- The last North American ski area still operating, Lookout Pass, closes for the season.
- Leitner-Poma is hiring installers for projects at Arapahoe Basin, Arizona Snowbowl, Aspen Snowmass, Breckenridge, Keystone and Okemo.
- A group of 150 former members buys the Hermitage Club and its five chairlifts for the bargain price of $8.06 million.
- Arapahoe Basin lays off 430 seasonal employees and cuts the hours of year round staff.
- Children of the man who died on a Vail chairlift earlier this season retain a Denver law firm for possible litigation.
- In addition to virtually all ski resorts worldwide, coronavirus shuts down urban gondolas including La Paz’s Mi Teleférico, Medellín’s Metrocable, Santo Domingo’s Teleférico and London’s Emirates Air Line.
- New owners take over Great Divide and will reevaluate proposed lift additions through a master planning process.
- The newest gondola operation in Australia becomes insolvent and enters administration, partly a result of COVID-19.
- SAM gathers leaders from Alterra, Boyne, Vail and more to talk about the crisis. A common theme: capital budgets being reexamined.
- A Vancouver developer thinks about a gondola as part of a hillside housing development near Cypress Mountain.
- Lift construction grinds to a halt in New Zealand but carries on in Alaska.
- Ski Inc. and Ski Inc. 2020 author Chris Diamond shares an optimistic view of the crisis under the assumption it won’t last into next winter.
Great Divide to Build Two New Chairlifts
Montana’s Great Divide announced on Friday plans to construct new chairlifts in 2020 and 2022. The first one, dubbed Summit Shuttle, will load at the bottom of the Hiballer run and unload above the Mt. Belmont double‘s top terminal. This will extend Great Divide’s vertical from the true summit of 7,330’. The reasons for Summit Shuttle are four fold: allow skiers to lap the upper mountain without having to return to the base area, add lift capacity for peak days, provide maintenance redundancy and quicken access to Way Out West trails.
In three years, the mountain plans to add a second new lift in terrain known as Tall Timbers south of Rawhide Gulch. Part of this zone will open this winter and it will eventually encompass more than 150 acres. Egress to the base area will be via the existing Rawhide Gulch double. Components for both new lifts are already on site with engineering underway. Great Divide operates a quirky mix of entirely used Mueller and Riblet lifts from other mountains and these are likely to be similar.
In this era of consolidating ownership, it’s fantastic to see a family run, community ski area like Great Divide flourishing and expanding. The 1,600 acre mountain offered the longest season in Montana last year and a walk-up, peak period lift tickets cost $48.
News Roundup: Slow Boat
- After years of gondola negotiations with the Town of Jackson, a frustrated Snow King Mountain presses pause while it waits for the U.S. Forest Service to weigh in.
- Doppelmayr completes the final link in the world’s largest gondola chain. The stats: 10 lines, 21 miles, 34 stations and 1,324 cabins carrying 300,000 daily passengers.
- Crested Butte’s longest lift goes down for more than four days due to communication line damage.
- The announced sale of Montana’s Great Divide won’t happen.
- Peak Resorts posts a solid financial quarter with organic growth in revenue and earnings.
- The Whistler paper highlights what happens when the big Blackcomb Gondola goes down.
- SkyTrans Manufacturing says it’s not to blame for the Ohio State Fair’s delay in replacing potentially corroded chairs on its skyride. As a result of the chairlift situation, Ohio will require all ride operators to forward manufacturer directives to state inspectors going forward.
- After tons of hard work by its lift mechanics and contractors, Attitash concedes it won’t be able to fix Summit‘s gearbox this season. “We’ve heard your calls for a new lift to replace the Summit Triple, and while we appreciate all your feedback, this is not a project our parent company, Peak Resorts, is looking to do in the near future,” says GM John Lowell.
- Leaders of Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Big Sky and Jackson Hole all pen letters addressing the chorus of Ikon Pass crowding criticism.
- The Glenwood Caverns gondola takes flight tomorrow with 17 Sigma cabins. 27 more are on a delayed boat from France and will be put on line when they arrive.
News Roundup: Down to the Wire
- Beaver Creek renames the Buckaroo Express gondola Haymeadow Express, the name of the double chair which ran in the same alignment from 1980 to 2007.
- Whether the Hermitage Club closes a $30 million loan to catch up on lift maintenance and operate this winter is still an open question.
- Arapahoe Basin and Leitner-Poma fly steel for the Beavers project.
- As of yesterday, Vail Resorts officially operates Okemo, Mt. Sunapee and Crested Butte.
- Vail reports fiscal 2018 resort EBITDA was $616.6 million, an increase of 3.9 percent over the prior year. 2018-19 season pass sales are up 25 percent in units and 15 percent in dollars as of Sunday.
- West Mountain adds a million dollar chairlift and looks to build another.
- A New York-based developer receives one of many approvals for Mayflower Village at Deer Valley, which could eventually mean a slate of new lifts.
- Doppelmayr is named in connection with an urban gondola eyed for Long Beach, California.
- Watch a remarkable 3S gondola launch live from Zermatt at 9:15 Eastern tomorrow morning, 6:15 Pacific.
- The CFO and COO of Peak Resorts open up about their decision to buy Snow Time and note the three new mountains don’t immediately need much capital investment.
- The longtime owners of Great Divide, Montana plan to sell to another couple next year.
- Legendary ski resort builder Les Otten remains committed to The Balsams but laments, “time is killing this project.”
- Mountain Capital Partners releases more details on the Spider Mountain Bike Park project.
- The damaged Zugspitze cabin is successfully lowered to the valley for disassembly. The cable car’s operator says damage exceeds $1.2 million and the lift could reopen by year end.
- Boreal names its new quad California Cruiser.
- The latest Leitner-Poma six-pack at Hunter Mountain, seen below, will be called Northern Express.
News Roundup: Into the Mountain
- Doppelmayr’s latest Wir Magazine has lots on D-Line.
- Vail Resorts looks far and wide for its next acquisition with eyes towards Canada and Japan.
- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows enters strategic alliance with Genting Secret Garden, one of China’s newest ski resorts with a 6/8 chondola and two bubble high speed quads.
- Great Divide, Montana is buying a new drive terminal for its Good Luck double.
- Jay Peak receiver calls the resort’s financial situation “dire” as he reveals the resort lost $6.2 million last winter and looks for cost savings.
- Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola will be replaced with a $60 million 10-passemger version in 2018. The current 4-place Doppelmayr gondola debuted in 1987.
- The game-changing Leitner 3S gondola to the Stubai Glacier will open July 9th.