Owl’s Head to Replace Lake Lift

ACT_Nouvelle-chaise-Owls-Head

The world’s first high speed quad is finally headed for retirement after 38 winter seasons in two countries.  Owl’s Head in Quebec will dismantle the Lake quad this spring, a machine which originally entered service at Breckenridge as Quicksilver in 1981.  The Doppelmayr detachable moved to Quebec in 1999 but has been out of service of late due to mechanical problems.

ok (41)
The soon-to-be-gone Lake lift utilizes chain conveyors and a remote tension bullwheel unlike modern detachable lifts.  Photo credit: rodo_af, remontees-mecaniques.net.

The replacement will be a $2.6 million Doppelmayr Alpen-Star fixed-grip quad with loading carpet that will open in time for next season.  The new lift will move up to 2,200 skiers per hour.  This is the first major investment by a new ownership group at an area with seriously aging infrastructure.  “We were more than due to upgrade this lift,” said Destination Owl’s Head CEO Pierre Bourdages.  “The loading carpet will be a huge improvement, especially for young and new skiers.”

Advertisements

Copper Confirms Tucker Lift is a Go

IMG_6294
Tucker Mountain, home for years to Copper’s weekend cat ski operation, will go seven days a week along with a new chairlift next winter.

Just months after launching two of the largest lifts in the country by vertical transport feet per hour, Copper Mountain today announced its seventh new lift in nine years will bring chairlift service to Tucker Mountain in time for the 2019-20 ski season.  The Leitner-Poma triple will load at the bottom of Blackjack and terminate at over 12,200 feet atop The Taco.  Copper Mountain skiers and snowboarders will gain quick repeat access to 273 acres of expert chutes and faces.  Capacity of the bottom drive, bottom tension lift will be 1,200 per hour.

The move, approved by the White River National Forest last April, is part of a $100 million push by Powdr Co. to transform the Copper experience.  “I’m thrilled to announce Copper’s newest Tucker Mountain chairlift allowing more skiers and riders to access Copper’s unique high alpine terrain.,” said Dustin Lyman, president and general manager of Copper Mountain Resort in a news release.  “With all of the exciting development at Copper, now, more than ever, is a great time for the next generation of skiers, snowboarders and families to call Copper Mountain Colorado their home mountain,” he continued.

tuckermountainmap

Copper’s parent company is also adding a quad chairlift at its upcoming Woodward Park City action park in Utah this summer.  Killington may also see a new North Ridge Quad in time for next season.

Alterra to Build New High Speed Lifts at Alpine Meadows & Winter Park

Alterra Mountain Company will spend $181 million on capital improvements at its network of resorts this offseason, $32.3 million of which will go towards new lifts.  The announcement comes on the heels of competitor Vail Resorts’ proclamation that it will devote $139 to 143 million to capital projects in 2019, including new lifts for Crested Butte and Stevens Pass.

At Colorado’s Winter Park Resort, a new Leitner-Poma six-pack will replace the Sunnyside triple, increasing uphill capacity by 800 people per hour and reducing ride time from eight minutes to 3.8.  Sunnyside is a 1989 CTEC that provides egress from Parsenn Bowl and often experiences significant wait times.

img_5566
The Sunnyside triple is being retired but will likely find a new home due to its age.

In California, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will debut the first Leitner-Poma of America LPA detachable to feature an intermediate station.  The approximately 5,000 foot quad lift will follow the current Hot Wheels alignment with an offloading opportunity at the current top terminal site.  Chairs will continue one minute further to Sherwood Ridge for direct access to the backside of Alpine.  The first Leitner-Poma lift at Alpine Meadows will move a total of 2,400 skiers per hour between the three stations and cost approximately $10 million.  “The new lift will benefit the Alpine Meadows experience on many levels,” said Ron Cohen, president and chief operating officer at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Terrain currently served by Hot Wheels is frequently used by learners and ski and ride school as the next progression after the beginner terrain in the base area. A detachable lift will make loading and unloading much easier for these groups, and the ride time will be more than cut in half. Alpine Meadows is a fantastic place to learn how to ski, and I am proud that we are continuing to foster that quality.”  Squaw is also adding new rope tow and carpet lifts in the High Camp area to further improve beginner options and skier circulation.

IMG_8922
This photo, taken from near the new Hot Wheels top terminal location, shows what will become the first stage of a two stage high speed quad.

As announced at the beginning of the winter, Doppelmayr will complete the Steamboat gondola rebuild this summer, adding new towers, all new cabins and more.  With a speed increase, this key out-of-base lift will feature an increased capacity of 3,600 skiers per hour.

Another significant lift-related investment is RFID access gates and ticketing infrastructure at Deer Valley Resort.  Other Alterra properties are getting snow cats, expanded snowmaking capabilities, restaurant remodels and new bike trails.  “Alterra Mountain Company’s unique year-round mountain destinations offer skiers, riders and summer visitors of all ages from all over the world special, memorable experiences, and each aspect of our business plays a part in bringing the guest back year after year and inspiring a lifelong love of the mountains,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer of Alterra in a company-wide press release.  “We are committed to investing in everything from lifts to snowmaking to creative dining experiences, and technology that weaves it all together for a seamless visit.”  The privately-held firm has budgeted more than half a billion dollars for capital improvements through the 2022/2023 ski season.  All 13 Alterra destinations participate in the Ikon Pass, which starts at $649 and goes on sale tomorrow morning.

Lookout Pass Announces Quad Project

Online map

Before building lifts on Eagle Peak, growing Inland Northwest ski area Lookout Pass will replace core out-of-base Chair 1 with a Skytrac quad, its first brand new lift in 37 years.  The fixed-grip quad will double uphill capacity on the Interstate 90 side of the mountain and better position Lookout for planned future expansion.  The ski area, which sits at 5,600 feet along the Idaho-Montana border, added three Riblet chairlifts in the early 2000s but all came used via other mountains.

The new Chair 1 will follow the existing alignment and utilize some of the current Riblet towers with a slope length of approximately 2,900 feet and vertical rise surpassing 800 feet.  Lookout’s project is the fourth announced new lift for the State of Idaho in 2019 following commitments by Tamarack Resort and Schweitzer.  Sun Valley recently pushed back its Cold Springs quad project to 2020.

IMG_3855
This 1982 workhorse will be retired at the end of this season and replaced with a Skytrac quad chair.

News Roundup: Four Too Many

Instagram Tuesday: Whoa

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

News Roundup: More Epic

  • The Spanish ski resort that closed when a chair fell from its Yan detachable quad reopens with uploading via snowcat.
  • The San Diego Fire Department performs a successful over water night evacuation of the Bayside Skyride at SeaWorld San Diego.
  • Timberline Four Seasons Resort, which has struggled with lift breakdowns and other issues of late, is closed this weekend and could be placed in receivership.
  • Snow Valley missed all of President’s weekend will remain closed indefinitely due to road damage.  Mountain High is kindly honoring their season passes during the shutdown.

Instagram Tuesday: Top Shelf

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

View this post on Instagram

#ramcharger8 #bigsky #doppelmayr

A post shared by Dominik Falke (@dominikfalke) on

News Roundup: Back to Work

 

Miami Dolphins to Build Gondola at Hard Rock Stadium

When Super Bowl LIV kicks off in Miami a year from now, a Doppelmayr gondola could offer fans a bird’s eye view just outside the stadium.  VenuesNow reports Miami Dolphins President and CEO Tom Garfinkel has been working on the idea for a sky ride over the past year and the team is now ready to spend $3 million on the gondola.  The 1,800 foot lift will travel near the courts used for the Miami Open tennis tournament.  “It’s less of a transportation thing and more of a novelty to be up above the tennis and the crowd. We’ll have it in place for Super Bowl next year,” he says.  The big game is set for February 2, 2020.

Gondola_Cab_1
A sample photo of a CWA Omega safari style cabin provided by the Miami Dolphins.

A ride on the new gondola will take approximately ten minutes, though the operating schedule and pricing have not yet been determined.  Doppelmayr USA is also poised to build a new gondola this year at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex in Lake Placid, New York and another at Steamboat, Colorado.  Also in Florida, the company is nearly finished constructing three innovative gondolas at Walt Disney World, which will go into operation sometime this fall.