- Snow Flyer is the name for Bittersweet’s upcoming high speed quad.
- The Steamboat Gondola suffers an extended breakdown with hundreds aboard.
- Steamboat outlines the push to remove, relocate and build multiple lifts this summer.
- Sasquatch Mountain Resort moves ahead with mega expansion plans.
- Doppelmayr is hiring construction employees across the United States including in Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont and Washington.
- Snowbird officially retires its original tram cabins.
- The Utah Department of Transportation needs more time to decide between a gondola and enhanced bus service for Little Cottonwood Canyon.
- Attitash will auction 145 chairs from the East-West Double Double for charity.
- A gondola from the Montage to Andesite and more lifts at Moonlight are among the possibilities for future lifts at Big Sky.
- Seattle’s regional transit authority calls a West Seattle gondola “not feasible.”
- Gallix, Quebec and Doppelmayr begin rebuilding the quad lift damaged by a flood last year.
- Doppelmayr and the Government of Brazil inaugurate the first air conditioned gondola in the Americas.
- A new study pegs the economic impact of Sierra-at-Tahoe’s missed season at $43.5 million. The resort missed out on $24 million in revenue and will spend nearly $17 million rebuilding.
- Alta will spin Albion for one final send off on Tuesday.
The only detachable triple CTEC ever built has found a new home in Montana. The one-of-a-kind installation will be removed from Alta Ski Area this spring and go on to replace Red Lodge Mountain’s Miami Beach double in 2023. The $2.25 million project will reimagine the learn to ski experience with a new conveyor lift and yurt in addition to the high speed chairlift.
The Miami Beach detachable will follow a modified alignment to better serve the mountain’s beginner terrain and provide access the the Palisades. “This is an exciting and significant investment into the ski experience here at Red Lodge,” said General Manager Jeff Schmidt. “Upgrading to this high-speed triple chair will be a transformation of the beginner experience. The Sunnyside Lift has the perfect horsepower and capacity for the Miami terrain.” The Red Lodge team will assist with removal operations at Alta this spring and the lift will be stored in preparation for installation next summer.
- COO Al Henceroth breaks down the numbers behind Arapahoe Basin’s quest to maintain a quality experience through capacity management.
- Solitude intends to replace the aging Eagle Express within the next few years.
- An Indiana public broadcaster devotes five minutes to comparing bare bones operations at Vail-owned Paoli Peaks with Perfect North Slopes, which operated more lifts more hours per day over a much longer season.
- A broken sheave on the high speed quad at Marble Mountain leads to a 220+ skier rope evacuation; the lift may remain down for some time.
- Park City shows off the new alignment for the upcoming Eagle Express.
- Telluride appears destined to spend lots of money on its gondola, either as a major refurbishment or total replacement.
- A child is unhurt after falling from a Sugarloaf high speed quad.
- Eight months after a rooftop fire, Big Snow American Dream eyes a Memorial Day reopening.
- Moosehead Lake developers say the cost of a detachable six pack increased a million dollars in six months and financing remains an issue.
- The Seattle Times profiles a successful season turnaround at Stevens Pass.
- BigRock Mountain raises $1.2 million toward the purchase of a Doppelmayr quad chair.
- In Utah tram board news, Alta has sold the Sunnyside detachable triple to an unidentified mountain; Wasatch Peaks plans to build a third lift.
- Mission Ridge posts a bit of a wild wind video.
- Sierra-at-Tahoe will spin two chairlifts one weekend in April as it continues Caldor Fire recovery.
- Doppelmayr USA’s Katharina Schmitz joins the Ski Utah podcast to talk lift technology, next year’s projects and more.
- According to Forest Service documents, Alta plans to replace Sunnyside and Albion this summer with a single six place chairlift.
- Sierra at Tahoe President John Rice takes SAM podcast listeners through the harrowing Caldor Fire disaster and recovery effort.
- White Pine, Wyoming is sold to new owners.
- Kimberley announces the Northstar Express will be inoperable for the entire season following last month’s fire.
- Vail Resorts says Stevens Pass faces its most acute staffing problems, replaces the General Manager the same day as a Seattle Times front page story comes out.
- Nine people successfully catch a child who fell from a chair at Mt. Washington.
- Big White seeks more parking at the Black Forest base in advance of two planned lift installations.
- Steamboat repairs the Sunshine Express; Storm Peak Express lives up to its name.
- Mt. Bachelor will be without the Skyliner Express for an indefinite period.
- Keystone closes the River Run Gondola for three days of maintenance (now back open).
- Redevelopment of the Meadows parking lot at Steamboat could include replacing the Wildhorse Gondola with a higher capacity detachable.
- BigRock Mountain’s quad chair fundraising gets off to a strong start.
- Vail Resorts and Park City ski patrollers reach a tentative contract agreement, likely avoiding a strike.
- Despite the headlines, Vail Resorts’ skier visits are actually down from the last two seasons as of January 2nd. Ski school, dining and retail/rental revenue are all up from last year but still down significantly from pre-Covid 2019-20.
Between crush loads of cars, large avalanches and frequent collisions, Utah State Route 210 can be a nightmare in winter. The 13.5 mile road connects the Salt Lake Valley to Little Cottonwood Canyon’s legendary Alta and Snowbird resorts. Utah’s Department of Transportation is currently studying ways to improve mobility in and out of the canyon with a focus on peak winter demand. Starting with 105 possibilities, the DOT last week narrowed its focus to three options: enhanced bus service, bus service combined with road widening and a hybrid bus/gondola option.
Stretching more than eight miles, the gondola would be among the longest in the world with more stations than any 3S system built to date. A tricable design was chosen for its ideal balance of speed, capacity and tower spacing. The lift would begin at the bottom of LCC, pass through an angle station at Tanners Flat and arrive at Snowbird 24 minutes later. Another 10 minute hop would link the eastern terminus at Alta Ski Area. The premise of the gondola is not to replace the road but rather divert a portion of trips to the air. This would be the second lowest capacity 3S ever built with thirty 30 passenger cabins arriving at stations every two minutes. A modest capacity would help manage costs and allow for towers spaced thousands of feet apart.
The Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola could operate in winds up to 68 miles per hour and strategically placed towers could keep it running when snow slides and crashes close the road. Guests and employees would enjoy an aerial journey through the canyon unlike anything in the United States. The system would cost $393 million, $77 million less than road widening but $110 million more than an enhanced bus solution. The gondola itself would run $240 million while the other $153 million is associated infrastructure such as parking and tolling. The aerial option would cost the least to operate, just $4.5 million per year versus $6.2-9 million annually for the bus options.
- LST Ropeways’ prototype detachable chairlift in France is once again open.
- Despite a wild winter in Colorado, the shiny new Glenwood Gondola is tracking towards a March 16th launch.
- Mt. Spokane’s first new lift in four-plus decades has been spinning since December but the mountain’s nonprofit operator is still seeking donations to help pay for it.
- Epic Passes go on sale and a new Epic Day Pass offers Vail Resorts skiers the option to pre-buy a flexible number of days at a big discount.
- The Mountain Collective Pass is back for 2019-20 and, as expected, no longer includes Sun Valley or Snowbasin.
- Following the collective model, an Indy Pass is brewing with eleven regional resorts already signed on.
- Court documents suggest the Hermitage Club may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
- The highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Walt Disney World Resort August 29th, which would be a great date for the Skyliner to start carrying guests to it.
- Aspen voters approve the Lift 1 corridor project by 26 votes, but it may be a few years before a Telemix joins the Ajax lift fleet.
- Two years after a fatal ride accident blamed on corrosion, the Ohio State Fair is spending $116,000 to replace all the carriers on a different attraction – its chairlift.
- Doppelmayr is looking for workers to help build lifts across the country this summer.
- Vail Resorts season-to-date lift revenue is up 9.6 percent from a year ago, with skier visits increasing 7.9 percent.
- Attitash won’t open Summit this weekend but not for lack of trying.
- In California, the City of Long Beach is in the very early stages of considering a multistop gondola.
- For the first time in years, Black Mountain is opening its 1935 vintage J-Bar this weekend.
Utah ski resorts are proving this season that lifts need not be giant to positively impact guest experiences. I got to visit the state’s three newest chairlifts this week, which are all short but sweet with beginner skiers in mind.
High Meadow Express – Park City Mountain
The High Meadow Express is the centerpiece of re-imagined teaching terrain above Park City’s Canyons Village. With mellow loading and unloading speeds, a quick ride time and an improved alignment, the high speed quad marks a significant step up from the fixed quad it replaces. High Meadow Park is now wide open with perfectly pitched beginner trails. Expanded snowmaking rounds out the freshened up beginner zone.
Homestake Express – Deer Valley Resort
Homestake Express launched this morning at Alterra-owned Deer Valley, becoming the resort’s 13th detachable quad. Ride time is now under two minutes between Silver Lake Lodge and Bald Eagle Mountain. There are only eight towers now, down from 12, freeing up space on the busy Silver Link ski run. The new Homestake also features slatted backrests for wind resistance.
Snowpine – Alta Ski Area
In Little Cottonwood Canyon, the new Snowpine Quad carried its first skiers yesterday. The Skytrac Monarch was manufactured just 30 miles away in Salt Lake. While it only has two towers and a dozen chairs, the new lift serves dual functions. It will provide ski-in, ski-out access to the new Snowpine Lodge, which opens January 30th. Alta’s first fixed grip quad also provides a beginner-friendly alternative to the surface tow it replaces. The return terminal is height adjustable for the big snow years.
- The world’s largest vertical tramway is expected to reopen in time for Christmas, just three months after one of its cabins was destroyed in an unfortunate accident.
- Peak Resorts completes its acquisition of Liberty Mountain, Roundtop and Whitetail in Pennsylvania.
- There was a bit of a setback before American Eagle’s load test on Monday but repairs are complete and the first of two new lifts at Copper opens Saturday.
- A pulse gondola could join the skyline in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.
- Investors who helped the Hermitage Club buy its bubble lift file a lawsuit seeking $9.8 million.
- Did you know the Lone Peak Tram‘s bottom terminal is slowly moving downhill thanks to a rock glacier?
- The White River National Forest grants final approval for Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park expansion and preliminary approval of Aspen Mountain’s Pandora project.
- Plans for a new Oakland Athletics ballpark include a 6,000 passenger per hour gondola across Interstate 880.
- A proposed Portland Major League Baseball stadium also has a gondola component.
- As Utah weighs growth, Alta seeks to retain some of the land it owns in Grizzly Gulch, key to any future connection between the Cottonwood Canyons.
- Heavy snow delays completion of Ascutney Mountain’s T-Bar until next spring.
- Arapahoe Basin drops the ropes on 339 new lift-served acres.
- The Adirondack Park Agency approves construction of a new chairlift at the Lake Placid Olympic ski jumping facility.
- Ascutney seeks permission to build a 1,760′ T-Bar with 11 towers.
- As Oz Real Estate weighs investing more than $50 million, the Hermitage Club receiver reports the resort’s lifts need $86,000 in maintenance that neither the bank nor members have agreed to fund.
- Mountain Capital Partners hosts a packed public meeting regarding its Nordic Valley expansion. “I’ve never had a project not be successful and I’m not going to start with this one,” James Coleman tells the crowd.
- Days before the deadline for public comments, Sunshine Village CEO Ralph Scurfield pens an op-ed criticizing Parks Canada’s proposed site guidelines that would eliminate three future lifts from consideration.
- Leitner-Poma looks to immediately hire installation team members for the big Winter Park gondola project.
- Thanks to Rob and Max for these awesome shots of the Whistler Blackcomb megaproject.
- Some Alta land is withdrawn from a proposed land swap, maintaining the possibility of future expansion in Grizzly Gulch.
- Killington goes blue with its bubbles.
- Vail Resorts officially takes over Stevens Pass.
- Massachusetts awards the current operators of Blue Hills a new three year contract.
- Fatzer begins production of the first Compacta rope for the US lift market. At 54 mm, any guesses where it’s headed?
- The Jackson/Teton County Parks & Recreation Board unanimously says no to a Snow King Gondola alignment as the Forest Service extends public comment until September 13th.
- The Capital Gondola project moves along in Albany.
- Anyone can rent the six lifts at Pico Mountain for $6,500 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays this winter.
- The Jay Peak receiver plans to sell the resort by next summer while an offering of Burke Mountain is indefinitely on hold.
- Copper Mountain appears to abandon dark green lifts for more sophisticated copper-colored terminals.
Utah ski resorts will debut three new chairlifts for the 2018-19 season and although none of them service new terrain, each will make lives better for skiers and snowboarders. One of my stops this weekend was Park City Mountain, where Vail Resorts announced the creation of a reimagined High Meadow Family Fun Zone back in December. A new Doppelmayr detachable quad, opened up runs, upgraded snowmaking and candy cabin are coming together above the Red Pine Gondola. The new lift will have 8 towers, down from 11 on the old CTEC quad, which is sitting under the Cabriolet for now.
Across old town Park City at Deer Valley, another Doppelmayr detachable quad is replacing another CTEC fixed-grip quad. Highlander Lift Services & Construction is assembling Homestake Express in the existing alignment but again with fewer towers. I think the new number is eight, down from a dozen in this high traffic area above Silver Lake Lodge. For its second winter under Alterra, Deer Valley will operate an impressive 13 high speed quads this season. The 1999 version of Homestake is bound for Utah Olympic Park.