- Australia’s Financial Review reports Vail Resorts will acquire Falls Creek and Mt. Hotham from Merlin Entertainments for about $85 million USD.
- With its purchase of Deer Valley, Alterra Mountain Company now owns about half the land under Park City’s Jupiter chair.
- Gore Mountain evacuates the Northwoods Gondola by rope.
- Salt Lake City is selected to bid for another Winter Olympics.
- Telluride CEO Bill Jensen joins CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss the economics behind the Epic and Ikon passes.
- The top shack of Anthony Lakes’ only chairlift blows over just before planned opening day.
- The Adventure Group of Whistler proposes building a 9,000′ gondola on Oahu. Hawaii is one of only five U.S. states currently without an aerial lift.
- Mt. Spokane grows by 279 acres with seven new runs and a Skytrac named Northwood.
- Europe’s new highest ropeway is also the pinnacle of industrial design.
- The Hunter North expansion and shiny Northern Express six place chairlift launch Christmas Eve.
- Days before the second DirectDrive detachable is set to open at Copper, Jon Mauch of Leitner-Poma answers questions about the new lifts.
- In France, La Plagne announces an indefinite closure of the first French-manufactured LST detachable due to technical problems.
- Cherry Peak is set to open a third chairlift this season after three years of construction.
- Shuttered Mt. Timothy, BC is purchased by investors who plan to reopen it.
- Vail Resorts-operated Mt. Sunapee is approved to expand into West Bowl.
- The Zugspitze Cable Car reopens today with a new cabin exactly 100 days after this accident.
- Bromont inaugurates North America’s eighth combination chair/gondola lift, L’Express du Village, Sunday morning.
- Check out these photos of the Snowbowl Express build and sweet new color scheme at Stratton.
News Roundup: Setbacks
- Oakland Zoo’s California Trail gets North America’s first safari-style Omega cabins.
- Vail purchase could mean replacements for Toll House, Lookout and Mountain at Stowe.
- Denver station reports new complaint filed against Ski Granby Ranch last week, though details are sparse.
- Hesperus Ski Area voluntarily closes, possibly for the season following unannounced visit by Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board inspectors. Hesperus similarly closed for a season in the mid-1990s after being found to be running the same lift without an operator.
- Cherry Peak finally opens Sundays, still has not completed promised Summit lift.
- Setbacks pile up for the Grand Canyon Escalade.
- Emirates Air Line ranked highest in customer satisfaction among Transport for London modes and is the only one to turn a profit.
- Sweden once had a material cableway that stretched 26 miles.
- Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, taking a beating on social media, explains why the Headwall lift has been closed all but 16 days so far this year.
- Mexican city of Zacatecas seeks to re-hang its old tramway cabins, further delay execution of its contract with Poma for a new gondola system.
- Urban gondola story makes the front page of the Seattle Times.
- The new urban aerial tram in Brest, France is a hit, seeing 6,000 rider days.
- Whistler Blackcomb’s Master Development Agreements renewed and Master Plan approved.
- Suit seeks at least $75,000 from Sugar Mountain, where a teenager apparently went around a bullwheel at closing time, became stranded and jumped from a chair overnight last season. edit: Resort says rescuers were close by when teen jumped.
- The Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola idea lives to fight another day.
- Outside profiles James Coleman and his commitment to improving the ski experience at five Southwestern resorts.
- Snow King Mountain abandons plans for East side lift, will try for backside lift instead.
Cherry Peak Will Complete Summit Lift for 2016-17
Utah’s 14 ski resorts have built more than 45 new lifts since Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, barely behind Colorado over the same period, which has twice as many mountains. Ski Utah is a huge success story in an era which has seen dozens of resort closings nationwide. Cherry Peak Resort became the state’s newest winter destination last December, bringing affordable skiing to the Cache Valley and the nearby college town of Logan. Cherry Peak is the first all-new ski facility in America since the 2004 opening of Tamarack Resort in Idaho. Next winter, the mountain will debut a third chairlift, increasing lift-served vertical rise to 1,265 feet.
Cherry Peak has a unique business model for the Rockies, operating Monday-Saturday with a noon opening on weekdays and skiing until 10:00 pm. Owner John Chadwick has a lot to be proud of since starting construction on the project from scratch in 2013, completing a road network, two lifts, night lighting, snowmaking, a beautiful lodge, tube park and more. Last season saw plentiful snow and more than three months of operation with two triple chairlifts and a magic carpet.
News Roundup: 115.4 mph
- Mt. Hood Meadows updates skiers on the windstorm that sent two hundred-foot hemlock trees onto the Shooting Star Express the night of November 17th.
- Vail Resorts announces $100 million in capital improvements across its mountains for 2016/17 including replacement of the last major fixed-grip lift on Vail Mountain. The new Sun Up Lift #17 will be a detachable quad, manufacturer unknown.
- SkyTrac splices the Humphrey’s Peak Quad at Arizona Snowbowl.
- The latest from Sugarloaf on the new King Pine. An apparent Doppelmayr delay will push opening until late-December. Luckily (or unluckily) there’s no snow anyways.
- Utah’s new ski resort, Cherry Peak, announces a December 21st debut with two lifts.
- Doppelmayr’s 10th 3S gondola, the Penkenbahn, is ready to go.
- A nonprofit ski area in Ontario that’s been unable to operate its quad chair since 2011 due to a 2006 Doppelmayr service bulletin hopes to crowdfund $80,000 for repairs.
- West Mountain celebrates their new lift with fireworks rather than skiing and already has the drive terminal up for another new-used lift next summer.
News Roundup: Flying Volkswagens
- Gunther Jochl, the Austrian-born owner of Sugar Mountain, got the CEOs of both Doppelmayr and CWA to come christen his new six-pack Saturday along with the governor of North Carolina. Apparently the lift may get gondola cabins in the future.
- A lawsuit from a homeowner could force the closure of Pennsylvania’s second largest ski resort. Seven Springs Mountain Resort operates two six-packs and eight fixed-grip lifts on 300 acres. Unfortunately, four of those lifts and 75 percent of the mountain’s ski runs cross a public road that the homeowner wants opened in winter. There are plenty of other ski resorts that have major highways passing through that close seasonally, including Deer Valley, Bridger Bowl and Mt. Baker.
- Cherry Peak, the new ski area in Utah, won’t be able to complete their Summit lift in time for this season. When I was there a few months ago, towers were laying on the ground along the line which will either have to be set or moved elsewhere. Two other triple chairs and a carpet are set to go.
- Arizona Snowbowl’s first new lift in 30 years is almost finished.
- An 8.5 mile gondola system coming to Missouri’s Las Vegas?
- Bartholet’s aerial tramway across the city of Puebla in Mexico will be finished December 15th, about a year behind schedule. Speaking of BMF, they have a new website.
- The Balsams clears some more hurdles but has still yet to break ground.
- Staying on the mega-resort topic, Hemlock Resort near Chilliwack, BC receives approval to spend $1.5 billion on 23 new lifts and 20,000 lodging beds among other improvements over the next 60 years. Hemlock currently has a 1977-vintage Doppelmayr triple and two even older Mueller doubles. Buried in the linked article is the fact that the ski area never opened last year due to lack of snow.
Touring Utah’s Newest Ski Resort
Utah may have lost a resort last month but now it has another. I recently got the chance to tour what will be America’s first new ski resort since Tamarack Resort opened in 2004. Cherry Peak Resort is under construction just outside of Richmond, Utah. It is named after the 9,765 foot peak nearby but the ski area will not even reach 8,000 feet. The resort was scheduled to open last season but never got enough snow and construction fell behind. Cherry Peak Resort is owned by local developer John Chadwick and located entirely on his private land. He has been quietly working to build the ski area for the past five years while buying used lifts and equipment. To call Cherry Peak a resort is a stretch but this will be a nice community ski area with 1,265 vertical feet of skiing and three lifts.
Chadwick is currently running the ski lift version of a chop shop with used Yan lifts from across the west being cobbled together into three new triple chairs. Two lifts, dubbed Gateway and Vista are completed and load tested. Gateway was Blackcomb’s former Crystal Chair while Vista came from Sunnyside at Sun Valley. Cherry Peak also bought multiple used lifts from Squaw Valley in 2012.