News Roundup: Rope Time

  • Searchmont, Ontario sells to Wisconsin Resorts, the firm behind Pine Knob, Mt. Holly and Ski Bittersweet in Michigan as well as Alpine Valley, Wisconsin.
  • Mike Solimano of Killington reveals what three lifts he would upgrade if given $100 million to spend at The Beast.
  • The new Winter Park gondola is creatively named Gondola.
  • Grand Junction’s NBC affiliate takes viewers inside the factory where Leitner-Poma lifts are created.
  • The two stage Blackcomb Gondola is almost finished; thanks Max for these pictures.
  • Next up for Ramcharger 8 at Big Sky: installation of an in-terminal video wall and the haul rope, which is going up right now.
  • Beech Mountain commissions its twin fixed grip quads.
  • Freeskier looks at Alterra’s whirlwind growth and future trajectory.
  • Rope pulling commences tonight at Walt Disney World, 24 years to the day since the Disneyland Skyway cable was taken down for good.
  • This week’s new trail map comes from Hunter Mountain.
  • In an act of sabotage, someone cuts into three haul ropes at a Pyrenees ski resort.

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News Roundup: More Maps

  • As Aspen Mountain considers a Telemix combination lift, the Aspen Daily News looks back at other unique lifts in Pitkin County history.
  • Purden Ski Village in BC is for sale at $1.7 million USD ($2.2 million CAD).  The area operates two doubles and a T-Bar, all built by Mueller.
  • Snowbird’s Chickadee has a new tower that hangs from a bridge.
  • The final Disney Skyliner towers rise from a lake and one station gets a mural.
  • Peak Pass sales are pacing ahead of last year by 19 percent in units and 22 percent in dollars despite increased northeast competition from Vail and Alterra.
  • The shut down Hermitage Club expects to close on $25-30 million in financing around Thanksgiving.  One potential reopening complication: the chairlifts haven’t been touched by mechanics since March.
  • A new trail map shows the locations of Killington’s three new lifts.
  • Beech Mountain is rocking two new quad chairs this winter and an all new trail map.
  • Taos has an updated map to go along with its high speed quad.

Beech Mountain Adding Two Doppelmayr Quads

Beech Mountain, North Carolina will replace two of its workhorse chairlifts ahead of the 2018/2019 winter season as had been rumored for weeks.  Lift 5, which ascends to the 5,506-foot summit and was originally built in 1987, is currently being disassembled in preparation for the installation of a new Doppelymayr fixed-grip quad.  The new lift will include a loading conveyor to ensure safe boarding, higher travel speeds and shorter trip times.  Lift 5 will now include 144 chairs with a 6.5 minute ride time accommodating 2,400 people per hour.

This marks only the second time in North American history that a fixed-grip chairlift will replace a detachable one, though there could be more in the near future.  Sugarbush, Vermont swapped the 1990 Green Mountain Express for a fixed quad in 1995, though the route went detachable again in 2002.  Willamette Pass, Oregon’s detachable six-pack is currently up for sale, eyed to be replaced with a fixed-grip lift that would be more affordable to operate.  A used T-Bar may also rise this summer at Ascutney, Vermont on the site of a former high-speed quad.  If Tamarack, Idaho is ever able to rebuild the Wildwood Express, it could be another detachable-turned-fixed-grip scenario.

Back to Beech, Lift 6, currently a double chair with parts from Goforth Brothers, Hall and Doppelmayr, will be replaced with another Doppelmayr fixed-grip quad.  This one will feature 106 chairs and a 6.5 minute travel time with a capacity of 2,000 people per hour.  Both quad lifts will feature footrests, upholstered seating and back rests.  Guests can now expect to reach the mountain’s 5,506-foot summit with easy on-and-off loading, comfortable seating, and a more efficient layout to eliminate congestion.