- The only bidder for the Tulsa Skyride plans to relocate it to the Middle East.
- A loaded Base to Base Gondola cabin mis-captures and gets stuck in the KT-22 mid-station at Palisades Tahoe during a storm.
- Speaking of Base to Base, here’s a cool profile on what it takes to keep the lift running.
- A Celebration of the Life and Work of Hans Burkhart will be held on Monday, March 13 at 5 pm at the Funitel Plaza at Palisades, with a reception to follow.
- An employee causes a Riblet clip ejection at Anthony Lakes.
- Wolf Ridge, North Carolina sells to new owners who promise improvements.
- Elko Snobowl closes for the season due to issues with its Hall double.
- Bousquet closes its Hall double for the season due to a gearbox issue.
- Nordic Valley’s Hall double remains closed with alternate snow cat service in place.
- Montana lost ski area Wraith Hill goes up for sale with a 1976 Doppelmayr T-Bar.
- BigRock, Maine inks a contract with Doppelmayr for a new quad in 2024.
- Sunlight’s Segundo will spin one more season before replacement in ’24.
- The Forest Services issues a Draft Environmental Assessment and seeks comments on Taos Ski Valley’s proposed Base to Base Gondola and replacement of lifts 2 and 8.
- Indy Pass prices increase approximately 11 percent, Epic 8 percent and Ikon 7.5 percent for next season.
- Deer Valley will require Ikon Pass reservations next year, Taos eliminates them but goes off Ikon Base.
- Vail reports mixed quarterly results with skier visits up 3.6 percent but earnings down 1 percent due to weather and increased operating costs.
News Roundup: Final Rides
- A decision on the Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola isn’t announced yet but some are already calling for an audit and threatening a lawsuit.
- Telluride celebrates 25 years of public transport by gondola.
- Catamount now plans to finish its two relocated chairlift projects over the summer.
- An impressive six station, 150 cabin urban gondola opens in Israel.
- Granby Ranch teases a new lift between its East and West mountains.
- The Forest Service green lights Purgatory’s Ice Creek expansion, through construction won’t happen right away.
- Whitefish will give the public one last chance to ride Chair 4/Great Northern tomorrow; Bigfoot T-Bar will be closed for the rest of the season due to maintenance.
- Epic Pass prices rise modestly, tiers and blackout dates remain the same.
- In a presentation to investors, Vail Resorts says it will continue to focus on advance commitment products, high return capital investments and network expansion.
- Vail says data-based adjustments to select lifts achieved an average capacity increase of 10 percent, equivalent to adding five high speed quads to its network without investing any capital. The program will expand to more lifts for 2022-23.
- Some Juneau leaders have second thoughts about bringing over a used gondola from Austria.
- Mt. Snow’s Sunbrook quad may live on at another Vail resort.
- A lawsuit seeks to stop the proposed Los Angeles Dodger Stadium-Union Station gondola.
- Following last week’s Bartholet-HTI news, MND says its agreement with Bartholet runs through December 2023 and that MND “aims to be a major and self-sufficient industrial ropeway mobility player.” The company plans to deliver around 32 non-detachable chairlifts and surface lifts this year in addition to Bartholet alliance projects.
- An Associated Press investigation uses an Iowa county’s purchase of Mt. Crescent Ski Area as an example of wasteful pandemic relief spending.
- Connonsburg, Michigan may become the latest private ski area to transition to public ownership.
- A permit extension request reveals why the Palisades Base to Base gondola wasn’t completed last summer.
“The 2021 construction season was particularly challenging due to a number of unusual circumstances. The pandemic resulted in labor shortages for not only the lift construction crews and building teams, but also with the supply chain companies delivering key materials. Helicopter usage was a key component for construction, as they were required for activities including tree removal, setting of lift towers and pouring the foundations at the KT mid-station. Helicopter availability was greatly affected by one of the worst wildfire seasons in California history, and once helicopters were available, their operations were shut down as they could not safely fly in the smoky conditions. The fires also resulted in periods when the crews had to be sent home due to unhealthy air quality. For these reasons, construction could not be completed within the six-to-eight-month time frame anticipated in the EIS.”
News Roundup: Sunshine
- The Summit at Snoqualmie shuts Hidden Valley for the season due to an “unusual mechanical problem.”
- Sugarloaf closes King Pine due to a sheave assembly issue.
- Dave Brownlie, former head of Whistler Blackcomb and current Revelstoke President, weighs in on the state of the British Columbia ski industry and his company’s plans for Grouse Mountain.
- The Colorado Sun interviews three Colorado resort pioneers about industry trends and challenges.
- As the gondola at Mont-Sainte-Anne reopens, the resort says an external power issue caused last month’s sudden stop. A lawsuit has been filed and the power company denies responsibility.
- Just the Leitner portion of Mexico City’s new urban gondola network will feature seven stations and 300 cabins.
- Experienced resort executives Andy and Jace Wirth may take over operations at Granby Ranch.
- Limited Ikon/Mountain Collective visits to Arapahoe Basin are 69 percent lower than unlimited Epic visits last year and the “experience is way up,” says Al Henceroth.
- Another informative podcast from Stuart Winchester features an executive from Mountain Creek and Big Snow talking about the next new lift and a possible Big Snow Miami.
- Smugglers’ Notch has no intentions of losing its independence or ditching its fleet of fixed grip double chairs.
- Whitefish will begin work in Hellroaring Basin this summer and move the current Hellroaring triple to a new alignment in 2021.
- Jay Peak expects multiple parties to submit offers in a second round of bidding this spring.
- The Epic Pass franchise keeps growing with added Northeast options and a new rewards program.
- Wyoming’s Sleeping Giant changes its mind on closing after this season, citing an outpouring of community support.
- Whaleback is closing early due to a lift problem.
- Gatlinburg, Tennessee already has five scenic lift rides but an outfit called Pigeon Forge Snow plans to build a sixth.
- A U.S. Department of Labor inspector finds 14 and 15 year old ski instructors riding chairlifts and lowering restraint bars constitutes “operating heavy machinery.”
- Tremblant will announce its next major investments on March 10th, a day we may hear from other Alterra resorts as well.
- Guests are responding well to a slate of recent improvements at Catamount.
- Cuchara is on track to reopen one of three remaining chairlifts next winter.
Epic Pass Adds Six Canadian Resorts + Telluride, Ikon Gains Five, Mountain Collective Scores Big Sky
The latest battle in the 2018-19 season pass war is being waged to the north. Vail Resorts today announced the Epic Pass will now include up to seven days at six mountains owned by Resorts of The Canadian Rockies – Fernie, Kicking Horse, Nakiska, Kimberley, Mont-Sainte-Anne and Stoneham. The addition of these MAX Pass refugees follows Alterra’s recent announcement that Revelstoke, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay and Sugarbush will join the new Ikon Pass. In addition, Telluride has defected from the MCP to join Epic and Ikon partner Big Sky Resort will also join the Mountain Collective.
The 10th anniversary Epic Pass will go on sale tomorrow with access to 21 North American destinations with 284 lifts. It will offer unlimited skiing with no blackout dates at Vail Resorts owned mountains and a limited number of days at partner properties like Telluride. Epic Passes will also offer access to international resorts including Hakuba Valley, Japan; Perisher, Australia; and Val d’Isère, France. In theory, you could hit a crazy 61 resorts on this pass. Pricing is still pending.
The 2018-19 Mountain Collective Pass is on sale now for $409 and includes up to 33 days at 16 destinations, most of which are unchanged from last year (Telluride is out, Big Sky in.) The MCP includes access to 19 separate mountains in North America with 231 lifts and 50 percent off days after the first two. Most Mountain Collective destinations are also on the new Ikon Pass for those seeking more days.
The Ikon Pass offers unlimited access to most of Alterra Mountain Co.’s resorts with limited access to Deer Valley and numerous partner resorts. The flagship pass will cost $899 with a blackout date version for only $599. Ikon includes the most North American options by far with 32 mountains and 400 lifts. It’s not quite as many as the defunct MAX Pass (45 mountains, 435 lifts) but Ikon offers many more days at higher-caliber places. The Ikon also goes on sale tomorrow.