News Roundup: The People

News Roundup: South America

This is an open thread.  Feel free to leave a comment on anything lift-related.

News Roundup: Windy in Switzerland

  • Owner of Echo Mountain files for bankruptcy but will keep operating the closest ski area to Denver.
  • Saddleback, Maine won’t be open in time for February vacation week.
  • Big Tupper, NY pulls the plug on this season entirely.
  • Aspen Highlands looks to expand into Loge Bowl, with the possibility of eventually adding a lift.
  • A quick-thinking 7 year-old hangs onto a dangling classmate for two minutes, long enough for resort staff to make a successful catch from a chair in Ontario.  Canada requires nets to be out and ready whenever a lift is in operation for just this reason.
  • Aspen Highlands chair pusher finally arrested and identified as a 31-year old local man with a history of mental illness. He’s charged with felony assault and misdemeanor reckless endangerment but will go to a treatment facility instead of jail.  The investigation also reveals a 19-year old lift operator saw the 25-foot fall and hit an e-stop but didn’t report it.
  • Gizmodo tackles urban gondolas, revealing La Paz carries 100,000 commuters a day on its 3 aerial lines.

News Roundup: Hilltrac Funicular

Hilltrac funicular in The Colony at Park City Mountain Resort.
A Hilltrac funicular railway in The Colony at Park City Mountain Resort.
  • When I was hiking around Park City last week I discovered a large new funicular railway in The Colony development near the new gondola.  It was built by Hilltrac, sister company to lift-maker SkyTrac.  The funicular serves an entire neighborhood unlike others at Deer Valley that serve only one house.  One section is completed with the possibility to add another section later.
  • The City Council of Casper, Wyoming, which owns of Hogadon Ski Area, declares one of two Riblet doubles there as surplus property to be sold.  Apparently it has not spun in years and parts were cannibalized last season to keep the other lift running.
  • Chris Farmer, Saddleback’s Marketing Director says on Facebook that there is no news to announce re: new lift or closure.  In case you don’t have Facebook, here is the statement: “Saddleback friends: I know that everyone is eagerly awaiting an announcement on our situation and recognize we are beyond the initial deadline. We remain heads down on finding a solution. As soon as we have news we will announce it. Until then, our full attention is on solving the issue. You are all important and I recognize you all want answers. I fully expect decisions will be made some time this week. Thank you for your consideration and continued support. Please do not be offended by my inability to respond to each of you individually. I hope you understand.”
  • Aspen Skiing Company remains committed to building the new Burnt Mountain lift at Snowmass but still has no timeline for it.
  • Protesting lifties shut down Chile’s Cerro Catedral, demanding a 30% wage increase.  Meanwhile, most of Argentina and Chile’s ski resorts have been getting tons of snow.
  • Echo Mountain, the closest ski area to Denver, will reopen to the public  this season after failing to make it as a racer-only training mountain.  The area formerly known as Squaw Pass has just one lift currently, a Yan triple chair.
  • South America solidifies itself as the worldwide leader in urban ropeways with the capital of Peru getting not one but two gondolas by 2017.  There are already a dozen gondolas operating in Bolivian, Venezuelan, Colombian and Brazilian cities.
  • Vermont lift construction update, thanks to NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com.
  • Doppelmayr wins a $21 million contract to build two ropeways in Georgia (the country, not the state, although there is a large Doppelmayr tram in the State of Georgia too.)
  • The Teton quad at Jackson Hole is on schedule to be load tested by mid-October.  All the large components for the top terminal were installed earlier today by crane.