News Roundup: Watch Live

Seven Springs Announces New Avalanche Quad

One of the very first CTEC lifts built way back in 1979 is being retired from Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Doppelmayr will construct a new Alpen Star quad in its place on the Avalanche slope this summer. The new lift will transport 2,400 skiers per hour with a ride time of just 4.3 minutes. “Our new Doppelmayr chairlift will greatly improve our guest experience on the front face of the mountain allowing for many more runs each day,” said Joel Rerko, Seven Springs Director of Mountain Operations. “We continue to be committed to our season passholders, homeowners and growing the sport as a whole. After coming off an incredible winter, we cannot wait to unveil it this coming ski season.”

The Avalanche quad will follow a new alignment ending closer to the top of Tyrol. It will feature 7 towers, 88 chairs and a 200 horsepower electric motor. The lift will be 1,956 feet in length and will cover 492 vertical feet. Construction is already underway and scheduled to be completed by November.

Grand Targhee Selects Doppelmayr D-Line for Peaked Mountain

With skier visits up 17 percent this season from a previous record, Grand Targhee Resort will spend more than $20 million on improvements the next two years, including a new six place chairlift on Peaked Mountain.

The Peaked lift will become Targhee’s fifth chair and the seventh Doppelmayr D-Line system in the United States. Introduced in 2015, D-Line features more than 200 improvements to previous Doppelmayr detachable technology. The lift will transport 2,000 people per hour, gaining 1,815 vertical feet in just over five minutes. The Peaked area will offer unmatched views of the Tetons with access to over 600 acres of intermediate and advanced terrain. Heavier six passenger carriers will improve the lift’s ability to operate in windy conditions and full carrier parking will help speed storm recovery. Cat skiing will be offered on upper Peaked Mountain for one final season in 2021/22.

Tower/terminal foundations, communications trenching and the lift’s power supply will be completed this summer with steel installation to follow in 2022. New chairs will also be added to the nearby Sacajawea high speed quad during the summer of 2022 to bring its uphill capacity to 2,000 guests per hour. The resort will also construct new employee housing, increase parking and complete a new maintenance shop this summer. “Due to the efforts of many dedicated employees and the support of our guests and partners during challenging times, Grand Targhee is fortunate to be able to announce these projects,” the resort said in a statement.

News Roundup: Insights

News Roundup: Visit Numbers

Sugar Mountain to Add Fourth New Lift in Six Years

Another new chairlift is coming to North Carolina’s largest ski area. Sugar Mountain Resort and Doppelmayr will partner to build a fixed grip quad this summer called Big Birch, replacing the Green triple. The new lift will transport 1,792 skiers per hour to mid-mountain, an increase of 22 percent.

“Building new ski lifts makes Sugar Mountain Resort happy,” notes a press release. “Moving people seamlessly, efficiently and comfortably from point-to-point is our goal and most importantly, it makes guests happy.” Other recent additions at Sugar Mountain include the Summit Express, Easy Street and Gunther’s Way lifts, all by Doppelmayr. The lift company and Sugar Mountain’s owner both hail from Austria, hence their strong partnership.

Note: Any news dated April 1st should be read with caution. However, I do not believe this is a joke. After all, Sugar announced the new Easy Street quad on April 1st, 2019!

Chair Falls from Camelback’s Sullivan Express

A chair fell from the Sullivan Express at Camelback Resort in Pennsylvania today along with three passengers who were riding in it. Pictures posted to social media show a significant patrol response as well as ski and snowboard gear surrounding the chair on the ground. A local dispatch log notes a call came in at 3:39 pm for a 40 year old male with back and hip injury, a 12 year old male with an arm injury and a 9 year old female with an abdominal injury. The entire west side of the resort was closed for the remainder of the day. Weather in the area was reportedly good with sunny skies, light winds and temperatures in the 50s.

The lift involved is a 1995 Doppelmayr detachable quad with DS series grips. It operates in winter as well as summer for water park operations. While Doppelmayr detachable lifts have an excellent safety record, other instances of chairs falling have occurred. A 2015 incident on Mt. Bachelor’s Sunrise Express was blamed on component failure. At Thredbo, Australia, quad chairs fell in both 2016 and 2019 from the Gunbarrel Express due to windy conditions.

As of Monday morning, the Sullivan Express remains closed with the Bailey double operating in its place. Sullivan’s sister lift, the Stevenson Express, is operating normally.

Camelback released the below statement Monday afternoon:

Camelback issued a second statement the morning of Tuesday, March 23rd:

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry confirmed to me it is investigating the incident but declined to provide further information. “The results of the investigation are not considered a public document,” an agency spokesperson noted.

Mont-Sainte-Anne Gondola to Reopen

367 days since technical problems forced its closure, L’Étoile Filante is reopening at Mont-Sainte-Anne. The gondola suffered not one but two incidents in February and March of 2020 before Covid paused skiing globally. Over the past many months, the resort, Doppelmayr and the Government of Quebec have worked to resolve unspecified technical challenges.

“We have just received approval from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, which has given the green light for an official reopening,” said Maxime Cretin, Vice President and General Manager, Eastern Region for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. “This approval was received following the security and compliance clearance obtained from the contract engineers. It confirms that the ski lift is safe and fully functional. We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience, understanding, resilience and loyalty through this difficult time. We know the wait has been long and the journey has been strewn with disappointments. Today, we are happy to share this good news with you and to finally be able to turn the page. We would also like to thank all of the employees and stakeholders for their continued collaboration in this very complex case.”

For the rest of this season, the gondola will operate with 50 percent of its cabins (45 of 90) with Covid loading protocols in place.

Utah’s Sundance Announces Two New Lifts

The new owners of Sundance Mountain Resort have ordered two lifts to replace the mile-long Ray’s quad. A three station detachable quad will service Mandan Summit from the base village and a fixed grip quad will provide return access from the backside of the mountain. Both lifts will be manufactured by Doppelmayr USA and installed in advance of the 2021-22 winter season.

Built in 1995, Ray’s currently serves many purposes with a whopping four separate loading/unloading zones. An up and over lift, Ray’s follows a straight line between the base area and Red’s lift, thus not reaching the true Mandan Summit. Both new lift alignments will top out on the peak to better distribute skiers. The new high speed lift will also feature a mid-unload station for beginners. A ride from base-to-summit will last just seven minutes, down from 12+ without stops on Ray’s. The second lift returning from the backside will primarily be used for summer activities.

“I have wonderful memories of skiing the beautiful terrain of Mandan Summit on the old chairlift before 1995,” commented Chad Linebaugh, President and General Manager of Sundance. “We are thrilled for the addition of a new high-speed quad that will restore access to these amazing runs and views.” Other projects slated for this summer include additional snowmaking and parking.

Two private equity firms, Broadreach Capital Partners and Cedar Capital Partners, purchased Sundance Resort from Robert Redford in December 2020.

Devil’s Head to Build New Beginner Quad

Wisconsin’s Devil’s Head Resort will add a sixth fixed grip quad this summer, continuing a major reinvestment plan executed over the past ten years. The new Doppelmayr lift will replace two Hall chairlifts dating back to 1971 and 1975. Devil’s Head notes the new lift is just the beginning of a multi-year expansion plan to enhance the on-mountain experience for beginners.

Many Upper Midwest resorts experienced plentiful snowfall and high demand for skiing and snowboarding this winter and are looking to the future. The Devil’s Head project is the second lift addition announced by a Wisconsin resort for 2021-22. Trollhaugen also plans to add a new fixed grip chairlift to replace a Hall double.