News Roundup: Following

  • Mt. Hood Meadows, Skytrac and Timberline Helicopters fly Buttercup towers in just 45 minutes.
  • Vail Resorts schedules annual meeting for Wednesday, December 6th, where multiple new lift projects are likely to be revealed.
  • Aspen Skiing Company, the City of Aspen, private landowners and the public collaborate towards building a long-sought detachable Lift 1.
  • Latest LST detach update: chairs are back at the factory being reworked and the Envers lift is expected to be up and running around Christmas.
  • Revelstoke adds 24 new gondola cabins, Crystal Mountain gets five more.
  • Navajo Nation leadership soundly rejects Grand Canyon Escalade gondola in 16-2 vote.
  • SkiCo and the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club plan to build a platter surface lift on the skier’s right side of Golden Horn at Aspen Highlands next summer.
  • There’s an unconfirmed rumor that the Cyclone at Sunrise Park, AZ won’t operate this winter.  The 1983 Yan is North America’s longest triple chair at 7,982′ with 32 towers and 352 chairs.  I’ve reached out to Sunrise for comment and will update if I hear anything.
  • Montana Snowbowl’s TV Mountain expansion won’t open this season.
  • After building three new lifts in a row, the Hermitage Club finds itself in a cash flow crunch.
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News Roundup: Layoffs at Burke

News Roundup: Windy in Switzerland

  • Owner of Echo Mountain files for bankruptcy but will keep operating the closest ski area to Denver.
  • Saddleback, Maine won’t be open in time for February vacation week.
  • Big Tupper, NY pulls the plug on this season entirely.
  • Aspen Highlands looks to expand into Loge Bowl, with the possibility of eventually adding a lift.
  • A quick-thinking 7 year-old hangs onto a dangling classmate for two minutes, long enough for resort staff to make a successful catch from a chair in Ontario.  Canada requires nets to be out and ready whenever a lift is in operation for just this reason.
  • Aspen Highlands chair pusher finally arrested and identified as a 31-year old local man with a history of mental illness. He’s charged with felony assault and misdemeanor reckless endangerment but will go to a treatment facility instead of jail.  The investigation also reveals a 19-year old lift operator saw the 25-foot fall and hit an e-stop but didn’t report it.
  • Gizmodo tackles urban gondolas, revealing La Paz carries 100,000 commuters a day on its 3 aerial lines.

News Roundup: Penkenbahn

  • After several high-profile incidents, a good reminder from the NSAA that 86 percent of falls from chairlifts can be attributed to rider error.
  • Lots of questions surround last week’s skier-pushes-snowboarder-off-lift story from Aspen Highlands.  Police say even without an arrest made, the public is not in any danger.
  • Bravo to Bristol Mountain for actually pressing charges against a freeloading teen for theft of services.
  • Only at a tiny mountain in Maine would volunteer ski patrollers derail a double chair they are also responsible for inspecting.
  • An Austrian man is in a coma after the harness he was wearing around his neck became entangled with a platter lift carrier.  At least one lift operator may not have been at his or her assigned post.
  • Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is for sale.
  • Fun Spot America near Orlando looks to add a gondola ride (thanks Jay T. for the tip.)
  • Dignitaries break ground at Laurel Mountain in preparation for a November re-opening.
  • A mix of public and private groups including Georgetown University are about to spend $250k to study a gondola linking Rosslyn, Virginia with Georgetown (one of Washington, D.C.’s highest-profile neighborhoods without a metro station.)
  • The Balsams Wilderness won’t re-open in 2016 after all.  A revised timeline has three new and two existing lifts spinning in late 2017.
  • This is our 200th post!

News Roundup: Ice Heist

  • Luckily Manning Park Resort was in on letting pro mountain bikers pretend to break into and operate one of their lifts.
  • When chairs can’t spin because there’s no one to staff them.
  • BMF opens its sightseeing aerial tramway in Puebla.  Its 35-passenger cabins were manufactured in Austria by Carvatech.
  • 12 year-old boy falls out of a chair at Wachusett, avoids serious injury.
  • Snowboarder accuses skier of shoving him off Aspen Highlands’ Loge Peak lift mid-ride in a story that goes viral.  Just one day later, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office thinks they’ve identified a suspect.
  • Doppelmayr is building an 8-passenger gondola this spring at the Oakland Zoo to serve a $62 million expansion called California Trail.  The lift will have 7 towers, 15 cabins and open in late 2017.  The zoo will continue to operate its Safari Sky Ride triple chair that was built by SkyTrans.
  • DCC (Doppelmayr Cable Car) wins a $24 million contract to build its 10th cable-propelled automated people mover in underground tunnels at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.