- MND raises more money to continue growth plans.
- Palisades Tahoe opens Red Dog, Mount Baldy, Ontario opens the chairlift it worked years to build.
- Vail aims to open Sun Down Express this weekend.
- Sunnyside at Alta will open tomorrow, two months late.
- Cascade Mountain’s delayed lift also spins tomorrow.
- Granite Gorge, New Hampshire reopens after a multi-year closure.
- Loup Loup temporarily closes its lone chairlift to remove hazard trees identified by the Forest Service.
- Children are injured falling from lifts at Boyne Mountain, Bristol Mountain and Mt. Snow.
- Vail Resorts reports a 12.5 percent increase in skier visits but cautions extreme weather and airline disruptions hurt holiday performance.
- Unionized lift mechanics at Park City prepare to negotiate their first contract with Vail Resorts.
- Whitewater’s Silver King lift will be down for up to a month.
- Crystal Mountain, Michigan’s main lift to be down all weekend.
News Roundup: Viral Videos
- Sunshine Village seeks to replace Angel Express by 2024, manufacturer TBD.
- Bromont’s outgoing Versant des Épinettes quad will get a second life at Mont Rigaud.
- Mont-Sainte-Anne reopens without its gondola. The FIS postpones a February World Cup event there.
- Whitefish won’t operate Bad Rock this winter.
- A child falls from a lift at Whitetail.
- A Park City guest is charged with assault for a mid-ride fight on the Saddleback Express.
- A snowboarder falling down a T-Bar line sends four other riders to the hospital in Europe.
- Blue Mountain, Pennsylvania will open the Main Street Express tomorrow.
- Utah Olympic Park and Doppelmayr near the finish line on the West Peak expansion.
- Ditto for Leitner-Poma and Vail on the Sun Down Express.
- Chairs go on Sunnyside at Alta.
- Boyne Resorts looks looks to hire an internal Lift Construction Director.
- The proposed Los Angeles gondola scores a courtroom victory.
- The operator of the Goldbelt Tram agrees to fund $10 million of the Eaglecrest Gondola.
- Granite Peak celebrates expansion approval.
- Mountain Capital Partners acquires a majority stake in Valle Nevado, Chile.
- Silverton Mountain seeks approval for two more chairlifts (pages 63-67).
- Vail Resorts announces a big new lift for Perisher, Australia.
News Roundup: Doubles Save the Day
- Many big openings this weekend including Lenawee Express at Arapahoe Basin, Big Red at Whistler, Seven Brothers at Loon Mountain, North Bowl Express at Heavenly, Eagle Peak at Lookout Pass and Black Bear 6 at Camelback.
- Palisades Tahoe launches the Base to Base Gondola tomorrow but it will operate as two separate lifts and close Sunday for more work.
- Vail waits for a weather window to fly the pilot line for Sun Down Express, nears the finish line on Game Creek Express.
- Doppelmayr and Steamboat unwrap Wild Blue cabins.
- Kimberley load tests the Northstar Express following a year of repairs.
- New Sunnyside at Alta won’t be finished by Christmas; the Albion double will spin until it opens.
- The new high speed quad at Telluride won’t open until late January due to labor challenges.
- FourRunner goes down at Stowe and the nearby Sunrise Six isn’t finished yet. Lookout saves the week.
- A “series of setbacks to electrical infrastructure” delays opening of new lifts and the entire Big Boulder ski area.
- Cuchara won’t reopen lift-served skiing this year after all.
- Giants Ridge debuts a new VistaMap.
- Sun Valley launches a website dedicated to next summer’s lift projects.
- As the investigation continues into the Mont-Sainte-Anne gondola incident and the mountain remains closed this weekend, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies seeks a public-private partnership to renew its Quebec infrastructure. Quebec’s Premier isn’t sold on giving public money to RCR.
- The Governor of New Hampshire wants replacement of the Cannon Tram to be voted on by the legislature, a funding mechanism could be selected this year with the earliest possible opening in late 2024.
- Ski Utah previews the upcoming Burns Express at Deer Valley.
- Wisconsin approves a pared down master plan for Granite Peak with two expansion lifts, one on each side of existing terrain.
- Homewood forges ahead with plans to go private for homeowners only.
- The sightseeing gondola proposal in Vernon, British Columbia moves forward.
- An idea to connect Detroit with Windsor, Ontario by 3S gondola is back.
- Construction begins on the new D-Line gondola at a California vineyard.
News Roundup: To the Polls
- Park City lift mechanics and electricians will vote whether to unionize early next week.
- Charges against four Marines are dropped after they pay more than $18,000 in restitution for allegedly causing a lift deropement at the San Diego Zoo.
- Alta modifies operations and offers passholders refunds due to the delayed Sunnyside lift project.
- Sierra at Tahoe will reopen December 3rd following 15 months of fire recovery efforts.
- A progress report on Copper Mountain’s Alpine terminal replacement project.
- Grand Targhee debuts a new VistaMap.
- Disciples 8 shows up on the Boyne Mountain trail map.
- Echo Mountain and Granby Ranch become the latest Colorado resorts to join the Indy Pass.
- Mammoth Mountain looks to replace the Panorama Gondola with a realigned 10 passenger version.
- Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch reflects on last season and details what the company is doing to make this season better.
- Northern Virginia Magazine profiles the successful rebirth of Timberline Mountain under the Perfect family.
- A new owner takes a majority stake in Massif du Sud, promising new investment.
- Resorts are still flying towers for new lifts including Red Dog at Palisades, Hidden Valley at Snoqualmie and La Laurentienne at Sommet Gabriel.
- Construction continues on two new lifts at Vail, with completion expected in December.
- Whistler Blackcomb and Doppelmayr expect the delayed Creekside Gondola haul rope to arrive today.
- Reflecting on the Lone Peak Tram as it enters its final season.
- Frost Fire, North Dakota won’t open this season.
- Closed Holiday Mountain, Manitoba plans to reopen under new ownership.
- Searchmont updates guests on numerous lift projects around the mountain.
- Redevelopment of Big Squaw is cancelled due to failed negotiations with the current owner and global financial conditions.
News Roundup: Long-Awaited
- Monarch Mountain purchases the nearby Monarch Crest Scenic Tramway.
- Sundance’s new quad is named Wildwood.
- Vancouver drops out of bidding for the 2030 Winter Olympics, increasing the likelihood the games will be held in Utah.
- Construction begins on the world’s longest gondola in the Caribbean.
- The Vail Daily reports on environmental deficiencies with Beaver Creek’s 2021 McCoy Park lift and terrain expansion.
- Alterra-owned Blue Mountain renames the Century Express to Valley Express with new controls, new tower heads/sheaves, new carriers, a new rope and several tower height adjustments.
- Vail continues its charity chair sale extravaganza with more from Jack Frost and Big Boulder.
- The Summit at Snoqualmie sells chairs from Hidden Valley.
- Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. closes on its acquisition of Jay Peak.
- Waterville Valley’s MND bubble lift will be called Tecumseh Express.
- The Forest Service approves Attitash’s Summit triple replacement project.
- Parts from Sunday River’s former Jordan Express are spotted at Boyne sister resort Pleasant Mountain.
- Doppelmayr reports a 16 percent increase in revenue with a particular surge in investment in North America.
- Purgatory sues the Forest Service over water rights for snowmaking.
- Cypress Mountain sues the Province of British Columbia over paid parking.
- Supply chain issues will delay the opening of Alta’s Sunnyside six pack.
News Roundup: Mystery Solved
- 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.
Red Lodge Mountain to Install Detachable Beginner Lift
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.
News Roundup: Maine & More
- 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.
News Roundup: Consolidation
- 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.
Could a Gondola Solve Little Cottonwood Canyon’s Woes?
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.