- A power outage leaves guests stuck on the Skyeship Gondola at Killington for more than an hour.
- A broken bolt leads to a similar situation at Mt. St. Louis Moonstone.
- Teton Pass, Montana reopens after a few years shuttered.
- A second American Dream location with an indoor ski slope may break ground in 2021 near Miami.
- Travis Seeholzer, owner of Beaver Mountain, talks about running one of Utah’s oldest resorts.
- Former members look to save Hermitage Club assets from a stalking horse reportedly prepared to bid $3.6 million for the Barnstormer six pack.
- Vail’s new lift opens but not to the public. It will be available to all on select Tuesdays at noon.
- Marquette Mountain evacuates a lift during the busy holiday week.
- A man falls from Steamboat’s Sunshine Express due to a medical issue.
- Windham’s former Wonderama triple turns up in the Ski Butternut parking lot.
- Staff from the downed Sea to Sky Gondola will present what they learned about crisis management on January 30th.
- Juneau weighs partnering with the cruise industry to fund a proposed adventure park and gondola at Eaglecrest.
- The new Steamboat Gondola delivers fast ride times and short lift lines during its first Christmas break.
- The Forest Service expects to weigh in on the Sunlight East Ridge project in May.
- Mt. Abram becomes Indy Pass resort number 47.
For most of the last 25 years, there has been no major American lift manufacturer. Sure, Leitner-Poma and Doppelmayr/Garaventa have significant manufacturing here but they are indisputably European. Before the early 1990’s, prolific American lift builders like Riblet and Hall built more than 500 lifts each. Then Garaventa bought CTEC in 1992. Riblet built its last lift at Cooper Spur in Oregon in 2002 and closed the next year. The last remaining US manufacturer, Partek, sold to Doppelmayr in 2005. Ski Area Management’s headline at the time was “Then there were two.”
That all changed in 2010 when a group of CTEC veterans started Skytrac in Salt Lake City. One of them was Jan Leonard, the former president of Doppelmayr CTEC who “retired” in 2007. Skytrac’s first major project was a replacement drive terminal for a Hall double at Monarch Mountain in Colorado. In tribute to their first customer, Skytrac named its drive terminal models the Monarch and Monarch XL. Skytrac’s strategy seems to be to build simple and economical lifts that appeal to smaller resorts. All of their lifts feature the Monarch drive/tension terminal with a fixed return. One can’t help but notice the resemblance to CTEC’s lifts.
I couldn’t talk about Skytrac without bringing up their chairs. For some reason they abandoned the classic bail chair for a Euro-style chair. I think they look strange. As someone who operates lifts, I question the practicality of bumping a chair with no bail.