- One of Doppelmayr’s largest customers will open its first Poma gondola on February 7th.
- Leitner lift with new Pininfarina terminal design launches in Austria.
- Woodward Park City faces not one but three appeals.
- After more than a year of delays and false starts, LST’s first detachable opens again in France.
- The Balsams eyes April gondola groundbreaking.
- Telluride quits the Mountain Collective to join the Epic Pass, bringing together 14 Vail Resorts-owned mountains with two partner resorts.
- Sugar Mountain settles with the family of a boy seriously injured after jumping from a stopped chairlift two hours after it closed.
- Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola project inches forward.
- Ascutney Outdoors raises most of the money needed to install a used T-Bar this summer.
- The Eglise expansion at the Yellowstone Club looks like something straight out of Europe! Thanks Everett K. for the photos.
- The Alameda County Fair will debut a Skytrac skyride next year, the fourth such lift in California.
- Disney teases more Skyliner renderings and the first tower footings going in the ground are massive.
- Gearbox problem turns into a rope evac at Windham Mountain.
- Power surge blamed for a three hour evacuation at Sasquatch Mountain.
- Belleayre’s gondola proves itself from day one in subzero temperatures.
- If it can raise enough money, Frost Fire, North Dakota plans to build a Skytrac fixed-grip chairlift next summer to replace two broken lifts.
- A clearance issue needs to be resolved before Bear Valley can launch the Mokelumne Express.
- A mechanic dies while working on a carpet lift at Loveland and a GoFundMe page has been set up to support his widow and three children.
- With a “full pipeline,” Skytrac is hiring for construction positions.
- North Korea’s second ski resort reportedly includes lifts manufactured locally, a result of UN sanctions prohibiting the import of luxury goods.
- Silver Mountain celebrates a storied 50 years with a look back to construction of the world’s longest gondola, uniquely funded by federal, state and local governments along with VonRoll Tramways.
- As we enter prime time for lift construction announcements, keep track of the 2018 roster here.
- Poma wins monster $47.1 million contract for five lifts from the company that operates Val d’Isère, Tignes, Meribel, La Plagne and Les Arcs in France. Last year’s three-lift, $29.4 million contract from the same group went to Doppelmayr.
- An Australian teenager is lucky to be alive after doing pull ups on a moving chairlift cable.
- The inaugural gondola featuring Sigma’s Symphony 10 cabins debuts in Italy.
- Canton, Ohio looks at gondolas, calling them “transportainment.”
- Props to Bear Valley for frequent Moke Express updates.
- A judge sides with Monarch in lift unloading injury lawsuit.
- Following a workplace death and news that a major lift is out of service, confusion surrounds Sunrise Park Resort’s season, though new management and lifts could be on the way.
- Record-shattering aerial tramway with 6,381 feet of vertical and a 10,541′ free span opens in Germany a week from today.
- Connecticut’s Woodbury Ski Area might be gone for good.
- George Kruger of Ski Lifts Unlimited, instrumental in rebuilding lifts at Magic Mountain and beyond, passes away.
- Leitner-Poma is completing final assembly of a cool 25-passenger tramway at the upcoming Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.
- Amid zip line dispute, Peak Resorts threatens to close Hidden Valley, remove five chairlifts and sell the land to a residential developer.
- “I’m very confident we’re going to have new resources we haven’t had in previous years,” Steamboat COO says of Crown/KSL ownership. Deer Valley President and COO Bob Wheaton makes similar comments in Park City.
- Saddleback sale to Australian firm still hasn’t closed.
- Bear Valley’s six-pack looks great in green and now has a name: Mokelumne Express.
- Who says detachable terminals must be symmetrical? Leitner experiments in Europe.
- T-Bar area in Edmonton, Alberta shuts down.
- At the end of a tough year, Granby Ranch goes up for sale.
- New Heavenly trail map confirms Galaxy won’t spin again this season, leaving a big hole in Nevada.
- Epic Passes account for 43 percent of Vail Resorts revenue.
- New lifts at the Yellowstone Club get names: Eglise, Great Bear and Little Dipper. A few hundred families now enjoy the 14th largest lift fleet in the country.
A big new six-pack is coming together on the front face of Bear Valley, site of the only new lift in Northern California for 2017-18. What’s code-named the Love Six replaces a 1967 Riblet double chair named Bear, which ran alongside a Lift Engineering triple. Kuma will stay for now but is unlikely to see much action as a shiny six-pack steals the show next door. As of this weekend, Leitner-Poma is almost finished with concrete foundations and in the process of assembling 11 new towers (the old lift had 18!) Terminal sections are being delivered nameless as Bear Valley weighs a more creative title than Bear Express.
Bear Valley’s first detachable was an LPOA Omega-model built in 2006 on the back side of the mountain. Owner Skyline Development partnered last year with Leitner-Poma to build a similar six-pack at the company’s Horseshoe Resort. This year’s project is one of seven new six-packs that will debut across the U.S. this winter, tied with 2000-01 for the most ever. The new lift slashes the time to ride time up the heart of the mountain in half to just over three minutes and looks to feature 90-degree loading. “This lift investment is a game changer for Bear Valley that will greatly enhance our guests’ experience,” said Andrea Young, general manager at Bear Valley when the new lift was announced in April. “It is a continuation of the many improvements that Skyline Investments is making at Bear Valley on the heels of two strong winters which will elevate the guest experience and further establish the area as a year-round Sierra family destination.”
- Bear Valley seeks a name for its new six-pack.
- While we wait for D-Line to come to North America, check out this one going up in Austria.
- Fly day photos from Pats Peak show major Skytrac upgrades to Ascutney’s old Snowdance triple.
- I was asked by ANSI to link to the new B77.1-2017 Standard for Passenger Ropeways, which replaces the 2011 version.
- See how Sun Valley swaps a haul rope.
- Connecticut’s Woodbury Ski Area, with one 1976 Hall double, is for sale.
- As NSAA weighs its future again, industry leaders chime in anonymously on aging lifts and more.
- Proposed Steamboat budget includes $3.78 million to replace the Burrows chairlift at Howelsen Hill with a fixed-grip quad in 2019.
- Powder and others spread headlines that Colorado resorts are adding more roller coasters than chairlifts this season. However they missed Copper Mountain’s new high-speed quad and counted Vail Resorts’ four new detachables separately from Colorado Ski Country USA. The state as a whole is actually adding its most new lifts since 2013 (six) and fewer mountain coasters (four.)
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
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- Pebble Creek joins the growing list of ski areas spinning extra lifts for the Great American Eclipse but there’s one problem: lifts weren’t designed for downloading so guests must walk down!
- The Weather Channel and the BBC will broadcast live from the top of the Jackson Hole Tram on eclipse day.
- Disney and Doppelmayr are building a gondola station in the middle of a lake.
- Mayor of Rossford, Ohio wants to build a gondola across the Maumee River to Toledo.
- Albany gondola idea moves along.
- Metal fatigue eyed in horrific ride incident at the Ohio State Fair (additional photos of the break are here.) The Fair’s SkyGlider chairlift was not involved but temporarily shut down as a precaution.
- Leitner-Poma will build two new lifts at Arapahoe Basin over the next two years. A 400′ Telecorde surface lift called Lazy J Tow will go in this summer to access Montezuma Bowl while the Beavers fixed-grip quad will follow next year.
- Sunshine Village closes again as fire rebounds.
- Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows are now one company owned by KSL, the Crown Family of Aspen Skiing Co. and Rusty Gregory. Currently known as Hawk Holding Company, LLC, a new name and brand will be introduced this fall.
- Rescuers in boats and ladder trucks assist with dramatic evacuation of a bi-cable gondola over the The Rhine in Cologne, Germany.
- Bill Brett, retired GM of Timberline writes about rime and how Palmer almost became Riblet’s first detachable.
- Snowbasin gets an A+ for its latest lift construction update.
- Arizona Snowbowl begins work on its third new lift in three years.
- Gravity is a crazy way to remove an old haul rope.
- Skytrac takes the Instagram plunge.
- Pair of investors nears deal to reopen Cockaigne, NY in 2018-19, a mountain with four Hall lifts that closed in 2011.
- Leitner Ropeways to build a unique two-section gondola in Austria with a single direct drive powering two separately-tensioned haul rope loops.
- Grand Canyon Escalade bill to finally go before the Navajo Nation Council this fall.
- Gulmarg Gondola reopens 39 days after fatal tree accident.
- Doppelmayr inaugurates the first 3S gondola in China with another on the way.
Following a winter with three times normal snowfall, California now has its second major lift project for the coming construction season. Bear Valley in the Stanislaus National Forest plans to construct a six-passenger detachable in place of the Bear chair from the day lodge at mid-mountain to the 8,500′ summit. The Leitner-Poma installation will closely match one built last year at Skyline Investments’ other mountain in Canada, Horseshoe Resort. Leitner-Poma also supplied Bear Valley’s first detachable, the Polar Express quad, in 2006.
Bear is a 1967 Riblet double running parallel to a Yan triple called Kuma, built in 1981, that combine to serve the heart of the mountain. Kuma will remain for now. The 11-tower, 58-chair six-pack will rise approximately 750 vertical feet in just over three minutes. “This lift investment is a game changer for Bear Valley that will greatly enhance our guests’ experience during the winter operations, and with the new high speed lift being 100% downloadable it aligns well with our heightened focus on summer recreation and activities on the mountain,” said Andrea Young, general manager at Bear Valley. “This is a continuation of the many improvements that Skyline Investments is making at Bear Valley on the heels of two strong winters which will elevate the guest experience and further establish the area as a year-round Sierra family destination.” Bear Valley plans to build two additional lifts on the backside of the mountain in the coming years, directly connecting the Bear Valley Village to the ski area for the first time.
Bear Valley’s sixer is the seventh to be announced this year. With only five high-speed quads scheduled in the United States and Canada, more-six packs than detachable quads may go in for the first time ever this year. In 2010, the ratio of quads to six-packs was 9:1, in 2013 it reached 3:1 and last year hit 1:1. Six-place lifts can be built with any capacity that quads can, allow families to ride together and can offer greater wind resistance. The new one at Bear Valley is sure to be a hit over the 50-year old center pole double it replaces.
Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
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