- Just in time for summer, the Sea to Sky Gondola welcomes ten more cabins to the line, increasing capacity by 50 percent.
- The Idaho Springs, Colorado city council may vote Monday on rezoning for a proposed 17 tower, 27 cabin gondola lift.
- Hermitage Club founder Jim Barnes explains his reorganization plan but for now, a receiver remains in place.
- Snowshoe is purportedly planning to replace Powder Monkey with a fixed grip quad next summer.
- Although it doesn’t build lifts in the United States, Bartholet has built some very slick machines lately.
- The Indy Pass grows to 28 resorts.
- A rocket from Syria damages a ski lift at Israel’s Mt. Hermon, where a Leitner gondola is also currently under construction.
- Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz launches a podcast with a great first episode about the Park City acquisition.
- The City of Steamboat is still weighing options for bringing in a private operator and/or replacing Barrows at Howelsen Hill.
- California Express notches another approval but litigation could be coming.
- Vail Resorts reports a great quarter: skier visits up 14.3 percent and lift revenue up 16.4 percent with season pass sales for next year trending up 9 percent and 13 percent in units and dollars. “We are still absolutely aggressive on looking for additional resorts that we think add to our network and make the experience that we provide our guests better,” says Rob Katz on the quarterly conference call.
- Quebec tallied 4.6 million skier visits last winter, a ten year high for a province with three new chairlifts already under construction for next year.
- New Hampshire resorts logged 100,000 more skier days than 2017-18.
- Colorado is king with 13.1 million estimated skier visits, a new record.
- This was supposed to be the summer the town of Grafton, Illinois celebrated a new gondola. Instead, 2019 will be remembered for the flooding that has thrown a wrench in its construction.
- Teo II is approved but has no timeline for construction yet.
- Caledon Ski Club is set to replace its Blue Mountain triple with a new Doppelmayr quad this summer.
- Showdown rope evacuates 87 riders from Payload on a busy Saturday.
- Lutsen ropes down 25 from the Caribou Express and has it back in action within hours.
- The New Hampshire Business Review profiles legendary resort developer Les Otten.
- The privately-held conglomerate behind Leitner Ropeways, Poma, Leitner-Poma of America and Skytrac announces the highest revenue in the company’s history for 2018: €1.02 billion. The group built approximately 100 ropeways around the world last year, up from 75 in 2017.
- The State of Washington is poised to grant $750,000 of public money to Mt. Spokane for the Northwood project.
- Edmonton is one step closer to building an urban gondola.
- The Nordic Valley expansion project is in limbo.
- Vail officially owns two more ski resorts.
- Palm Springs reopens its tramway after storms cause $4 million in damage and lost revenue.
- The Forest Service tentatively approves alternative 4 of the ambitious California Express gondola project.
A 16 minute flight between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows took a jump forward this morning as the Truckee National Forest and Placer County released the draft environmental impact statement for the California Express gondola. The big three stage lift was first proposed by the owner of both mountains, KSL Capital Partners, more than two years ago and is now being championed by Alterra Mountain Co. At 808 pages, the EIS required under the National Environmental Policy Act outlines three possible alignments which could unite the steeps and village at Squaw Valley with the beginner and intermediate paradise of Alpine Meadows.
Two of the alternatives are new while the other two should be familiar to readers of this site. Other concepts such as a pulse gondola, expanded shuttle service and even an underground train were eliminated as part of the preliminary review, which was completed by SE Group and Ascent Environmental of Sacramento. Alternative 1 is the required no-action option, which would keep Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows separate but equal. Shuttle buses would continue running every 30 minutes between the two mountains, which already share a common lift ticket.
The lift would move 1,400 skiers per hour in 8-passenger cabins painted white to blend in with the winter environment. It would operate from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm with skiing allowed from the mid-station(s) when conditions permit. There would be separate drive systems and separate cabin parking facilities at each end so two sides could operate independently. The middle section of the lift would operate as part of the Alpine Meadows side and approximately 40 percent of the cabins would be stored at Squaw Valley with the remaining 60 percent at Alpine during storm events and the summer.