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After a year with no revenue, one Canadian resort resorts to GoFundMe to stay afloat. SE Group will study the viability of a proposed hiking/biking chairlift near Park City. 97 percent of Bryce Resort homeowners vote to fund $2.5 million replacement of Chair 2. Cape Smokey receives a CA$2.5 million construction loan from the Government of Canada, although travel restrictions may delay completion of a new gondola. Doppelmayr’s 2021 Yearbook is out along with a new Wir magazine. Poma’s latest Reference Book also drops. Trails and the new lift line have been cleared on Sunday River’s Merrill Hill. Skytrac is still recruiting construction employees in Crested Butte, Steamboat, Whiteface and Whitefish. The first-of-its-kind Leitner 2S in Germany is complete, though Covid prevents public operation and a noise issue hinders full speed operation for now. Doppelmayr and Sun Group mark 14 years of building record breaking ropeways in Vietnam. Great Bear to raffle off retired Borvig quad chairs. The story of how MND came to be through 15 acquisitions and a focus on emerging markets. MND reports half year results with revenue declining 5 percent but snowmaking and ropeway revenue increasing by 6 percent. Less than four years ago, new terminal equipment was shoehorned into the Steamboat Gondola building. Now it’s being used for fire training in advance of demolition. Big Sky launches a Swift Current 6 update site. Vidanta SkyDream claims to be the world’s first gondola transportation at a beach resort. The Epcot Disney Skyliner line will close for a six day maintenance window in January. For the second time in two months, a guest is injured falling from equipment at Camelback. Berkshire East and Catamount Jon Schaefer owner talks expansion, says he came close to buying the Hermitage Club’s six pack and tells the story of re-pouring foundations for Bousquet’s new triple chair in January. Montana’s shuttered Marshall Mountain sells to a new owner. The proposed Los Angeles urban 3S releases its preferred alignment and will host two public meetings in June. In an interview, Poma Chairman Jean Souchal laments losing 30 percent of business from Covid but he remains optimistic, especially about urban transport by rope. Copper’s proposed Lumberjack replacement would be a detachable quad following a modified alignment. One of the Jay Peak fraudsters faces three years in prison. Icy Strait Point, home to two new gondolas stalled by the pandemic, will open this summer after all.
Timberline Lodge evacuates 42 guests from the new Pucci detachable quad by rope. Another late day evac happens on Castle Mountain’s Tamarack chair. Mt. Spokane considers upgrading two 60 year old chairlifts. The seemingly cursed Gold chair at Nakiska goes down for a week (now back in action). Under new ownership, Sundance Resort eyes an out-of-base detachable. Bogus Basin plans expansion and lift upgrades in a new master plan coming later this spring. Dakota at Big Sky has been down since March 1st. The first of its kind Leitner 2S gondola undergoes testing in Germany. Ischgl, an early pandemic hot spot last year, gives up on opening this season. Vancouver’s transit authority picks a preferred alignment for the Burnaby Mountain Gondola. The Seattle Times profiles Washington’s first bubble chairlift. A transportation bill which includes Little Cottonwood funding heads to the Utah Governor’s desk. Once slated to close, Sleeping Giant now considers adding more lifts. Zincton Mountain Village, a proposed resort in BC, announces the purchase of a late model Riblet quad. Facing capacity challenges, Crystal Mountain eliminates unlimited access on the Ikon Base Pass. Magic Mountain needs some mid-’80s vintage Poma sheave assemblies to complete the Black Line quad. Give them a shout if you can help! Winter Park’s proposed lift replacements I mentioned last week are a Pioneer Express six place and Lariat conveyor. On a podcast, Indy Pass creator Doug Fish says more resorts are coming, including in Canada (along with a price increase.) During recent historic snow, the Portland Aerial Tram ran for 114 consecutive hours while other transit modes shut down. When the Disney Skyliner stops for a bit, you better believe it will make the news. Nitehawk looks for funding to replace its landslide-destroyed chairlift.
I managed to completely miss an installation from last year – a used Doppelmayr quad at a publicly-owned hill in Lévis, Quebec. Bousquet acknowledges engineering issues with its chairlift project and offers passholders privileges at nearby ski areas until its new triple is complete. Ontario extends the closure of ski resorts another 28 days, forcing business like Mt. St. Louis Moonstone to make more difficult decisions. France’s 250+ ski resorts may not open at all this season. Austrian resorts expect business to plunge 75 percent this year, calling operating “philanthropic” rather than profitable. One of British Columbia’s largest resorts provides a sobering look at business: lodging occupancy down 87.5 percent, midweek skier visits down 84 percent and ski school down 96 percent. Here’s another 1A update from Aspen. As it negotiates with Vail Resorts, the Park City ski patrol union weighs attempting to unionize other work groups such as lift operators. Skeetawk remains closed for a second week following a lift malfunction. Kimberley reopens the Northstar Express after a successful multi-continent repair effort. Utah’s new Governor expresses support for a gondola in Little Cottonwood. A new lift garners rave reviews at Lake Louise. There’s tons of cool lift history in this feature on the legendary Lone Peak Tram.
Sunday River releases maps of the upcoming Merrill Hill project. Updated stats from NSAA show how many ski areas operated in each state last winter. Las Vegas’ decision to go with Teslas in a tunnel rather than a Doppelmayr automated people mover may have been short sighted. Jay Peak President Steve Wright discusses joining the Indy Pass, limited winter tram operations and potential future lift upgrades. Mission Ridge begins erecting terminals for the new Liberator Express, which load and unload inside buildings. Whiteface’s new beginner quad will be called Owl Express. A new lift at Sun Valley will also get a fresh name, to be announced soon. Gunstock burns down an old T-Bar station for firefighter training. An Ontario ski area worries about lift safety following a rash of vandalism. With the launch of a gondola up Hoonah Mountain next year, an Alaska Native corporation sees new opportunities for development. Despite a 30 percent drop in business last winter, at least two New Zealand resorts plan to build new lifts this offseason. As Smartwool moves headquarters from Steamboat to Denver, the company gifts $1.5 million to Howelsen Hill for a new Barrows chairlift, to be built by Skytrac. A Michigan ski area with 12 lifts won’t make snow and will operate weekends only due to Coronavirus. Mont-Sainte-Anne is no longer certain its base-to-summit gondola will be functional by December. Big Sky wraps up a busy season of preparation for the Swift Current 6 top terminal and carrier storage facility.
The Town of Jackson, Wyoming inches closer to approving the Snow King Gondola five years after it was first proposed. Aspen Skiing Company eliminates nearly 50 positions citing the “ever shifting Covid landscape.” The Miami Dolphins won’t operate their SkyView stadium gondola this NFL season. In New Zealand, ski resorts say they are not the mask police. Alps resorts prepare to reopen this month. The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board grants a variance for a new Telemix on Aspen Mountain. Ikon Pass holders will need a reservation to visit certain resorts this season while other mountains will not require reservations and more are still deciding. Big Sky’s Lone Peak Tram will be open this winter but guests may be allowed to boot pack to the summit as an alternative. A second indoor ski resort for the United States moves ahead near DC. Aspen Snowmass and other creditors will appeal a judge’s decision to keep Liftopia out of bankruptcy. Some Canadians aren’t happy with Vail’s pandemic-era customer service. Magic Mountain, Idaho is threatened by a wildfire. A study finds the proposed Oakland Athletics gondola would carry a million riders a year and generate $685 million in economic activity. This summer’s construction projects are just the beginning for the new Saddleback Mountain. A planned urban gondola in Los Angeles get a fresh name and website as it prepares for environmental review. Leitner Ropeways will build New Zealand’s first eight passenger chairlift. The Utah Department of Transportation continues to refine alternatives for Little Cottonwood Canyon and will release a report this fall. Great Bear solicits bids for a new chairlift.