiers its Summit Triple is finally fixed after last year’s extended closures.
- Revelstoke receives a shipment of 22 new gondola cabins.
- Cooper releases the trail map for its Tennessee Creek Basin expansion and Little Horse T-Bar.
- The Orlando Sentinel hosts a half hour podcast all about the Disney Skyliner.
- Mont St. Sauveur’s new heated seat chairlift will be named Sommet Express.
Nearly 300 gondolas joined the transport fleet at the world’s most visited resort this morning, commencing an exciting new era for the U.S. ropeway scene. The milestone comes more than two years since construction began and almost 50 years from when a simpler VonRoll gondola system first opened at Walt Disney World Resort.
Crews fired up all three Skyliner lines pre-dawn, giving guests their first opportunities to skip bus rides and explore multiple parks in one day. Connecting Epcot and Hollywood Studios with four resort hotels, the system is sure to become among the most-ridden gondolas in the world.
This is the second D-Line detachable system from Doppelmayr to open in the Americas following Big Sky Resort’s Ramcharger 8 launch last December. Although the Austrian builder maintains a strong presence as maintenance contractor for the Skyliner, you won’t find the Doppelmayr name and logo prominently displayed here.
The cabins are highly customized CWA Omega IV models seating up to ten passengers. About half of them feature wraps with characters from Disney, Pixar and Marvel movie franchises.
- Stevens Pass nears completion of its largest lift investment ever.
- Bretton Woods prepares to open New Hampshire’s first eight passenger gondola as soon as October.
- A nonprofit hopes a T-Bar will be the right lift for historically troubled Ascutney Mountain.
- The 17 former Peak resorts are now Vail resorts.
- Vail season pass sales are up double digit percentages from last year and the company expects to earn between $778 and $818 million in fiscal year 2020 with a net income of $293 to $353 million.
- Mt. Bachelor launches an all-new James Niehues-painted trail map with some surprise new lift names: Alpenglow, Early Riser and Little Pine.
- The Berry family and Arctaris Impact Investors issue dueling letters on why the Saddleback sale fell through.
- Here’s another construction update from Alaska’s brand new ski area.
- The Forest Service approves Mammoth Mountain’s Chair 16 replacement project.
- Stakeholders seek an extension as the Hermitage Club bankruptcy works its way through the courts.
- The ski resort portion of American Dream now won’t open until December 5th.
- Doppelmayr is out with a new issue of Wir Magazine which profiles Ramcharger 8 and Whistler Blackcomb’s three newest additions.
- Vail concludes that undetected ground movement caused July’s tower separation and evacuation of the Eagle Bahn Gondola.
- The Indy Pass adds Caberfae Peaks and Sunrise Park, bringing the total to 36 resorts.
- Owners of Mt. Norquay formalize their proposal for a combo gondola/rail/parking transit center.
- Technical Safety BC releases a redacted Sea to Sky Gondola incident summary.
- Copper Mountain’s Union Creek quad becomes the Woodward Express.
- Mexico City and Doppelmayr break ground on Cablebús, a $155 million urban gondola project with six stations over 5.7 miles.
- The City of Steamboat Springs looks to finally fund a Barrows replacement at Howelsen Hill.
- The Boston Globe profiles the lift maintenance profession at Wachusett Mountain.
- Here’s the full text of the Squaw-Alpine gondola lawsuit.
- Attractions Magazine previews the Disney Skyliner with lots of good things to say.
- Walt Disney World’s gondolas will open as early as 5:45 am and run as late as 12:30 am depending on the day.
- SeaWorld San Diego’s Bayside Skyride reopens after seven months of refurbishment.
- Stevens Pass raises $54,000 for charity in less than a minute via a chair sale.
- Doppelmayr launches a microsite exploring how the world’s largest gondola network improves the lives of city dwellers.
- Wind is blamed for two nasty deropements in Argentina.