- The 117 year old Poconos hotel which just announced plans to build a chairlift burned down last Friday.
- Yellowstone Club adds Silver Tip, its 18th major lift, giving YC the 13th highest lift count in the nation!
- More awesome podcasts: Jeremy Davis of the New England Lost Ski Areas Project, Rob Katz on snowmaking across Vail Resorts, Geoff Hathaway on rebuilding Magic Mountain and the staff of Eldora on what it takes to open weeks ahead of normal.
- Two new quads and a lift shortening are all now reflected on the Stevens Pass trail map.
- Vandals slash upholstered seats on an Austrian gondola, cause $28,000 in damage.
- Okemo receives a 24 month extension to its permit for building a beginner fixed grip quad at Jackson Gore.
- Loveland gains approval to replace Lift 6 with either a fixed grip triple or detachable quad in 2021.
- New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu tours the gorgeous new summit lodge and gondola at Bretton Woods.
- Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory joins Bloomberg TV and Yahoo Finance to chat about opportunities he sees in the ski business.
- The head of MND Group says financial struggles are history as the company ramps up to deliver $200 million worth of orders for lifts, Gazex and snowmaking.
- The Forest Service plans to approve two new fixed grip quad lifts at Lee Canyon.
- Big Sky looks for 30 more chairs for Six Shooter.
- A Wyoming ranch with snow cat skiing considers adding lift service.
- Chris Diamond’s new book, Ski Inc. 2020, was released last week and is a must read for those who follow North American skiing.
- Simon Fraser University includes a 3S gondola as a core component of its new campus master plan.
News Roundup: 3S
- An affiliate of Silver Mountain buys 49 Degrees North.
- A citizen group wants the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board to regulate lift operations more broadly than the current mechanical focus.
- Bogus Basin will auction a bunch of Riblet triple chairs beginning Sunday.
- The Disney Skyliner is not a normal gondola and will be evacuated as such in an emergency.
- Steamboat already has a gondola construction update.
- So does Bretton Woods.
- A guy accused of ducking ropes around a chairlift terminal at Killington is charged with disorderly conduct.
- Whistler Blackcomb will open some of the same lifts for both skiers and mountain bikers for the first time this spring.
- The Forest Service gives its blessing to the Eldora Jolly Jug expansion and high speed lift.
- Doppelmayr USA is on Facebook.
- Vail Resorts reports a fantastic season with skier visits, lift ticket revenue, retail, ski school and dining all up between 6.2 and 9.3 percent through April 21st.
- The Los Angeles Dodger Stadium 3S is headed to environmental review.
- Poma’s 3S project in China is going to have an insane 5,775 people per hour capacity.
- CWA teases its soon-to-debut 3S cabin.
News Roundup: A Long Time Coming
- Above: groomers and mechanics deploy a new strategy to keep the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram flying above this winter’s huge snowpack.
- Despite planning to open this winter for the first time in three years, Spout Springs now says it won’t happen.
- A Boston private equity firm is reportedly interested in spending $25-30 million to reopen Maine’s third largest resort.
- We’ll have to wait awhile longer to ski year round in New Jersey
- Killington confirms North Ridge Quad is a go for this summer.
- This morning at 9:00 Pacific is a rare chance to score a classic Murray-Latta double chair.
- Mt. Mancelona in Michigan revives the world’s second oldest T-Bar but earns a cease and desist order from the state amid a host of financial problems.
- A revived Fortress Mountain would mimic Red Mountain and Whitewater but with a fleet of brand new lifts.
- Reader Christoph thinks he’s solved the mystery of where Mission Ridge’s new bubble lift is from: Brixen, Austria.
- County approval paves the way for Eldora to build the Jolly Jug expansion lift next year.
- Aspen Highlands’ Golden Horn platter is now a 2020 project.
- Mt. Hood Meadows says it’s announcing the most significant improvement of this century later today.
- There’s another new British Columbia resort idea floating around: Zincton Mountain Village.
- Shuttered two chair area Deer Mountain hits the market.
- On the other side of South Dakota, flooding damages the lone lift and ends the season at Great Bear.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola gets negative press for telling unprepared hikers to walk down from the summit after closing time.
- An ad in the New York State Contract Reporter suggests a new chairlift is coming to Belleayre this summer, though the resort tells me no decision has been made yet.
- We now know why Sun Valley pushed back the Cold Springs project to 2020: the alignment has changed for the high speed quad.
- Bretton Woods says its new gondola will open later this year. Reader Donovan Seabury sent me these pictures of its progress.
News Roundup: Four Too Many
- Attitash’s Summit triple is down indefinitely again, this time with a gearbox issue. Peak Resorts executives say even if they wanted to replace the lift with a detachable, there is about a two year wait with both lift companies.
- Northstar California partially evacuates the Promised Land Express by rope on a busy Sunday.
- The new master plan for Timberline Lodge prescribes replacing Pucci with a detachable quad and Bruno’s with a series of carpets.
- At Pajarito, Townsight will end up missing the entire season due to unspecified mechanical issues.
- Alyeska retires its last of seven Riblet double chairlifts, Tanaka.
- A six year old falls 29 feet from an Eldora chairlift after failing to load properly and a petition is asking for policy changes.
- The founder of The Hermitage Club is contesting a no trespass order.
- A child falls from Park City’s Silverlode Express.
- Architectural Digest profiles leading resort design firm SE Group.
- Leitner will build what is sure to become an iconic 3S gondola between Switzerland and Italy from 2021.
- 2019/20 Ikon Passes go on sale March 5th and are virtually unchanged from this season’s versions.
- Tuesday is also the day you should vote if you live in Aspen.
- Timberline, West Virginia throws in the towel and the local paper has an update on the the circumstances.
- A night evacuation takes place at Ski Vorlage.
- James Coleman’s brand new bike park is already a hit.
- Five teenagers perform a flawless catch of a Screaming Eagle lift dangler and earn free Grouse Mountain season passes.
- Somehow a sit skier and lift operator both fall 17 feet from Snowmass’ Elk Camp quad on Tuesday.
- Following a brutal 16 day road closure, Snow Valley eyes a Saturday reopening.
- Bloomberg Businessweek visits the Vail/Alterra HQs and catches up with partners like Boyne Resorts and Telluride.
Six Big Lifts Launch in Colorado
With over 100 detachable chairlifts, 22 gondolas and some 150 fixed-grip lifts, the Colorado lift fleet represents a total investment somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 million. The Centennial State has more ski lifts than any other state or province and on each visit I’m amazed by the caliber of ski infrastructure here. More than half of Colorado’s lifts are detachable models, a feat which no other North American region comes close to achieving. This winter, six more high-speed chairlifts came on scene, and while none open up new terrain, each one serves an important purpose. I was lucky enough to ride the new machines at Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper, Eldora, Keystone and Vail over three days this week, testament to the remarkable amount of skiing available within a few hours’ drive here. This year’s class includes two Doppelmayr high-speed quads, a Doppelmayr six-pack and three Leitner-Poma six-place chairs representing half of all new detachable chairlifts built in North America for 2017-18.
Red Buffalo Express – Beaver Creek Mountain
The last lift from Beaver Creek’s 1980 inaugural season, Drink of Water, was replaced with a new lift with a new name over the summer. The quad’s namesake, Red Buffalo Park, is now a dedicated learning zone with awe-inspring views of the Gore Range from 11,400 feet. While lift 5’s terminals, hangers, grips and operator houses are new, most of the tower components and chairs are from the former Montezuma lift at Keystone. Like its sister Vail, Beaver Creek now has just one fixed-grip lift of appreciable length remaining alongside an amazing 14 detachable chairlifts and gondolas.
Falcon SuperChair – Breckenridge
Breckenridge debuted its third next-gen Leitner-Poma LPA six-pack on December 28th. The new Falcon SuperChair replaces a Poma high-speed quad that opened along with Peak 10 itself in 1985. The new ride lifts capacity by 25 percent to 3,000 guests per hour in this popular advanced-intermediate pod. The Falcon has the same sweet plush chairs as the new Colorado and Kensho SuperChairs.
News Roundup: Sadness
- A mechanic loses his life while working on a lift at Sunrise Park Resort.
- T-Bar from Le Relais arrives at Ascutney Mountain with installation dependent on fundraising.
- Poma to build Medellín Metrocable’s sixth urban gondola, set to open in 2019.
- Stoneham’s new quad chair will be called L’Éclipse.
- A new 8-passenger Poma gondola nears opening in Zacatecas, Mexico.
- Al Henceroth of A-Basin fame gives not one but two great updates on the upcoming Beavers lift.
- A six-pack called Alpenglow anchors the new Eldora.
- Spruce Peak 2.0 opens Saturday at Sunday River, 17 months after the original Borvig fell over.
- A foot passenger who fell unloading a chairlift in March 2016 sues Silverton Mountain.
- Skytrac does another insightful interview with Kris Blomback, GM at Pats Peak.
Instagram Tuesday: Stealth
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
Instagram Tuesday: Home Stretch
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
News Roundup: High Level
- The Denver Post talks details with Dave Perry, head of the new KSL-Crown Family resort company.
- James Coleman is buying Elk Ridge, Arizona and plans to build a chairlift.
- Nonprofit operator of Cape Smokey in Nova Scotia seeks private investor to revive a mothballed 1995 quad chair.
- T-Bar mania continues in New England as Ascutney proposes installing a 2,500′ Doppelmayr from Le Relais.
- Man falls from the Black Mountain Express on Arapahoe Basin’s opening day.
- Tram board finds insufficient evidence to act against Granby Ranch for allegedly leaving a child on a chairlift years ago.
- Granby also moves forward with replacing Quickdraw’s drive.
- Eldora takes local media on a tour of Alpenglow.
- Sometime after I took pictures of the Basin quad at White Pass, a wacky offset half tower was added.
- Groundbreaking at The Balsams is delayed yet again.
- The private owner of the former High Pond Ski Area in Vermont is installing a new Leitner-Poma T-Bar on the site.
- In a podcast interview, chief of Canada’s third largest transit agency says high-level talks are underway toward building the Burnaby Mountain Gondola.
- Purgatory seeks approval to build a 4,200′ lift called Gelande to the south of Needles next summer.
News Roundup: Fly Day
- Firm pitches gondola to link South Station to the Seaport district in Boston.
- The United Nations Human Settlements Programme and Doppelmayr publish a 12-page summary of their first Academy of Sustainable Urban Mobility conference held in Austria last April.
- LST Ropeways will build its second North American lift at Waterville Valley, though Skytrac will no longer provide controls, operator houses and installation for the French company.
- A new Doppelmayr gondola, bubble high speed quad and triple chair will debut in December on Eglise Mountain at the Yellowstone Club, by far the biggest lift project in North American skiing for 2017. Thanks to Everett K. for these cool photos of the progress.
- Y.C. has also listed for sale the 160-acre Cedar View Ranch, offering someone the opportunity to build a private lift to the bottom of the Lake lift.
- Anakeesta opens tomorrow.
- Eldora flies towers and ditches the announced Eldo Express name in favor of Alpenglow. Photos credit Michael Weise.