The only aerial tramway in Texas closes after nearly six decades. “Replacement of the Wyler Aerial Tramway is estimated to cost millions of dollars. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department does not have the financial resources to execute a capital construction project of this size at this time.”
Michael Doppelmayr is profiled for his 60th birthday. Some interesting facts: his company’s gross margin was 12.1 percent last year and his father Artur vehemently opposed Doppelmayr’s merger with Garaventa.
New York’s high court clears the way for Belleayre to expand into the former Highmount Ski Center.
Bretton Woods and Doppelmayr make great progress on New Hampshire’s first 8 passenger gondola.
The leaders of North and South Korea ride a pulse gondola during their three day summit.
The State of New Hampshire will hold a public meeting about transferring the Mt. Sunapee lease to Vail Resorts on September 26th.
The Hermitage Club is still trying to ink a reopening deal with members and Oz Real Estate.
Powdr breaks ground on Woodward Park City, set to debut with a fixed-grip quad in November 2019. No word yet on the manufacturer.
The Forest Service green lights Aspen Highlands’ Goldenhorn platter project.
Peak Resorts posts quarterly results: an $11.8 million net loss on $7 million in revenue as the company worked to build Hunter North and the Carinthia Lodge at Mt. Snow. SKIS had $10.1 million in cash on hand as of July 31st with $180.6 million in debt. CEO Tim Boyd says he’s still open to acquiring more mountains.
Disney will build and maintain a boat and dock specifically for Skyliner gondola evacuation purposes.
Days before the deadline for public comments, Sunshine Village CEO Ralph Scurfield pens an op-ed criticizing Parks Canada’s proposed site guidelines that would eliminate three future lifts from consideration.
Restructuring could resolve what is currently the nation’s largest ski resort foreclosure case, according to a report from the Brattleboro Reformer. Jim Barnes, founder of the financially-troubled Hermitage Club, sent an email last night informing members of two important developments. First, the Club has secured a bridge loan to maintain key staff working toward a restructuring with Berkshire Bank and other creditors. Secondly, a nonbinding term sheet has been signed with Oz Real Estate to provide new capital to the ski and golf resort. “The potential transaction with Oz Real Estate contemplates the club’s debt with Berkshire Bank to be restructured or bought out,” Barnes wrote. The bank is owed more than $17 million while a foodservice distributor is out more than $1.5 million and a hotelier $1.2 million along with others owed smaller amounts.
Oz is the parent company of Ski Resort Holdings LLC, which bought 14 major ski resorts from CNL Lifestyle Properties in 2017. Most of them were sold to Boyne Resorts, Vail Resorts and other operators over the past year. “Oz Real Estate invests in both opportunistic real estate private equity and real estate credit in the U.S. and Europe,” the firm says on its website. “Founded in 2003, Oz Real Estate has raised approximately $3.8 billion of dedicated real estate capital and completed more than 107 transactions across 19 diverse real estate asset classes.” Mr. Barnes also named a new Club President, Harper Sibley.
The Hermitage is currently closed under a court-ordered receivership with FTI Consulting on site maintaining assets. “The primary goal of the Hermitage Club is to close this restructuring and prepare for a successful 2018/2019 fall and winter season,” Barnes stated in his email. “The proceeds from the restructuring will provide the means to settle claims and disputes that have arisen due to the lack of cash flow from closed club operations.” Nonbinding is a key word and the Club made a similar announcement about $26 million in possible funding from an unidentified financial company on April 30th. It’s unclear whether that deal was to be with Oz or a different outfit altogether. Berkshire Bank assistant vice president and marketing officer Heidi Higgins told the Reformer the lender is “not in a position to talk about this specific instance due to privacy and legal concerns.” Nonetheless, the news is a sign Mr. Barnes and his staff continue to work hard toward a resolution four months from ski season.
James Coleman explains his ambitious dream to create another Snowbasin out of Nordic Valley.
Episode 5 of Ski Area Management’s podcast, focusing on risk management, covers lots of lift ground: the Squaw Valley tram accident, a grip slip incident, and challenges Pats Peak faced after buying the Lake Compounce Skyride.
“Ever since the company went public in 2014 it has taken advantage of its improved access to capital to finance large infrastructure projects that may have led to growth in visitation and revenues, but haven’t resulted in better earnings or cash flows.”
After a tower shifted downhill this spring, the City of Steamboat will again fix Howelsen Hill’s chairlift rather than replacing it.
In the Jay Peak fraud case, former resort owner Ariel Quiros and executive Bill Stenger settle with the State of Vermont for $2.1 million without admitting wrongdoing.
In a separate class action lawsuit, a group of Jay Peak investors allege more than 100 immigration lawyers received $5 million in kickbacks from the resort, creating undisclosed conflicts of interest.
The federal government orders an immediate shutdown of the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center, which allowed foreigners to invest in ski resorts such as Jay Peak and other businesses in exchange for green cards.
Hermitage Club members could lease Haystack Mountain to reopen next season but Berkshire Bank will not. Homeowners may have a senior lien on the Barnstormer six-pack but would need to pay for $300,000 of lift maintenance to reopen.
Even though his purchase of Saddleback never closed, Australian businessman Sebastian Monsour did spend $400,000 on the closed Maine ski resort last year. Hopefully some went to lift maintenance!
Parks Canada seeks public comments on possible Sunshine Village lift and terrain expansions into Goat’s Eye II, Lower Meadow Park and Hayes Hill. Another new lift could eventually parallel the gondola.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and the Sierra Club sign an agreement for the resort to abandon California Express Alternative 2 in exchange for the group withholding legal action against alternatives 3 and 4.
The Seattle suburb of Kirkland looks to a possible aerial lift to connect its city center with an upcoming bus rapid transit station.
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and Whistler Blackcomb COO Pete Sonntag do a wide ranging interview with the local newspaper after a challenging year and a half.
As the public comment period nears its end, California Express faces critics.
Under the proposed Hermitage Club receivership, FTI Consulting would maintain properties but wouldn’t reopen the mountain for skiing next winter. The Club objects to some of the proposal even though the receivership would be dissolved if Berkshire Bank is paid in full or the assets auctioned off.
This guy is lucky to be okay and probably won’t be allowed back to Squaw Valley for a long time.
Boston’s Seaport gondola proposal might be in trouble.
The Forest Service gives a final green light to Purgatory’s Gelande lift project although construction this summer is uncertain.
Hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum coming into the United States from the European Union, Canada and Mexico take effect at midnight tonight.
North America’s newest urban gondolas, built by Poma in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, carried 41,000 riders in their first 18 hours last week.