Instagram Tuesday: Spring Vistas

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

News Roundup: Final Rides

“The 2021 construction season was particularly challenging due to a number of unusual circumstances. The pandemic resulted in labor shortages for not only the lift construction crews and building teams, but also with the supply chain companies delivering key materials. Helicopter usage was a key component for construction, as they were required for activities including tree removal, setting of lift towers and pouring the foundations at the KT mid-station. Helicopter availability was greatly affected by one of the worst wildfire seasons in California history, and once helicopters were available, their operations were shut down as they could not safely fly in the smoky conditions. The fires also resulted in periods when the crews had to be sent home due to unhealthy air quality. For these reasons, construction could not be completed within the six-to-eight-month time frame anticipated in the EIS.”

New Quad to Debut at Cypress Mountain

All of Cypress Mountain’s terrain will become accessible by quad chair next season following replacement of the summit lift. Dubbed SkyQuad, the new Doppelmayr fixed grip quad on Mt. Strachan will feature a loading conveyor and move up to 1,800 guests per hour. The lift replaces a 1968 Mueller double relocated from Apex Mountain Resort to Cypress in the late 1980s.

This is the fifth new lift project announced by Boyne Resorts for 2022-23 as part of a major infrastructure push. “With the huge new heated outdoor dining plaza beside the Cypress Creek Lodge, more upgrades to the snowmaking system and now the new loading conveyor equipped SkyQuad chairlift, Cypress Mountain is making great strides in transforming the resort facilities to better accommodate our valued season passholders and four season guests,” said Russell Chamberlain, President of Cypress Mountain Resort. Construction on the new lift will begin in April and be complete before the start of next winter.

News Roundup: Any Day Now

Bartholet Joins the HTI Group

The Italian-based giant which owns Leitner, Poma, Skytrac, Sigma, Prinoth and Demaclenko has added yet another ropeway brand to its stable. High Technology Industries (HTI) announced it acquired a majority stake in Bartholet Maschinenbau AG, a Swiss manufacturer of fixed grip and detachable ropeways. The controlling share was previously held by Chinese private equity firm Cedarlake Capital. The agreement once again shifts the global ropeway landscape, which has seen relentless consolidation in recent decades. Chairman and CEO Roland Bartholet and the Bartholet management team will remain in place and the brand will continue to be based in Flums, Switzerland. The company’s founding family will retain a minority stake.

It was just two years ago Bartholet partnered with a different European conglomerate, Mountain and Snow Development Group (MND) of France. MND began to develop its own detachable technology in the mid 2010s and debuted a prototype lift in 2017. That project experienced challenges and MND pivoted to utilizing Bartholet detachable designs from 2020.

MND’s ropeway division and Bartholet are set to debut their first North American detachable lift at Waterville Valley later this year. Much of that six place bubble chair has already been delivered stateside and some foundations are already complete. The Bartholet-HTI press release did not address the future of the MND partnership, though history suggests it will likely wind down. MND did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The now larger HTI Group remains privately held while MND trades publicly on the Euronext Growth exchange under the symbol ALMND.

News Roundup: Maine & More

News Roundup: Flying High

News Roundup: First Chair