- Co-owned Dodge Ridge and Mountain High are the latest resorts to join the Indy Pass.
- The Jay Peak sale hearing is delayed until September in hopes more parties will bid.
- Vail Resorts will cap day ticket sales at every mountain every day this season.
- Vail settles one class action labor lawsuit for $13 million.
- Alta’s former Sunnyside detachable triple will keep its name at Red Lodge Mountain.
- A grand opening celebration for the Palisades Tahoe Base to Base Gondola is scheduled for December 17th.
- Grouse Mountain will break ground on its Leitner-Poma gondola next month.
- Loon Mountain’s former Seven Brothers triple will live on as an adventure park access lift in Quebec.
- Also in Quebec, closed Mont Glen plans a 2023 reboot with a new poma lift.
- Doppelmayr will supply the world’s longest single stage monocable gondola in the Caribbean.
- Lift repairs remain on track at Kimberley.
- Sunrise Park will replace what was once the longest triple chair in the world with a rope tow.
- Waterville Valley and MND fly towers for the first Bartholet detachable in North America.
- Cypress Mountain auctions chairs from the retired Sky double.
- Wildcat will sell retired Doppelmayr quad chairs next month.
News Roundup: Hurdles
- Four people file appeals seeking to halt construction of Park City’s new lifts.
- Doppelmayr, Poma and Leitner all release annual brochures featuring lifts built last year.
- The former owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain is sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $8.3 million in restitution.
- The Tenney Mountain property is sold.
- Grouse Mountain formally applies for a development permit to build a new gondola.
- West Mountain looks to break ground in 2023 on a $140 million real estate project which includes a high speed quad.
- Whistler’s chair and gondola sale is live now.
- Heavenly to sell North Bowl triple chairs beginning today (update: the sale has been postponed for unspecified reasons.)
- With multiple projects in planning, Canada may beat the United States to the urban gondola party.
- Maine’s Quoggy Jo loses key funding.
- A preliminary timeline for the Timberline Lodge gondola construction: 2028.
- Juneau will spend $845,000 to transport the used 15 passenger gondola it purchased for Eaglecrest, more than double an initial estimate.
- Mount Roberts Tramway operator Goldbelt downplays its involvement in the Eaglecrest gondola project.
- Preliminary lift work begins begins at Mayflower.
- In case you missed Doppelmayr Insights, here’s a replay.
- Bartholet prepares to build Flem Xpress, the first Ropetaxi with autonomous gondolas and multi-station selection.
- Big Snow is on track to reopen May 27th.
- County officials approve Mt. Shasta’s Gray Butte expansion and construction begins.
Grouse Mountain to Replace Blue Tram with a Gondola
Northland Properties has announced a CA$30+ million investment to transform the arrival experience at Grouse Mountain. If approved, a modern eight passenger gondola would replace the 1966 jig back affectionately known as the Blue Skyride. The state-of-the-art gondola will provide continuous loading and a more comfortable experience for up to 2,000 guests per hour (1,000 per direction). The lift is planned to cross under the Red Skyride, which today provides the only public access from the parking lot to the mountain. The 100 passenger Garaventa-built tramway will remain in service for additional capacity and redundancy.
Northland, which also owns Revelstoke Mountain Resort, has partnered with Leitner-Poma to supply the gondola. The 27 cabin, 13 tower machine would travel at 5.1 meters per second, achieving a ride time under six minutes. Gondola cabins would be parked when not in use beneath the upper terminal. The estimated CA$30-35 million project also includes a reconfigured drop off area and 193 new parking spaces. Visitors would see reduced wait times and Grouse would be able to operate year round with no maintenance closures.
“Grouse Mountain is proud to be an integral pillar of the North Vancouver community since 1926 and we look forward to upgrading our facilities leading up to our 100-year anniversary,” notes the project website. The public is invited to learn more about the plan via a virtual public meeting taking place now through September 27th. The District of North Vancouver welcomes public comments as it considers approval. If given the green light, construction on the gondola is expected to last 18 months with an opening targeted for December 2023.
News Roundup: Live Rescue
- Big White, Grouse Mountain, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Hell’s Gate Airtram and the Sea to Sky Gondola each receive up to CA$1 million in government assistance.
- Aspen Mountain’s Lift One project inches toward groundbreaking. The Pandora’s expansion and chairlift faces an August 25th review.
- Icy Strait Point welcomes its first ship since 2019 with a new gondola system.
- Tampa Bay’s regional transit authority postpones a gondola feasibility study.
- Mayflower Mountain Resort still has no set timeline for lift construction.
- Morocco commits to building its first urban gondola.
- The Government of Dubai and MND sign a memorandum of understanding for a prototype self-propelled ropeway system.
- Just days before launch, Mexico City delays the opening of Cablebús Line 2.
- In its first two weeks, Cablebús Line 1 averaged 56,000 riders a day.
- Also in Mexico, a dramatic rescue operation follows a tension system failure on the Mueller-built Monte-Taxco Cable Car.
- Vail Resorts is not happy with a YouTuber who climbed a Peak 2 Peak Gondola tower to make a video.
- Poma, Compagnie des Alpes and the French Government will partner to build a 3.3 mile, 3 station 2S gondola linking a valley transit hub to a mountain community.
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: 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.
Revelstoke Owner Set to Buy Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain Resort will once again be Canadian owned by the end of the month. Shanghai-based China Minsheng Investment Group has agreed to sell the resort to Northland Properties, a conglomerate which owns Revelstoke Mountain Resort along with numerous hotels and an NHL franchise. “With our strong family and company roots in Vancouver BC, we are excited with the opportunity to make this acquisition,” said Tom Gaglardi, President and CEO of Northland Properties Corporation. “We look forward to working closely with the existing team and leadership group, as well the community to ensure we maintain and evolve the iconic Grouse Mountain experience for all of our visitors.”
Grouse Mountain operates four Leitner-Poma quad lifts and is accessed exclusively by aerial tramways as there are no public roads to the area. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports replacing the Blue Skyride is a top priority for the new owner. The aerial tramway was built in 1965 and carries only 44 passengers per car when open. Even with the 1976 Red Skyride next door, the tramways often prove inadequate for moving large numbers of people, especially during stormy weather.
“We welcome the opportunity to join Canada’s fastest growing hospitality group,” said Michael Cameron, President of Grouse Mountain Resort. “As a leader in the hotel and restaurant industry, Northland Properties has shown tremendous growth and innovation across their diversified group of companies. We look forward to working together, recognizing the accomplishments that the Grouse Mountain Resort and its team have achieved over the years and continuing to build on that success.”
News Roundup: Super Cool
- Mt. Rose wants to replace Lakeview and build a two stage detachable Atoma lift instead of two separate alignments shown here.
- Two people survive after their small plane crashes into and is caught by chairlift cables in Italy.
- The Forest Service seeks public comment on issuing a special use permit to Mountain Capital Partners to operate Elk Ridge, Arizona, which closed in 2017.
- The owners of 100 year old Pocono Manor want to build a 1.5 mile chairlift to the upcoming Pocono Springs lifestyle and entertainment complex.
- The New York Times considers whether a planned four station gondola is appropriate in historically holy Jerusalem.
- All three Disney Skyliner lines remain closed following Saturday’s mishap at the Riviera station.
- The replacement for Big Burn at Snowmass may be a six place bubble model.
- Hermitage Club founder Jim Barnes is ordered to pay a member more than $5.4 million for making misrepresentations.
- Crystal Mountain adds 12 gondola cabins with the mountain’s new logo, bringing the Mt. Rainier Gondola to its maximum capacity of 900 passengers per hour.
- Magic Mountain’s new quad may not spin by Christmas but hopefully MLK weekend.
- Environmental review of the New York Capital Gondola project should commence next week.
- Lake Louise’s VonRoll gondola towers finally fly away after 60 years.
- The VonRoll in Oklahoma thrills riders for a 54th year.
- Fatzer fast tracks a new haul rope for the Sea to Sky Gondola.
- The recently opened 3S in Norway successfully toes the line between an urban gondola and ski/tourism lift.
- Vail seeks to buy the Hermitage Club’s snowmaking guns.
- A super cool LST T-Bar on the roof of a waste-to-energy plant opens for skiers in Copenhagen.
- Poma begins constructing a five section urban gondola on the remote Indian Ocean island of Réunion.
- Grouse Mountain acknowledges the Blue Skyride‘s days are numbered and will study replacing it over the coming year.
- Frost Fire, which was unable to spin its brand new Skytrac quad last winter, says it will open this winter.
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.
News Roundup: T-Bar Rebirth
- Gould Academy is fundraising to put a T-Bar up Monday Mourning at Sunday River but hasn’t signed a contract yet, I’m told. The race training lift could become New England’s sixth new T-Bar in three years.
- Grouse Mountain sells to Chinese and Canadian investors, Blue Knob goes to a group of Pittsburgh skiers.
- Waterville Valley’s new High Country T-Bar would follow an all-new alignment starting lower and ending higher than the current double.
- LiftDigital safety bar displays to debut at Wachusett and on the Super Gauge Express at Winter Park.
- Homeowners and insurers may sue the Christchurch Adventure Park in New Zealand over its decision to keep a brand new Doppelmayr high-speed quad running during a wildfire in an effort to save the haul rope. A video allegedly shows burning chairs starting new fires along the 5,790-foot lift line. The haul rope was written off and the park remains closed five months later.
- LST’s first detachable finally opens to the public in France.
- Val Neigette, Quebec is closing and selling off equipment, including a 1990 Doppelmayr quad chair.
- Developer floats building a gondola across Interstate 25 in Loveland, Colorado.
- Aspen Snowmass COO David Perry leaves Skico to help launch new, still nameless company which will include Intrawest, KSL and Mammoth resorts.
- Sunshine Village and Parks Canada fight hard to prevent a wildfire from crossing into the ski area.
- Disney Skyliner’s first lift line is already cut.
- Steamboat gondola reopening delayed a third time for more testing with the CPTSB.