The most state-of-the-art chairlift in the world went vertical today under wispy Montana skies. Teams from Doppelmayr, Big Sky Resort and Timberline Helicopters flawlessly executed 71 trips to hundreds of thousands of pounds of steel to Andesite Mountain in under six and a half hours. Thanks to good weather and an even better crew, that’s an average of one pick every 5.5 minutes, including refueling. As fly days go, it was amazing to watch Ramcharger 8 take shape.
The only aerial tramway in Texas closes after nearly six decades. “Replacement of the Wyler Aerial Tramway is estimated to cost millions of dollars. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department does not have the financial resources to execute a capital construction project of this size at this time.”
Michael Doppelmayr is profiled for his 60th birthday. Some interesting facts: his company’s gross margin was 12.1 percent last year and his father Artur vehemently opposed Doppelmayr’s merger with Garaventa.
New York’s high court clears the way for Belleayre to expand into the former Highmount Ski Center.
Bretton Woods and Doppelmayr make great progress on New Hampshire’s first 8 passenger gondola.
The leaders of North and South Korea ride a pulse gondola during their three day summit.
The State of New Hampshire will hold a public meeting about transferring the Mt. Sunapee lease to Vail Resorts on September 26th.
For the third time in six years, Soldier Mountain, Idaho hits the market. “The current owners have experienced the typical start up challenges that come with operating a ski area that has been under capitalized, under managed and under marketed for many years,” writes Mike Krongel of Mirus Resort Advisors.
Mont Cascades scores a $1.2 million grant from the Government of Quebec to help build the resort’s longest chairlift yet.
The criminal case of a former employee who may or may not have been stuck on a Gore Mountain chairlift overnight last winter heads to trial.
Snow King’s possible gondola gains two new alignment options. GM Ryan Stanley tells the Jackson Hole community “After struggling for so many years to keep the lifts spinning, it is sad to see the negativity associated with proposed improvements to the mountain.”
The Province that owns Atlantic Canada’s largest ski resort grows tired of losing money and looks for a private operator for Marble Mountain.
Doppelmayr will build the largest vertical six-pack in the world this year at Ischgl, Austria with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain in a single section.
Boyne Resorts President and CEO Stephen Kircher says a recent bond sale and tax cuts should yield increased capital investment at his resorts over the next five years. Boyne doesn’t plan to buy new mountains any time soon, however.
Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory says of committing $555 million to mountain improvements: “We went to each resort and said, ‘Tell us, as resort operators, what will make the biggest positive impact on the guest experience.’ They had long lists.”
Leitner is pulling ropes at 12,740′ for the highest-ever 3S gondola.
Big Sky posts sweet photos from the Austrian factory where America’s first eight passenger chairlift and D-Line stations are being prepared for shipment. Chairs will have some unique designs on the back too.
The Portland Aerial Tram returns to service 5:30 am Monday, three weeks early, thanks to crews slipping track ropes much faster than expected.
The supremely-talented James Niehues is painting an all-new map of Copper Mountain to debut next winter along with two new lifts.
This month’s Poma Link spotlights good stuff from Europe…a new brand platform, details on Diamond Evo cabins and new sheave liners coming in 2019.
The Leitner Ropeways 2017 annual report is packed full of photographs and drawings for 32 new lifts the company completed last year.
The world’s tallest tubular lift tower goes up in La Paz at 194 feet!
A man who said he was stuck on a Gore Mountain chairlift the night of April Fool’s Day is charged with making false statements.
Two hackers say they were able to access the Doppelmayr Connect control system for an Austrian gondola in March, raising cyber security concerns. Doppelmayr says the issue has been fixed and no riders were ever at risk.
This afternoon couldn’t have been a more beautiful one for unveiling what will be America’s biggest lift. Over the next nine months, Big Sky Resort and Doppelmayr will create Ramcharger 8, a machine packed full of technology on Andesite Mountain. The current Ramcharger high-speed quad will move to Shedhorn and replace one of Big Sky’s most popular high-alpine lifts while a two-stage North Village gondola and more will eventually follow as part of Big Sky 2025. “The Biggest Skiing in America is getting bigger and better, again,” said Big Sky Resort General Manager and President Taylor Middleton before the bombshell announcement. Never before has America seen an 8-passenger chair of any kind, let alone one packed with every bell and whistle available.
I was lucky enough to be invited by Big Sky Resort and the Kircher family to be part of this momentous day in the Mountain Village, where Boyne Resorts’ Stephen Kircher detailed plans for being the North American ski industry’s D-Line launch customer. Kircher emphasized Big Sky’s lengthy path to this point and how the community has really come together in the past decade. “My family is proud of its 42-year commitment to southwest Montana and will continue the momentum that is underway at Big Sky Resort,” he said. “We are excited to bring the biggest chair in the world to Big Sky, and to work with the resort team and community to recognize the Resort’s full potential – rivaling the best of the Alps and our North American brethren.” With a huge snowpack, the Biggest Skiing in America is on track to have its best season ever with more than 500,000 skier days – a feat once only dreamed of here.
Sun Peaks considers four possible lift projects for summer 2018, most likely being a CAD$8 million replacement of Crystal with an extended detachable. The world’s longest fixed-grip chairlift, Burfield, could be shortened with a corresponding capacity increase or new lifts added to Orient Ridge or West Morrisey.
Ski Magazine updates us on Big Sky 2025 and plans for a new tram or south side lift on Lone Peak.
Enjoy these sneak peak photos of two new quad chairs at Giants Ridge courtesy of Benjamin B.
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