- Palisades Tahoe posts more details on its Gondola and Red Dog projects. The gondola will include 96 cabins and a name will be released later this summer.
- The Telluride-Mountain Village gondola is likely to be replaced with a brand new system.
- Steamboat’s newest high speed quad will be called Greenhorn Ranch Express.
- Stowe to sell chairs from the Mountain Triple today; its replacement will be called Sunrise.
- Mount Snow is also selling chairs now from Sunbrook and Tumbleweed.
- Northstar too.
- Keystone’s new six pack will be called Bergman Express.
- Utah smashes its all time skier day record with 5.8 million visits.
- New Hampshire skier visits drop 3 percent.
- Looking for a rewarding job in the mountains? Leitner-Poma is still hiring installation team members to build lifts across North America.
- For the first time in years, the Blackcomb Glacier is open for summer skiing.
- Arizona Snowbowl temporarily closes due to regional wildfires.
- Toggenburg goes back on the market with a list price of $2.9 million.
- Sterling Vineyards releases renderings of its new gondola cabins.
- The family of a woman killed when a chairlift malfunctioned reaches a confidential settlement with Granby Ranch.
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: Bounty
- Sandia Peak won’t open for skiing this season due to weather and staffing challenges.
- A snowboarder falls from Vail Mountain’s Avanti Express.
- The mall where Big Snow American Dream operates faces mounting financial problems.
- Kimberley offers a CA$100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the Northstar Express arsonist.
- Castle Mountain loans Kimberley another passenger snow cat and Leitner-Poma prioritizes repairs in its production schedule.
- The Bode Miller Ski Academy at Granby Ranch will include a high speed surface lift for race training.
- Elk Mountain rope evacuates for the second time in a week, this time the C double.
- The same day, nearby Montage Mountain rope evacuates the Long Haul triple.
- Also last Sunday: 150 people evac’d from the double chair at Song Mountain.
- A Colorado mountain will join the Indy Pass for the first time next week.
- Tamarack removes a North Bowl lift from its expansion proposal, hopes to begin the NEPA process soon for its proposed gondola, south expansion lifts and Wildwood Express extension.
- The reincarnated Big Squaw would include a six person chairlift and new T-Bar.
- Outside Magazine talks with numerous Vail Resorts employees about operational challenges.
- Town of Vail leaders discuss the situation at the namesake company.
- A Sea to Sky-style gondola is planned for interior British Columbia.
- Sunshine Village posts some fascinating stats about its very unique gondola.
- Four men plead not guilty to felony vandalism charges following last month’s incident at the San Diego Zoo.
- Soldier Mountain closes for the weekend due to unspecified lift issues.
- Alaska’s first gondola system is complete and will open to the public in April.
- Cannonsburg laments contractor and supply chain delays which have kept its triple chair from operating this season.
- Aspen Skiing Company raises its minimum wage to $20 per hour, effective the day after tomorrow.
- Argentinian actress Vero Lozano breaks an ankle falling from height off an Aspen chairlift.
- The South Korean resort where a detachable quad rolled back on January 22nd won’t reopen any of its lifts this winter.
- Multiple parties file objections to Purgatory’s Ice Creek expansion approval.
- The State of New Hampshire will host a public meeting next week regarding the future of the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway.
News Roundup: 685 Cabins
- New owners launch Granby Ranch Rising, a set of capital improvement initiatives.
- Seven Springs’ new lift may be completed as soon as the end of this month.
- Mexico City will launch the Doppelmayr-built Cablebús Line 1 on Sunday, followed by the Leitner-built Line 2 on July 24th with a system total of 13 stations, 121 towers and 685 cabins.
- Mt. Hood Meadows proposes replacing the Mt. Hood Express with a Leitner-Poma six place in 2022 or 2023.
- Lookout Pass begins cutting trails on Eagle Peak with installation of Sundance’s former Ray’s quad set to commence in 2022.
- A Breckenridge developer proposes a short gondola to bring skiers from the Gold Rush parking lot to the BreckConnect Gondola.
- Sunlight tables construction of the East Ridge expansion lift, citing “soaring costs of materials such as steel due to ongoing supply chain challenges.” The mountain says “new lift installations are happening at a premium price right now,” and will prioritize more immediate needs such as upgrades to existing lifts.
- Speaking of premium lifts, more towers arrive for the Squaw-Alpine Base to Base Gondola.
News Roundup: Moving Parts
- The Seattle Times runs a feature story on Vail Resorts’ operational challenges at Stevens Pass compared with Alterra at Crystal Mountain.
- Ridgeline Executive Group will continue running Granby Ranch following the sale to a new ownership group.
- The unique triangle gondola at Sterling Vineyards remains closed seven months after a wildfire with no estimate for reopening.
- Big Snow renames its quad chair in honor of General Manager Jim Haas and others who died of Covid-19.
- Two employees of the Georgian ski resort where a lift rolled back in 2018 have been charged criminally and face up to five years in prison.
- Visits to New York’s three state-owned ski areas were up 14 percent to 672,000 with revenue up 10 percent and expenses down 8 percent.
- Whiteface will replace the Bear and Mixing Bowl lifts with a $2.5 million Skytrac quad.
- Powder Mountain, Mt. Ashland and West Mountain join the Indy Pass, which topped 96,000 redemptions this season.
- Cherry Peak, Eagle Point, Red River and Snow Valley sign on to the Freedom Pass alliance, Toggenburg leaves.
- Another fire threatens Ski Apache, which is so far unscathed.
- We now know why the Mighty Argo Cable Car project is stalled. Owners have sued lenders, alleging breach of contract and a $4.5 million loss.
- The Routt National Forest approves Steamboat’s Wild Blue Gondola and Sundown Express replacement projects, subject to a customary objection period.
- Japan’s first urban gondola opens.
- Mi Teleferico celebrates seven years as La Paz’s urban gondola system, providing 328 million rides.
- Loon Mountain confirms the former Kancamagus detachable quad will replace Seven Brothers in 2022.
- Loveland closes Lift 8 for the season due to a mechanical issue.
- The only jigback tramway in Texas could make a return.
- Holiday Valley posts tons of photos of its latest lift replacement project.
- The first gondola components arrive in Squaw Valley.
News Roundup: October Turns
- Skiing is open this weekend in Alberta, Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey Ontario and Wisconsin!
- Garibaldi at Squamish releases new renderings of what could be a $3.5 billion project.
- Searchmont holds off on making snow, offering lodging or selling passes and will only install one of the two Skytrac lifts it ordered due to Coronavirus.
- In a rare interview, John Cumming tells the story of Powdr.
- Big Snow and American Dream post promising attendance numbers after reopening.
- The latest capacity management video from SAM and Snow Operating focuses on lift capacity math in the Covid era.
- With two operating and five more under construction, Mexico’s capital region considers building even more urban gondolas.
- The gondola network in Puerto Vallarta appears complete but surrounding theme parks and hotels have a long way to go.
- Skeetawk has a trail map and will open for the very first time December 5th.
- Only one of Shanty Creek Resorts’ two Michigan ski areas will open this winter.
- Following the death of its owner, Granite Gorge does not plan to operate this year.
- Frustrated at lack of investment, local business owners look into buying Mont-Sainte-Anne from Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.
- A three gondola system connecting various points in Park City would cost an estimated $64 million to build with $3.5 million in annual operating costs.
- The Freedom Pass comes back but with fewer participating resorts than in years past.
- With revenue down eight figures, the Palm Springs Tramway takes out a $15 million loan.
- French President Emmanuel Macron orders the country’s ski resorts closed until at least December 1st due to rising coronavirus cases.
- Of 6,521 comments the Utah Department of Transportation received on Little Cottonwood Canyon options, 78 percent were pro-gondola.
- Granby Ranch will reopen under new management December 11th with more than $1 million invested in lift maintenance and snowmaking.
- Soldier Mountain gives another fire recovery update.
- Technical Safety BC releases an incident report and technical analysis from the latest Sea to Sky Gondola incident (both are heavily redacted so as not to impede the ongoing criminal investigation.)
- Camelback’s new Sunbowl Quad nears completion.
News Roundup: Perfect
- Squaw Valley President and COO Ron Cohen explains why the resort’s name is changing and gives an update on the Squaw-Alpine gondola.
- The other Squaw ski area will not be changing names.
- Whitefish cuts the line for its future Hellroaring lift.
- Icy Strait Point, home to two new Doppelmayr gondolas, is in the running for Global Cruise Port of the Year.
- Nitehawk commences fundraising to replace its destroyed chairlift, though the community ski area may only be able to afford a T-Bar.
- Jay Peak reopens its tram tomorrow with freshly-slipped track ropes.
- The public is asked to weigh in on three Burnaby Mountain Gondola alignments.
- Red Mountain becomes the eighth Ikon Pass destination in Canada.
- Big Snow’s reopening first chair goes up empty in honor of the more than 14,000 New Jerseyans who have died from Covid.
- The first lifts at Mayflower Mountain Resort are now set to open in 2023 instead of 2021. A new project video suggests it will be worth the wait.
- Mad River Glen will get a James Niehues trail map if fundraising efforts succeed.
- Granby Ranch gets a new owner and operator.
- The Perfect family has pumped more than $13 million into Timberline Mountain this offseason, including the two new chairlifts which are 75 percent complete.
News Roundup: Workers
- Alterra, Aspen, Arapahoe Basin and Boyne file a petition to force Liftopia into bankruptcy, claiming the company owes them a combined $3 million.
- The only North American ski resort accessible exclusively by aerial tramway will reopen at 30 percent capacity.
- Leitner-Poma is seeking installation labor for a major project at Nordic Valley, Utah.
- The Mont-Sainte-Anne gondola, which suffered two separate incidents before the Covid shutdown last winter, won’t operate this summer.
- High Country News profiles one group of workers’ quest to unionize at a Vail resort.
- The first concrete is poured for Arizona Snowbowl’s big new Telemix.
- Granby Ranch goes dark.
- The developer of American Dream, home to Big Snow, may be in trouble.
- An old Yan heads from Idaho to Mt. Baldy, California.
- The Indy Pass generated close to 9,000 skier visits last year.
- As Florida theme park Busch Gardens reopens, its gondola won’t be spinning. No word yet on the Disney Skyliner.
- Newly-purchased Bousquet Mountain will add a used Poma triple to replace its Summit Double this summer.
- Poma wins the contract to build $75 million urban gondola system in Grenoble, France.
- Hermitage Club founder Jim Barnes is still trying to appeal the sale of club assets to a member group.
- Leitner Ropeways releases its 2019 Annual Report.
News Roundup: Ripple Effect
- Saddleback demolishes the Rangeley double to make room for its upcoming high speed quad.
- Debt-laden Ski Granby Ranch lays off all its employees and won’t issue refunds to guests with canceled vacations.
- The $2.2 trillion phase three stimulus package passed by Congress doesn’t include assistance specifically for ski areas but there is hope phase four might.
- Vail Resorts borrows more than $500 million from existing lines of credit in order to increase its cash position and maintain financial flexibility during the outbreak.
- While many Leitner-Poma staffers work from home, a skeleton crew continues production.
- Even in hard-hit Italy, one major lift customer plans to commence construction as soon as the immediate health danger has passed.
- Many Doppelmayr employees are also working from home and production continues in Wolfurt.
- Aspen Snowmass intends to complete all capital projects as planned this summer including the $10.8 million Big Burn chairlift.
- Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz personally donates $2.5 million to mountain community charities and an employee assistance fund.
- Yet another lift project cancelled by Vail Resorts: replacement of Peachtree at Crested Butte this summer.
- NSAA estimates costs from early closings and lost pass sales will exceed $2 billion in the United States and forecasts capital spending will plunge 50 percent this year.
- Magic Mountain’s Geoff Hatheway offers a small ski area perspective on COVID-19.
- Coronavirus may impact the review timeline for Snow King Mountain’s proposed expansion and other projects on Forest Service lands.
- Katharina Schmitz officially takes the reigns of Doppelmayr USA from Mark Bee, who retired on March 31st.
- Boyne Resorts estimates $22 million in lost revenue as a result of this winter’s abrupt end.
- The Vietnamese developer behind both the world’s longest and tallest 3S gondolas plans another island-hopping 3S in the country’s north.
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.