Ever wanted to know how many lifts are operating in each state? Read on. Colorado has the most operating lifts of any state with 275. California is close behind with 263 followed by New York (189) and Michigan (165). There are only 9 states with more than 100 lifts each. The majority of states have fewer than 20 lifts today. Five sad states have no aerial lifts at all to my knowledge – Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii and Louisiana. (Louisiana used to have a 6-passenger Poma gondola called MART that crossed the Mississippi River.)
Each one of Canada’s 10 provinces has at least 3 lifts used for skiing. Only the Nunavut and Northwest Territories do not have a lift. Quebec has the most lifts by far with 226 followed by British Columbia (165), Ontario (162), and Alberta (87).
The average age of lifts varies significantly by region. Maryland’s 7 lifts average 17 years old while Ohio’s 33 lifts are more than twice as old at 34.4 years. Utah and Montana stand out as having new lifts averaging 19.4 and 19.9 years old, respectively. Places with really old lifts tend to be in the East and Midwest. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and New York all have lifts that average more than 30 years old.
It’s also interesting to look at which brand has the most operating lifts in each state/province. 25 states/provinces are dominated by brands which disappeared decades ago – Yan, Riblet, Borvig and Hall. Borvig dominates in 5 eastern states – IL, VA, IA, ME, and PA. Hall lifts are pervasive in many eastern states – ND, CT, MA, NY, WI, MN, OH, and SC. Riblet still dominates all of the northwest and some of the midwest – MO, OR, WA, SD, AK, NM, IN, MI, and KY. Yan takes its home state of Nevada and neighboring California and Arizona.
Doppelmayr is the most common lift brand in surprisingly few states – MD, GA, MT, NJ, NH, ID, and NC. The story is different in Canada where Doppelmayr is the top brand in most of the country – BC, MB, SK, AB, QC, and NB. Despite being gone for a decade, CTEC and GaraventaCTEC are still the most popular in Utah, Wyoming and West Virginia (thanks solely to Snowshoe Resort.) Finally Poma and Leitner-Poma take their home state of CO plus VT and ON, NL, PEI and NS in Canada.