- The Pandora’s high speed quad is a go for next summer on Aspen Mountain.
- Construction of a T-Bar on Golden Peak should begin even sooner at Vail.
- Prying doors open and jumping out of a gondola at Steamboat is not a good idea.
- Nor is bailing from a chairlift at Crested Butte.
- The owner of closed Timberline Resort writes an op-ed about the situation.
- Remember the avalanche that took out a six pack tower in New Zealand last winter? The lift is back together again.
- One of the last remaining Yan detachable lifts, out of service for much of this season, will be torn down this summer.
- Vail CEO Rob Katz says his company will continue to invest in infrastructure such as lifts and steer customers towards season pass products.
- The names for Schweitzer’s upcoming new lifts are Cedar Park Express and Colburn.
- Deer Valley-turned-Alterra executive Bob Wheaton discusses the benefits of being part of a conglomerate.
- Winter Park’s C.A. Lane explains Alterra’s capital allocation is based on resort wish lists.
- Hogadon considers putting $250,000 toward the purchase of a quad chairlift.
- Fernie announces the Timber Bowl Express will close this summer for a bunch of upgrades.
- Sugarloaf uses the backup to the backup on a busy Saturday at Skyline.
- The Austrian resort whose 1980s bubble detachable is apparently destined for Mission Ridge is building two D-Line Omega V 10/bubble 8 combination lifts worth $35 million.
- The first D-Line half station is coming to Sölden.
- There could be another gondola in Banff.
- The BreckConnect won’t spin for much of Breckenridge’s extended winter season out of concern for wildlife.
- A full complement of cabins is spotted on a second Disney Skyliner line.
- The owner of 49 Degrees North says he plans to build a detachable summit lift within three years.
- A Balsams update.
- Mountain Capital Partners will modify the Nordic Valley expansion proposal to address Forest Service concerns.
News Roundup: Beyond Skiing
- According to the New York State contracting website, the Gore Mountain Sunway, High Peaks, Hudson and Whiteface Bear Den lift replacement projects that went out to bid last fall are all on hold. Two bids were received for the Olympic Jumping Complex gondola in Lake Placid but no builder has been selected as of January 18th.
- A chair falls off a 1993 Yan detachable quad in Spain, closing an entire ski resort indefinitely.
- Lift service returns to Killington’s South Ridge for the first time in a decade as of yesterday.
- Bartholet completes its first 10 passenger gondola lift in Norway.
- Les Otten lobbies for a new bill that would permit public financing for The Balsams redevelopment.
- The proposed gondola in Idaho Springs, Colorado would be modeled after the Sea to Sky Gondola, which now carries more than 400,000 riders a year in British Culumbia. The 1.2 mile Colorado version would rise 1,100 feet above Interstate 70.
- The largest lost ski resort in Canada, Fortress Mountain, could reopen with a mix of new and refurbished lifts in 2020.
- Sun Valley and Snowbasin ditch the Mountain Collective Pass for a partnership with Vail Resorts and the Epic Pass starting next winter.
- The Laconia Daily Sun explains how Highland Mountain Bike Park finds success on the grounds of a long lost New Hampshire ski area.
- The former longtime operator of Timberline Four Seasons Resort is indicted, accused of illegally prescribing pain drugs. The ski area suffered a major lift accident in 2016 and has operated only sporadically this winter.
News Roundup: Flames
- Purgatory Resort closes indefinitely and is under a mandatory evacuation order due to the nearby 416 Fire.
- Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz tells analysts in a conference call there are still select acquisition opportunities in North America (with more elsewhere) and that there are no specific plans yet for the $35 million in capital earmarked for Okemo, Mt. Sunapee, Crested Butte and Stevens Pass.
- Swiss manufacturer BMF and French competitor LST team up to sell urban ropeways in France.
- The Forest Service tentatively approves Steamboat’s Pioneer Ridge expansion, Bashor Gondola and other new lifts.
- A plan for the complete rebuild and reopening of Denton Hill, Pennsylvania is now online.
- Less than a month after opening its first two urban gondolas, the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo unveils plans for a massive 6.8 mile, six station 3S gondola line.
- Politicians block Gunstock from borrowing $600,000 for lift maintenance and other offseason projects as some call for a private takeover of the county-owned ski resort.
- French lift website remontees-mecaniques.net interviews Sigma CEO Yannick Morand about premium Evo & Symphony gondola cabins, air conditioning and why ten passengers are the new eight.
- Non-Vail Colorado resorts tallied 7.1 million skier visits last season, only 2 percent below 2016-17.
- The Balsams developers request that the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority delay consideration of its $28 million state-backed loan application.
News Roundup: Needs
- Mt. Sunapee plans to install the former Sunbowl quad in place of the North Peak triple and move that lift to the other side of North Peak as early as 2019.
- There are now four Snow King Mountain master plan alternatives; all include a base-to-summit gondola and three have a new backside chairlift.
- The first fly day of 2018 title goes to SilverStar, Doppelmayr and Vancouver Island Helicopters.
- A top ramp incident at Wachusett Mountain apparently leads to a $72,000 verdict.
- The approved Mt. Baldy tram at Alta remains contentious and may never happen.
- In hot and dry Arizona, officials close large swaths of National Forest including all outdoor summer activities at Arizona Snowbowl until further notice.
- The asking price for Blacktail Mountain is $3.5 million.
- As BMF builds its first detachable lift in Iran, the Swiss company says it has no interest in the U.S. market.
- OSHA proposes $64,673 in fines for 15 violations identified during the investigation into Loveland lift mechanic Adam Lee’s death.
- West Mountain needs a Poma return terminal and eight quad gauge towers in order to complete its third new lift of the decade.
- When Alta’s reimagined Snowpine Lodge opens in January, you will be able to get there on a dedicated Skytrac chairlift.
News Roundup: Under the Radar
- Chinese investment firm acquires a majority stake in Swiss ropeway manufacturer BMF, which also owns Gangloff.
- Wolf Creek will build a third high-speed quad called Meadow in 2018.
- Aspen Skiing Company settles with a woman who sued after falling in the loading area of the Village Express.
- Private operator of Val Bialas Ski Center in New York resigns, citing continued financial losses. The publicly-owned mountain has a 1973 Borvig.
- Check out these architectural drawings of Disney World’s Skyliner gondola network.
- No real news but this recent drone video shows the current state of lifts and why Saddleback is worth saving.
- The Skytracs in St. Maarten open this week and are expected to draw some 135,000 cruise passengers a year.
- Here’s a Mt. Spokane expansion construction update.
- Adanac Ski Hill in Ontario replaced its 1950s Poma double with an Alpen Star quad this summer, bringing Doppelmayr to 15 new lifts for 2017 in North America.
News Roundup: Playing Field
- 14-cabin 3S proposed to cross Lake Zurich in Switzerland.
- The second tallest building west of the Mississippi will include an aerial tram-like system built by Leitner-Poma.
- BMF will build its first gondola in France and seventh gondola overall this summer near Alp d’Huez.
- Mi Teleférico breaks ground today for its 13th and 14th gondolas. The four station, 159 cabin Sky Blue line will join the Red, Yellow, Green and Blue lines already operating and the Orange, White and Purple lines under construction.
- North Korea is building a second ski resort.
- Liberty Mountain delays J-Bar replacement project, saying in a statement, “We had hoped to put the triple chair in this summer but unfortunately it will not be happening…We are still planning on making this change in the future.” Liberty acquired one of Ascutney’s CTEC triples in 2013.
- Aspen Mountain turns back toward a longer and lower 1A detachable.
- As state-owned Belleayre becomes the smallest North American ski resort ever to build a gondola, New York Ski Blog calls for low-interest infrastructure financing for 45 privately-owned mountains in the Empire State.
- The Jay Peak Tram is back with many upgraded components after a spring full of hard work. Interestingly, new controls are from Doppelmayr rather than Frey.
- Black Hawk flies old Montezuma towers off Dercum Mountain at Keystone.
- Marshall Mountain, MT can be yours for $2.95 million, including a 1972 Thiokol triple and an uninstalled 1969 Hall double from Grand Targhee.
- Snow King gondola plan advances.
- No visible work at Saddleback yet.
- Nonprofit contracts SE Group to study the feasibility of reopening an alpine ski area on the site of the former Colby College ski area in Maine. Here’s how it looked in 2012:
News Roundup: Removed
- Reopening of Steamboat’s refurbished gondola has been delayed one more week to July 21st.
- Pats Peak starts work on the new Peak chair, a CTEC from Ascutney, VT with Skytrac upgrades and a loading carpet.
- Alta updates skiers on the new Supreme.
- The Snowdon triple at Killington is getting new SkyTrans crossarms this summer.
- Didn’t make it to Interalpin? You can see the Leitner-Poma Group’s booth through an interactive panorama.
- This week’s Disney gondola update comes from EPCOT.
- Waterville Valley proposes replacing unreliable High Country double with a T-Bar.
- More details surface in fatal Gulmarg Gondola tree incident.
- Six Flags sky ride reopens with new between-leg restraints following rider fall.
- The Community Ski Areas at Risk Symposium, sponsored by Skytrac, is a worthy watch.
- I stopped by Hogadon this weekend and confirmed the Red chair has been removed. Pictures of all 33 of Wyoming’s lifts are now in the database and Montana will be completed next.
- An Eldo Express update.
- Doppelmayr opens an impressive over-water gondola in South Korea’s second largest city.
- Medellín’s four gondola lines will be joined by a fifth.
- The Lake Compounce Skyride, a 1997 CTEC Sprint with 14 towers closes for good.
- Leitner’s new urban gondola in Berlin sees a million riders in its first three months.
- Insolvent Ski Blandford may be sold to Ski Butternut.
News Roundup: Confirmed
- $150 million Raymond James settlement includes $762,503 for Burke Mountain’s new Leitner-Poma T-Bar.
- Power outage leads to rope evacuation of Loveland’s newest lift.
- Steamboat gondola refurbishing begins (I got to tour Northstar’s gondola this week which received a similar upgrade in 2015.)
- Orlando Sentinel confirms Walt Disney World is building three Doppelmayr 10-passenger gondolas with six stations.
- Crystal Mountain breaks away from Boyne Resorts, orders five additional gondola cabins and plans to build new Discovery and Gold Hills lifts in 2018.
- Eldora is selling Hall and Heron chairs as six-pack construction begins.
- Preview Oakland’s new $13 million restaurant accessible only by gondola.
- Sunday River’s new owner commits to replacing Spruce Peak.
- This week’s cities floating gondolas include Edmonton and Burlington, Vermont.
- Fatzer delivers four 153-ton track ropes to Germany’s Zugspitze using two trucks linked together for the entire journey.
News Roundup: Inaugural
- The Aspen Times dives deep into lifty life.
- President of Peru inaugurates long Poma gondola to an ancient fortress.
- Mi Teleférico’s $75 million Blue line moved 41,000 passengers on opening day Friday.
- Mt. Lemmon’s main chairlift has been closed all season following tree damage from an early-season storm.
- Galaxy at Heavenly and High Country at Waterville Valley also see extended downtime.
- Emirates Air Line to close for annual week of maintenance.
- The most powerful man in skiing isn’t sold on bubble chairs (plus many other insights from Vail Resorts.)
- Whistler Blackcomb, Jackson Hole and Big Sky make CNN’s most extreme lifts.
- New Zealand’s first chondola on track to open this year.
- Permit filed Monday shows another probable station for rumored five-stage Disney World gondola system (updated potential alignment here.)
- Doppelmayr gets underway building the new Gatlinburg Sky Lift; aggressive timeline shoots for late April opening. Leitner-Poma is building a chondola across the street.
- Two-stage gondola in one of the world’s oldest cities looking more likely.
- Two skiers injured in fall after tree hits their gondola cabin.
- 130 rope evacuated after Italian chairlift de-ropes in crazy winds.
- Snowbasin and Sugarbush join the Mountain Collective, former member Whistler-Blackcomb goes Epic with Stowe to follow.
- Bogus Basin plans to replace Morning Star…in 2020.
News Roundup: Six-Pack
- Granite Peak will announce a plan this fall for new runs and multiple new lifts.
- Crystal Mountain pushes back Kelly’s Gap high speed quad to 2021.
- James Coleman purchases Hesperus, adding to his collective that includes Arizona Snowbowl, Pajarito, Purgatory and Sipapu. A 1961 Riblet double from Mt. Bachelor is Hesperus’ only lift.
- Fatzer opens a new production plant.
- The United States overtakes France as the world’s most popular ski destination. The U.S. is the fourth largest lift market.
- Austin’s NPR station dedicates more than seven minutes to a discussion about urban cable. “Once we went to La Paz, we were up and running within 12 months,” Doppelmayr’s Randy Woolwine tells listeners.
- A six-pack rises at Arizona Snowbowl.
- Eagle Point unveils Vision 2020 with new lifts and expanded terrain planned.
- Next season might be the last for Blackcomb’s Horstman T-Bar due to glacial recession. This video demonstrates one of the pitfalls of the sinking T-Bar.
- SAM reports how Jay Peak employees have made the most of a bad situation amidst a federal fraud investigation.
- Mont Bellevue gets a Doppelmayr Eco quad with a return station design we haven’t seen before and two different-style bullwheels.
- Le Relais’ $5 million six-place chair is just about finished.
- Vail Resorts loses $65.3 million in the fourth quarter.
- Big Sky’s new six-pack will be named Powder Seeker.
- The first Poma EEZII-model compact detachable terminal is assembled in France.
- Whistler-Blackcomb releases Conflicted Obsessions documentary about climate change. “The gorilla in the room is the long-distance travel required to get to these special places,” admits W-B’s environmental resource manager.