News Roundup: Final Rides

“The 2021 construction season was particularly challenging due to a number of unusual circumstances. The pandemic resulted in labor shortages for not only the lift construction crews and building teams, but also with the supply chain companies delivering key materials. Helicopter usage was a key component for construction, as they were required for activities including tree removal, setting of lift towers and pouring the foundations at the KT mid-station. Helicopter availability was greatly affected by one of the worst wildfire seasons in California history, and once helicopters were available, their operations were shut down as they could not safely fly in the smoky conditions. The fires also resulted in periods when the crews had to be sent home due to unhealthy air quality. For these reasons, construction could not be completed within the six-to-eight-month time frame anticipated in the EIS.”

News Roundup: Letters from the Top

News Roundup: Many Uses

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