- Crystal Mountain owner John Kircher revives the idea of a second gondola to Campbell Basin, which would be around 7,800′ long and closely follow the one time path of an SLI double chair.
- Vermont shuts down the Hermitage Club for a third time as more lawsuits are filed against the business and its founder. One by a food service company argues, “The dire financial circumstances facing the defendants compel the plaintiff to press forward with alacrity…the collectible assets of the defendants appear to be dwindling.”
- The New York City Economic Development Corporation is again studying a gondola to connect Lower Manhattan with a redeveloped Governors Island.
- With 2,400 cabins headed out the door this year alone, CWA is expanding its production capabilities in Switzerland. Photos from the factory floor show new cabins bound for Montana, Hawaii and more.
- Park City’s NPR station reports a chair slid into another chair on the Jupiter lift in January, resulting in an injury, three day closure and now litigation.
- Approval of Woodward Park City is upheld, paving the way for construction of a fixed-grip quad.
- The Forest Service tentatively approves Purgatory’s proposed Gelande high-speed lift.
- A real estate development now under construction includes money for reopening New York’s Big Tupper with up to five lifts.
- New owners at Owl’s Head, Quebec may spend up to $150 million on new lifts and other improvements. The mountain currently includes three 1980s-era detachables including the world’s first high-speed quad from Breckenridge.
- Lift construction season is here! Thanks to Carleton G. for these photos of Waterville Valley’s new LST T-Bar.
- Lawsuit filed by man who fell from Seven Springs chairlift in 2015 thrown out.
- CWA joins Instagram and look at how many gondola cabins are waiting to leave the factory this fall!
- Snowbasin now has live streaming webcams at both six-pack terminal construction sites.
- “Time is of the essence,” Snow King GM says seeking approval for Summit Gondola and ski expansion.
- I hit four awesome retro T-Bar–only ski areas in Idaho last weekend.
- Red Bull turns Swedish tramway into a rope swing.
- Two Skytrac quad chairs reaching the highest point on the Dutch side of St. Maarten faced a huge test Tuesday, taking a direct hit from a Category 5 hurricane just ten days before their scheduled grand opening. Skytrac says the lifts were designed to withstand 200 mph winds.
- This was the view from the gondola Monday night as wildfire threatened Crystal Mountain. The fire has already burned much of East Peak, inside the permitted ski area where Crystal sought approval to build a new lift in 2004.
It’s official: North America’s largest-ever gondola network is coming to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts announced the project in a Steve Jobs-esque keynote at a Disney fan convention in Anaheim yesterday. The name for the new system will be Disney Skyliner in a nod to the Skyway VonRoll gondolas which operated at three Disney Parks from the 1950s until 1990s. “I’m proud to announce that we’re building a whole new transportation system,” Chapek said onstage to wild applause. “The Disney Skyliner will soon give our guests a bird’s eye view of Walt Disney World. Many of these gondolas will feature your favorite Disney characters and what a better way to get around the resort than with your pals in the sky.” A simultaneous post on the Disney Parks Blog noted, “[This] new transportation system will add even more magic to your future vacation experiences.”
As rumored since February, there will be five stages connecting Disney’s Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach Resort, and new Riviera Resort to Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at EPCOT. Whistler Blackcomb currently operates the most gondola sections in North America – six – but they are not contiguous and utilize varying technologies. The longest of three individual lines at Walt Disney World will have two angle stations, one of which will serve the all-new Disney Riviera Resort opening in 2019. All three lines will meet at a hub on the south side of Caribbean Beach Resort, where guest can change cabins based on destination. Renderings confirm Doppelmayr and CWA ropeway technology and this is probably Doppelmayr USA’s largest lift contract ever (excluding DCC rail-based systems like the Oakland Airport Connector.) Air conditioning does not appear to be included but the Omega cabins will include more open windows than normal like those on the recently completed
Arthurs Seat Eagle in Australia and California Trail at the Oakland Zoo Singapore Cable Car.
The world’s largest urban gondola network leaps forward this week with the addition of the Línea Azul (Blue Line) in the Bolivian twin cities of La Paz and El Alto. Since debuting with just one line in May 2014, the state-owned Mi Teleférico (My Cable Car) system has now transported more than 75 million passengers on its Green, Yellow, and Red gondolas. In 2015, My Cable Car committed $450 million to build six additional lines through 2020, and it ordered two more last year. Mi Teleférico has quickly become one of Doppelmayr’s largest customers, exclusively utilizing the Austrian company’s ten-passenger monocable detachable gondola technology.
Los trabajos de pruebas se realizan para cumplir con normas internacionales que serán completadas el año entrante y antes de que la #LíneaAzul comience a brindar servicio a la población en 2017. Resaltar que el objetivo de #MiTeleférico es ofrecer una óptima #seguridad de operación y calidad de servicio a los usuarios. La línea Azul inicia en inmediaciones de la Estación Jach´a Qhathu de la línea Roja (16 de Julio – El Alto) y se extenderá en dirección a la Plaza Libertad, continuando por la avenida La Paz, pasando por la UPEA y arribando a la estación de servicio en el cruce de Río Seco. *Características: Tiempo de viaje: 20 minutos (aproximadamente) Longitud de la línea: 4,9 kilómetros Número de cabinas: 208
Construction commenced on Línea Azul in late May 2015 with cable pulling (by drone!) wrapping in September 2016. The first cabin launched later that month with Bolivian President Evo Morales taking the inaugural ride in November. After three more months of terminal buildout and system testing, the Blue line’s five stations are ready for show time. Línea Azul is La Paz’s longest to date, with 208 CWA Omega IV-10-LWI cabins that will cover an impressive 32,700 feet per revolution beginning March 3rd, just 645 days after groundbreaking.
Like the Red, Yellow and Green lines, the Blue line is actually two lifts with two separate haul ropes and two drive systems with cabins transferring between them. Nearly all of the Mi Teleférico network will be built this way, with multiple haul rope loops forming single “lines” with two to five stations each (most have either three or four.) Multi-stage gondolas operating with this principle in North America include Whistler Village and Excalibur at Whistler Blackcomb, Panorama at Mammoth and Revelation at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
- Packsaddle II at Keystone gets the first Skytrac tension-return station based on the Monarch terminal.
- Searchmont’s 1989 Doppelmayr quad chair will spin this season for the first time in six years. The mountain’s nonprofit owner could not afford to address two service bulletins until now.
- See how urban gondolas are evacuated if the need arises.
- Paris’ first urban gondola will be bigger than London’s.
- With orders from Sandia Peak, the Oakland Zoo and Jackson Hole, CWA has now supplied 2,000 cabins in the United States.
- Fernie flies a winter’s worth of diesel fuel – 5,300 gallons – to the Polar Peak triple by helicopter.
- See tons more photos of LST’s first detachable here.
- 42,584 passengers ride Mexicable in its first two days of operation.
- The Navajo Nation Law and Order Committee votes 5-0 to oppose the Grand Canyon Escalade.
- NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com has the latest on all four of New England’s new lifts.
- The new Doppelmayr DCD Chair will debut in Hochzillertal on one of five D-Line installations to be operating in Austria by the end of the year.
- Winch cables and chairs apparently don’t mix well.
- Doppelmayr posts a video tour of the proposed Wälderbahn next-generation 3S with sections of elevated guideways in place of cables.
- Montana Snowbowl throws in the towel on TV Mountain until next spring.
- Echo Mountain sale closes and the mountain will open in December.
Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
Soelden, Austria unveiled its record-breaking gondola today called Giggijochbahn, to open next winter with the ability to carry 4,500 passengers per hour. The ropeway will feature Doppelmayr’s next-generation D-Line components and two modern terminal buildings, one featuring panoramic images of the Alps and the other showing off ropeway technology behind real glass. The top terminal will have parking for most of the lift’s 134 CWA Omega IV-10-D cabins. Innsbruck architect Johann Obermoser designed the stations in collaboration with Soelden and Doppelmayr.
This will be an impressive system by any measure with 3,022 feet of vertical rise and an 8,688-foot slope length. Travelling at the record-breaking speed of 6.5 m/s (1,280 fpm) the ride will take just 8.87 minutes. The fastest monocable gondolas in the world currently top out at 1,212 fpm. The Giggijochbahn will have 26 towers and a 62 mm haul rope driven by a ~2,180 HP electric motor. The biggest innovation will be the capacity – reaching 4,500 passengers per hour, per direction. I believe 3,600 is the current capacity record for a monocable gondola, a record shared between many lifts including the 10-passenger Gondola One at Vail and the 15-passenger Village Gondola at Mammoth.
- Doppelmayr isn’t the only one building in Bolivia. Poma is 55 percent complete with the city of Ororu’s new gondola.
- SkyTrac has a new website!
- RiverWalk at Loon Mountain will open a Doppelmayr pulse gondola crossing the Pemigewasset River in 2017.
- Lift ticket revenue was up 19 percent and skier visits +13 percent at Vail Resorts’ ten mountains in 2015-16.
- Snowbasin seeks approval to build two more high speed quads – one to replace Wildcat and the other to supplement the Strawberry Express Gondola.
- Garaventa splices and celebrates in Ha Long.
- New tram cabins arrive at Sandia Peak from CWA.
Cesar Dockweiler is the General Manager for Mi Teleferico, the growing state-owned gondola network in Bolivia’s capitol city. This week, he’s in Switzerland visiting suppliers working on the Blue and White lines for La Paz, which are about 75 percent complete. Throughout the trip, Mr. Dockweiler has been tweeting updates from CWA and Fatzer to his more than 3,000 followers.
Pictures from CWA show how workers still make gondola cabins one at a time and largely by hand. Because the company builds on demand, even a lift with just four cabins can have its own custom design.
We now know what the world’s largest tramway cabins look like. One bright yellow and the other red, CWA’s largest Kronos cabins built to date will hold 230 passengers plus one operator each with six sets of doors on two levels. They will soon be hung on the Ha Long Queen cable car, whose track cables already stretch 5,000 feet across Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay at heights up to 617 feet. The Queen will supplant the 200-passenger Vanoise Express as the world’s highest capacity aerial tram when it opens early this summer.