News Roundup: ConnX

News Roundup: Forecasting Demand

News Roundup: Formal Proposal

  • Sierra at Tahoe reports more fire damage than initially thought with a large amount of vegetation burned, six lifts damaged and a vehicle maintenance shop lost.
  • A GoFundMe has been established to support Sierra at Tahoe employees who lost personal property in the Caldor Fire.
  • Jay Peak is “actively engaged” with multiple potential buyers and reports improving finances, though both Jay and Burke Mountain both still operate in the red.
  • Sunday River will spin the new Merrill Hill triple select days this season with a full opening pushed to winter 2022-23.
  • With a new lift on the way, Kelly Canyon begins disassembling the Stony Mountain double.
  • A vaccine requirement for indoor entertainment venues in British Columbia won’t apply to gondolas.
  • Also in BC, the Zincton formal proposal is out and includes five chairlifts plus a gondola.
  • The New York Times does a feature story on green urban transportation including gondolas.
  • James Niehues announces his retirement from trail maps though he will continue painting.
  • Catamount continues construction on two new quad chairs, one of which will start out as a triple.
  • Skytrac flies towers at Howelsen Hill.
  • Snow King Mountain enters the home stretch on a $20 million summer and looks for public help to name new lifts.
  • Speaking of Snow King, towers went up last weekend for both lifts.

News Roundup: Chairless

News Roundup: A Landslide

Berkshire East and Catamount Plan Three New Lifts

Schaefer Resorts will invest heavily in its Massachusetts and New York mountains coming out of the pandemic. In a letter to guests dated yesterday, Jon Schaefer remarked on this season’s success and looked toward the future. “This year skiing got its groove back,” he noted. “This wasn’t just at our mountains, but across the board, skiing in the United States switched from something people did or went on vacation to do and became the wintertime covid escape mechanism. In November, I wondered how everyone would survive and worried about what the sport would lose, and in March, it’s obvious that at least on the mountain, people and the sport are thriving.”

As previously announced, Catamount’s Glade double will be replaced with a used fixed grip triple or quad. Although most of the ski area lies in Massachusetts, this new lift will be located entirely in New York State. A second used lift is planned to service unspecified new terrain. One used Poma lift has already been delivered to Catamount for installation.

Berkshire East will move forward with an eastward expansion “immediately,” including a new lift ending near the top of Mohawk with a base terminal located just above the Deerfield River. This project has been in the works for a number of years with permitting in place. Both Berkshire East and Catamount will also see major snowmaking upgrades.

News Roundup: Settling Up

Catamount to Replace Glade Lift in 2021

Catamount Mountain Resort on the New York-Massachusetts border today announced the retirement of its 49 year old double, a Ski Lift International classic called Glade. A triple chair will take its place next summer, servicing the summit alongside the existing Ridge quad. The lift will be the second new triple installed by the Schaefer Family since they purchased Catamount in 2018. A manufacturer for the project was not revealed.

With the removal of Glade, fewer than 20 SLI lifts remain in operation out of more than 70 constructed across the United States. Catamount’s other double chair is now the last remaining SLI lift in the Northeast. Ride it while you still can!

News Roundup: Viral

News Roundup: Sunshine

  • The Summit at Snoqualmie shuts Hidden Valley for the season due to an “unusual mechanical problem.”
  • Sugarloaf closes King Pine due to a sheave assembly issue.
  • Dave Brownlie, former head of Whistler Blackcomb and current Revelstoke President, weighs in on the state of the British Columbia ski industry and his company’s plans for Grouse Mountain.
  • The Colorado Sun interviews three Colorado resort pioneers about industry trends and challenges.
  • As the gondola at Mont-Sainte-Anne reopens, the resort says an external power issue caused last month’s sudden stop.  A lawsuit has been filed and the power company denies responsibility.
  • Just the Leitner portion of Mexico City’s new urban gondola network will feature seven stations and 300 cabins.
  • Experienced resort executives Andy and Jace Wirth may take over operations at Granby Ranch.
  • Limited Ikon/Mountain Collective visits to Arapahoe Basin are 69 percent lower than unlimited Epic visits last year and the “experience is way up,” says Al Henceroth.
  • Another informative podcast from Stuart Winchester features an executive from Mountain Creek and Big Snow talking about the next new lift and a possible Big Snow Miami.
  • Smugglers’ Notch has no intentions of losing its independence or ditching its fleet of fixed grip double chairs.
  • Whitefish will begin work in Hellroaring Basin this summer and move the current Hellroaring triple to a new alignment in 2021.