News Roundup: Middle of Winter

Massachusetts Orders Blue Hills Ski Area Closed

Blue Hills Ski Area has been temporarily shuttered following two lift-related incidents. On Monday, a seven year old child fell out of a chair and was airlifted to a local hospital. Three days later, riders jumped from chairs during an extended breakdown of the lift. Other patrons were roped down by ski patrol and still more offloaded under the lift’s own power. The ski area said the first incident was not the result of a mechanical problem and the lift was fully operational at the time.

Ski Blue Hills Management, LLC operates the mountain through an agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation. The chairlift involved is a 1978 Hall double which has been operated by the current lessee since 2007. In a letter obtained by a local TV station, a DCR official wrote, “The Ski Area shall remain closed until such time that the Ski Blue Hills Management LLC can satisfactorily demonstrate that all issues affecting the safety and integrity of the tramway, including any necessary corrective actions, have been addressed by Ski Blue Hills Management LLC, documentation of such has been provided to the satisfaction of DCR, and DCR approves reopening the facility to the public.”

“Blue Hills Ski Area will remain closed today as we await the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to complete inspection of our double chair,” notes a statement posted on the resort’s website. “We have worked closely with the Commonwealth and provided everything they have requested. We are excited to reopen immediately upon completion of that inspection process.”

Update: A third party inspector and state inspector both completed safety inspections of the lift. The Massachusetts Recreational Tramway Board cleared Blue Hills to reopen on Sunday 1/31.

News Roundup: Reports

News Roundup: Color Choices

  • Some Alta land is withdrawn from a proposed land swap, maintaining the possibility of future expansion in Grizzly Gulch.
  • Killington goes blue with its bubbles.
  • Vail Resorts officially takes over Stevens Pass.
  • Massachusetts awards the current operators of Blue Hills a new three year contract.
  • Fatzer begins production of the first Compacta rope for the US lift market.  At 54 mm, any guesses where it’s headed?

News Roundup: Gondolas on Gondolas

“Ever since the company went public in 2014 it has taken advantage of its improved access to capital to finance large infrastructure projects that may have led to growth in visitation and revenues, but haven’t resulted in better earnings or cash flows.”