- Keystone shows the process for creating a new trail map with next winter’s Bergman Bowl expansion.
- The Balsams redevelopment notches another necessary approval.
- Alta Sierra closes for weeks due to storm impacts.
- Salt Lake City prefers a 2034 Olympics over 2030.
- Troll, BC shows off 30 new runs to be serviced by a new T-Bar.
- Loon previews its expansion on South Peak.
- A man dies after falling from Breckenridge’s Zendo quad.
- Granite Peak rope evacuates the Blitzen triple.
- Heavenly offers a look into wind hold decision making.
- Snowbasin cancels construction of a Club Med, calling into question associated lift projects.
- Great Bear considers building a second chairlift.
- Steamboat again floats replacing the Wildhorse Gondola with a detachable version.
- Still no deal between Deer Valley and Mayflower although talks continue.
- Here’s a Cascade Skyline Gondola update.
- Vail settles a lawsuit with the family of a man who died while dangling from a chairlift in 2020.
- Doppelmayr is one of three finalists to replace Newark Airport’s automated people mover.
News Roundup: Looking Ahead
- Mission Ridge proposes constructing a fifth chairlift in Bowl Four.
- Powder King, BC goes up for sale with an asking price of $8.25 million.
- Poley Mountain rope evacuates its triple chair.
- Sommet Olympia’s new lift coming next winter to be named Apollo.
- Steamboat’s forthcoming high speed quad will be called Mahogany Ridge.
- Leaders of Deer Valley, Park City and Ski Utah will host a community forum on Monday.
- Searchmont completes its fleet renewal with all lifts open for the first time in three years.
- The groundbreaking Matterhorn Alpine Crossing 3S linking Switzerland and Italy will open July 1st.
News Roundup: Doubles Save the Day
- Many big openings this weekend including Lenawee Express at Arapahoe Basin, Big Red at Whistler, Seven Brothers at Loon Mountain, North Bowl Express at Heavenly, Eagle Peak at Lookout Pass and Black Bear 6 at Camelback.
- Palisades Tahoe launches the Base to Base Gondola tomorrow but it will operate as two separate lifts and close Sunday for more work.
- Vail waits for a weather window to fly the pilot line for Sun Down Express, nears the finish line on Game Creek Express.
- Doppelmayr and Steamboat unwrap Wild Blue cabins.
- Kimberley load tests the Northstar Express following a year of repairs.
- New Sunnyside at Alta won’t be finished by Christmas; the Albion double will spin until it opens.
- The new high speed quad at Telluride won’t open until late January due to labor challenges.
- FourRunner goes down at Stowe and the nearby Sunrise Six isn’t finished yet. Lookout saves the week.
- A “series of setbacks to electrical infrastructure” delays opening of new lifts and the entire Big Boulder ski area.
- Cuchara won’t reopen lift-served skiing this year after all.
- Giants Ridge debuts a new VistaMap.
- Sun Valley launches a website dedicated to next summer’s lift projects.
- As the investigation continues into the Mont-Sainte-Anne gondola incident and the mountain remains closed this weekend, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies seeks a public-private partnership to renew its Quebec infrastructure. Quebec’s Premier isn’t sold on giving public money to RCR.
- The Governor of New Hampshire wants replacement of the Cannon Tram to be voted on by the legislature, a funding mechanism could be selected this year with the earliest possible opening in late 2024.
- Ski Utah previews the upcoming Burns Express at Deer Valley.
- Wisconsin approves a pared down master plan for Granite Peak with two expansion lifts, one on each side of existing terrain.
- Homewood forges ahead with plans to go private for homeowners only.
- The sightseeing gondola proposal in Vernon, British Columbia moves forward.
- An idea to connect Detroit with Windsor, Ontario by 3S gondola is back.
- Construction begins on the new D-Line gondola at a California vineyard.
News Roundup: California Republic
- The owners of Mountain High and Dodge Ridge purchase China Peak.
- Vail Resorts reports 2.3 million pass products sold, though full Epic and Epic Local sales are down 12 percent.
- From the classifieds: a Poma gondola for sale in Australia and a Poma six pack for sale in Ontario.
- Kelly Canyon renames all its chairlifts.
- An updated trail map shows where Bittersweet’s new chairlifts run.
- Mt. La Crosse changes hands.
- Carriers are on both Big Red and Creekside at Whistler Blackcomb.
- A Park City reporter discovers more than 20 percent of the Red Pine Gondola‘s cabins are out of service.
- Attitash asks for votes on four name options for next year’s high speed quad.
- Storms slow progress on Red Dog at Palisades Tahoe and Far East Express can’t open until the new lift is complete.
- KT-22 is currently operating as a triple chair.
- European multi-resort operator Compagnie des Alpes signs a four year lift deal with Poma worth €200 million at list prices.
- MND’s first chairlift in the USA goes live tomorrow morning.
- The nonprofit which runs Big Squaw signs a new five year contract.
- Deer Valley will host open houses this week regarding future plans.
- Thanks to Dave Amirault for these progress photos of Burns Express at Deer Valley.
News Roundup: Falling Trees
- Doppelmayr wins the contract to build Cablebus Line 3, a six station/40 tower gondola in Mexico City with a bid $19 million under Leitner.
- Steamboat’s new gondola won’t open until mid to late December.
- A falling tree de-ropes the Busch Gardens Williamsburg gondola off multiple towers.
- NSAA reports the number of US ski areas operating last season increased by 11 to 473.
- A brand new chairlift at Ski Wentworth gets battered by wind and falling trees from Hurricane Fiona but is believed to be undamaged.
- Lake Louise says both Upper Juniper and Sunnyside high speed quads could be constructed as early as 2023 (map here).
- A new map shows the location of Vail’s upcoming Chair 17 in Sun Down Bowl.
- Deer Valley’s new map shows where the new Burns Express goes.
- Apex Mountain uses video footage and social media to identify a group who tampered with the resort’s detachable quad.
- The Los Angeles transit authority expects to release the draft Environmental Impact Report for the Dodger Stadium gondola October 17th.
News Roundup: Gunstock & More
- Indy Pass signs its largest partner yet by skier visits: Mt. Hood Meadows.
- Former Indy Pass resort Marmot Basin joins the Mountain Collective.
- Some 300 people show up to what was intended to be an executive session of the Gunstock Area Commission to discuss legal, financial and employment matters. Two commissioners end up walking out. Another meeting is scheduled for today.
- Resigned Gunstock Area Commissioner and former Stowe CEO Gary Kiedaisch attempts to un-resign.
- A New Hampshire State Representative alleges former Gunstock General Manager Tom Day improperly donated $500 in public money to Governor Sununu’s 2020 re-election campaign.
- Organizers of a music festival set to take place at Gunstock next weekend threaten legal action if the Panorama high speed quad doesn’t run as contracted.
- Deer Valley and Mayflower work toward an operating agreement.
- Eaglecrest General Manager Dave Scanlan goes on the radio to talk about the gondola project.
- Skytrac is still hiring folks to build ski lifts, particularly at Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania.
- Smugglers’ Notch gives a rundown of all the work that goes into servicing a bullwheel.
- Sierra at Tahoe completes haul rope replacements on two more lifts.
- A bolt tightening contractor is hit by a tram carriage and seriously injured at Jackson Hole.
- Skytrac begins building on Eagle Peak at Lookout Pass.
- Greek Peak starts construction of a new Chair 3.
- Utah Olympic Park’s big expansion won’t be open to public skiing with limited exceptions.
- The first D-Line in California is approved, will feature unique angle stations.
- Closed Connecticut ski area Woodbury goes back up for sale.
- The company seeking to build a gondola in Edmonton, Alberta would pay $1.1 million a year to lease city right of way.
- A woman found dead under Anakeesta’s chondola last night is believed to have fallen from the lift, which remains closed today.
- Two men are killed while working to build a Doppelmayr gondola in France.
- Below is the July 8th Notice of Noncompliance the Forest Service sent Keystone regarding unauthorized road construction in Bergman Bowl. Since the letter is three weeks old, Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams sent an update on where things stand.
News Roundup: Funding Secured
- Les Otten remains “cautiously optimistic” The Balsams redevelopment will break ground this year.
- Big Snow looks to expand chairlift-served indoor skiing to more locations.
- Mountain Creek inches closer to replacing the Vernon Triple with a six or eight place detachable.
- With visitation up, Powderhorn would like to swap out the West End double in the “near future.”
- Indy Pass reaches 100 resorts with the additions of BigRock Mountain, Marquette Mountain, Mount Kato, Nub’s Nob and Treetops Resort.
- Arizona Snowbowl’s new master plan goes on hold while the Forest Service works to reach an agreement with indigenous groups.
- Amusement conglomerate Herschend Family Entertainment elects to stop operating the Stone Mountain tramway six years before its contract expires, citing “protests and division” at the Confederate monument. The sole bidder for a new operating contract with the State of Georgia will take over in August.
- A draft action letter outlines why the local planning commission prevented lift projects from moving forward at Park City Mountain.
- The same commission approves construction of Deer Valley’s Burns Express, which will be the nation’s shortest detachable at 999 feet.
- Alta, Sandy and Salt Lake County mayors rally against a Little Cottonwood Gondola.
- Panorama delays summer lift operations at least a week due to a gearbox issue on the Mile 1 Express.
- Steamboat shows off Greenhorn Ranch and gondola mid-station construction progress.
- Whitefish starts a blog dedicated to Snow Ghost Express construction updates.
- The Palm Springs Tramway closes for multiple days due to technical problems.
Alterra Announces $344 Million Capital Plan for 2022
Alterra Mountain Company today affirmed plans to open big new lifts in 2022 and more next year as it increases investment across its 14 resorts. This year’s $344 million plan includes $93 million in increased capacity and terrain expansion, $91 million for skier services upgrades, and $16 million in guest experience technology with a focus on Palisades Tahoe, Steamboat, Crystal Mountain, Mammoth Mountain and Deer Valley.
At Palisades Tahoe, the $65 million Base-to-Base Gondola will be completed this summer after two seasons of construction. The Leitner-Poma gondola will connect the two mountains of the resort for the first time, giving skiers and riders access to a combined 6,000 acres of terrain and making Palisades the third largest resort in North America. The 16 minute gondola ride will take skiers and riders between The Village at Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Lodge, reducing road congestion in the region and making it easier to enjoy both mountains in a single day. It is the first gondola of its kind in North America, with four terminals connecting two base areas via a climb of nearly 2,000 vertical feet.
Winter 2022-23 will also see phase two of Steamboat’s Full Steam Ahead redevelopment completed with $90 million of investment to include the relocation of the lower terminal of the Christie Peak Express and the first leg of the Wild Blue Gondola, which will take guests to the new Greenhorn Ranch learning center at mid-mountain.
Wild Blue will become the longest gondola in North America and the fastest 10-person gondola in the country. With the lower leg opening in 2022-23, and the upper leg opening in 2023-24, the state-of-the-art Doppelmayr D-Line gondola will feed skiers/riders through a newly created mid-station adjacent to Bashor Bowl with the final destination of Sunshine Peak. It will feature the first Omega V cabins in the United States. At a total length of 3.16 miles, the new gondola will increase the out of base capacity from 6,000 people per hour to 10,000 people per hour, getting skiers from bottom to top in 13 minutes. The recently re-graded Rough Rider/Bashor Basin area will be home to Greenhorn Ranch, an area dedicated to beginner skiers and riders. It will feature progressive terrain-based learning and a dedicated chairlift.
For winter 2023-24, 650 acres of advanced terrain will open on Pioneer Ridge, making Steamboat the second largest ski resort in Colorado. This expert, gladed terrain will be serviced by a new detachable chairlift.
At Washington’s Crystal Mountain, $100 million will be spent over the next five years. The largest investment ever made at Crystal will focus on greater access, more space and significantly enhanced skier services. Work will begin this spring with $25 million for additional parking and a new 25,000 square foot skier services facility called Mountain Commons. No lift projects were announced but Crystal Mountain President Frank DeBerry has made no secret his wish list includes a replacement for the Rainier Express, a new gondola to the summit and relocation of the current Mt. Rainier Gondola to Campbell Basin.
At Mammoth Mountain, summer 2022 will see ground and infrastructure work to facilitate the replacement of the Canyon Express at Canyon Lodge and Broadway Express at Main Lodge. Doppelmayr initially planned to build these lifts in 2020 before the Coronavirus pandemic postponed the project. The new high-speed six packs are planned to finally debut in winter 2023-24.
New for winter 2022-23 at Deer Valley, the Burns Express chairlift will debut at the Wide West learning area. This high speed chairlift will connect the Snow Park base area to Little Baldy Mountain, offering ski school access to more beginner teaching terrain and providing an additional option for skiers to navigate out of the main arrival area. The $6 million investment to improve the learning area on Wide West will also include enhancements to the existing Snowflake chairlift, installing and reconfiguring surface lifts and grading beginner terrain.
“This historic investment is clear evidence of our commitment to deliver a premier guest experience at our North American destinations and our engagement towards the long-term future of our mountains,” said Rusty Gregory, CEO of Alterra Mountain Company. “More than ever, we continue to infuse meaningful capital into projects that will transform our base areas while significantly improving our physical and digital on-mountain offerings to ensure that our guests experience the best of the mountains.”
Some previously-approved projects were absent from Alterra’s latest announcement, namely the Red Dog replacement at Palisades, Timber expansion at Tremblant and Pioneer Express upgrade at Winter Park.
News Roundup: Epic Lift Update
- Leitner-Poma expects US lift sales to reach $300 million in 2022.
- The lift-served real estate development called Flat Iron at Big Sky moves forward.
- PyxisAI goes live with its artificial intelligence lift monitoring software on Winter Park’s Prospector Express and Gemini Express.
- The latest from Moosehead Lake, formerly Big Squaw.
- Mt. Hood Meadows provides an update on its six pack ambitions.
- Deer Valley reveals what broke on the Carpenter Express last week.
- Arizona Snowbowl posts an explainer on rime ice and detachable lifts.
- A minor gondola collision makes the news in Whistler.
- The Disney Skyliner’s longest section will close for scheduled maintenance next month.
- Magic Mountain finally gets the Red Chair open; within hours an empty chair hits a tower and falls off.
- 18,000 people sign a petition asking Vail Resorts to improve operations at Stevens Pass.
- The first ski runs at Valemount Glacier will be logged in January.
News Roundup: Merry Christmas
- Mad River Glen introduces a new James Niehues trail map.
- White Pass shareholders vote to sell Washington’s fifth largest ski area.
- Sun Peaks expects business to decline 50 percent this season due to extended road closures.
- Sierra at Tahoe tracks toward a limited reopening in Spring 2022.
- Magic Mountain apologizes to customers for not having a summit lift operational.
- Searchmont, Ontario reopens with a new chairlift after a 645 day Covid closure.
- It may be months before Kimberley’s main lift is operational; Revelstoke and Kicking Horse provide people-moving snowcats.
- Stevens Pass apologizes for severe staffing shortages resulting in only five open lifts.
- Deer Valley rope evacuates 167 people from the Carpenter Express.