- Multiple companies take big losses removing the VonRoll skyride in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Snowbird will debut new rooftop tram balconies June 17th.
- Eight people are expected to be charged in the 2021 Italian tramway disaster that killed 14 people.
- Crested Butte lift mechanics file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election.
- British Columbia still hasn’t decided whether to permit a sightseeing gondola or competing ski resort proposal near Chilliwack.
- Poma publishes a new urban gondola highlight book.
- A group opposed to the privatization of Homewood says the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has paused permitting for the project, set to include a new D-Line gondola.
- Critics want Taos’ base to base gondola proposal to go through more detailed environmental analysis than the Forest Service has planned.
- Utah leaders vote to include the Little Cottonwood Gondola in a regional transportation plan.
- Kelly Canyon plans multiple lift upgrades this summer.
News Roundup: California Republic
- The owners of Mountain High and Dodge Ridge purchase China Peak.
- Vail Resorts reports 2.3 million pass products sold, though full Epic and Epic Local sales are down 12 percent.
- From the classifieds: a Poma gondola for sale in Australia and a Poma six pack for sale in Ontario.
- Kelly Canyon renames all its chairlifts.
- An updated trail map shows where Bittersweet’s new chairlifts run.
- Mt. La Crosse changes hands.
- Carriers are on both Big Red and Creekside at Whistler Blackcomb.
- A Park City reporter discovers more than 20 percent of the Red Pine Gondola‘s cabins are out of service.
- Attitash asks for votes on four name options for next year’s high speed quad.
- Storms slow progress on Red Dog at Palisades Tahoe and Far East Express can’t open until the new lift is complete.
- KT-22 is currently operating as a triple chair.
- European multi-resort operator Compagnie des Alpes signs a four year lift deal with Poma worth €200 million at list prices.
- MND’s first chairlift in the USA goes live tomorrow morning.
- The nonprofit which runs Big Squaw signs a new five year contract.
- Deer Valley will host open houses this week regarding future plans.
- Thanks to Dave Amirault for these progress photos of Burns Express at Deer Valley.
News Roundup: Wish List
- The largest gondola network in the world looks to add four more lines.
- Aspen Mountain is likely to gain approval for Pandora’s next month with lift installation targeted for 2023.
- The Burnaby Mountain Gondola remains a top funding priority in the Vancouver region.
- 49 Degrees North names its new detachable quad Northern Spirit.
- Opposition emerges to the Lutsen Mountains expansion proposal.
- Kelly Canyon flies towers for its new Skytrac.
- Ground is broken for a seven station urban gondola system in Santiago, Chile.
- Beaver Creek releases its new map with McCoy Park. Okemo’s new lifts hit the trail map. Saddleback too.
- A proposed wildlife park with gondola ride receives a $400,000 grant from the State of North Dakota.
- Maine’s Mt. Abram reactivates its long disused Mini T-Bar.
- A documentary about Canada’s largest lost ski area will debut at the Banff Film Festival.
- MND Ropeways commences construction on its first North American detachable at Waterville Valley.
- 462 ski areas operated last season in the United States, 8 fewer than 2019/20.
- Purgatory’s Ice Creek expansion and triple chair are approved, subject to a 45 day objection period.
- Ski Cooper’s wish list includes a frontside detachable quad and lifts on Chicago Ridge.
- Alberta’s Hidden Valley may not open this season.
- Nitehawk takes delivery of Lake Louise’s former Summit Platter for immediate installation and conversion to a T-Bar.
- A Snow King gondola update.
- Fire-damaged Big Snow American Dream will remain closed into 2022.
- As some suggest a gondola, Denver International Airport seeks proposals for a non-rail link between its three concourses.
News Roundup: Formal Proposal
- Sierra at Tahoe reports more fire damage than initially thought with a large amount of vegetation burned, six lifts damaged and a vehicle maintenance shop lost.
- A GoFundMe has been established to support Sierra at Tahoe employees who lost personal property in the Caldor Fire.
- Jay Peak is “actively engaged” with multiple potential buyers and reports improving finances, though both Jay and Burke Mountain both still operate in the red.
- Sunday River will spin the new Merrill Hill triple select days this season with a full opening pushed to winter 2022-23.
- With a new lift on the way, Kelly Canyon begins disassembling the Stony Mountain double.
- A vaccine requirement for indoor entertainment venues in British Columbia won’t apply to gondolas.
- Also in BC, the Zincton formal proposal is out and includes five chairlifts plus a gondola.
- The New York Times does a feature story on green urban transportation including gondolas.
- James Niehues announces his retirement from trail maps though he will continue painting.
- Catamount continues construction on two new quad chairs, one of which will start out as a triple.
- Skytrac flies towers at Howelsen Hill.
- Snow King Mountain enters the home stretch on a $20 million summer and looks for public help to name new lifts.
- Speaking of Snow King, towers went up last weekend for both lifts.
News Roundup: Full Steam Ahead
- Steamboat shares a timeline for the Wild Blue Gondola project, relocation of the Christie Peak Express base terminal, Pioneer Ridge construction and Greenhorn Ranch.
- Utah breaks its all time visit record despite the pandemic and a drought.
- Marshall Mountain is now set to sell to a group intending to maintain public access.
- The former owner of Jay Peak and current operator of six Quebec ski resorts agrees to pay the Vermont ski area $100,000 without admitting any wrongdoing.
- Mayflower Mountain Resort breaks ground, sort of.
- We now know where Kelly Canyon’s new Skytrac triple will go.
- The Indy Pass will announce its 67th and 68th resort partners next week.
- Purgatory permits mountain bikers to shuttle themselves in private vehicles while Lift 1 undergoes repairs in June and July.
- Aspen invests over a million dollars to replace the haul rope on the Silver Queen Gondola.
- The Stresa-Mottarone tram disaster was captured by two surveillance cameras. Caution, the footage is very disturbing to watch.
- Progress continues on the Squaw-Alpine Base to Base Gondola.
News Roundup: RFP
- The European Union will pay French ski operators up to 49 percent of lost revenue from this winter.
- Ober Gatlinburg’s tram closes for two months for track rope and drive replacement projects totaling $4.5 million.
- Bluewood’s general manager explains why fixing a 43 year old lift still makes sense for the mountain vs. buying a new one.
- The Burke Mountain and Jay Peak receiver says in a court filing the mountains are “desperately in need of liquidity” while battling financial services giant Raymond James.
- Whiteface issues a request for proposals to replace the Bear double with a fixed grip quad starting lower in the base area.
- Kelly Canyon’s new Skytrac will be a triple reaching 600 feet beyond the top of Chair 2.
- With one Doppelmayr gondola finished but never opened to the public and another partially complete, Icy Strait Point removes all booking availability until April of 2022.
- Skiland performs a rope evacuation of the northernmost chairlift in the Americas.
- The National Ski Areas Association updates its lift safety fact sheet.
- Mission Ridge isn’t done with On the Way Up just yet! Episode 18 explores the parking system and more.
- At a leadership forum in Park City, Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory says his company will invest $200 million on capital improvements this year and plans to build the Squaw-Alpine gondola.
- We also learned Deer Valley is in talks with Mayflower Mountain Resort about shared access.
- Rusty next joined the Storm Skiing Podcast, confirming the Ikon Pass will add at least one new resort for 21-22.
- Vail Resorts slashes Epic Pass prices by 20 percent.
- Developers say the Moosehead Mountain project is “moving fast” with a lift to be ordered as soon as May for completion late this year.
- Two more days until Snow King’s Summit double stops for good to make way for a gondola, though the Forest Service’s Record of Decision has not been signed and litigation looms.
- Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry confirms it’s investigating last weekend’s chair fall at Camelback but does not expect to make the report public.
New Lift Coming to Kelly Canyon
For the first time in decades, Kelly Canyon is getting a new chairlift. The fixed grip triple chair is the first new lift announced in the state of Idaho for 2021. The lift will service new terrain above the current lift-served summit with an exact location to be announced later.
With six complete lift projects and multiple retrofits already confirmed, Salt Lake City-based Skytrac is gearing up for one of its busiest construction seasons ever.
Kelly Canyon will run a contest on social media to name the new lift.
News Roundup: Next Up
- Robert Redford sells Sundance Resort to two private equity firms.
- 49 Degrees North completes the same retrofit as Chair 1 received on Chair 4, which will reopen today.
- Kamiscotia, Ontario rebrands as Mt. Jamieson.
- Kennywood Park removes rides to cut costs including its 1996 CTEC quad (sister park Lake Compounce did the same three years ago.)
- Saddleback is open! The trail map shows replacement Cupsuptic and Sandy lifts coming soon.
- A Utah entrepreneur wants to bring back a tram to Bridal Veil Falls.
- Vail Resorts looks to raise another $500 million from investors.
- Kelly Canyon seeks to replace Stony Mountain and Summit with one triple or quad.
- Sun Valley’s old Dollar double hits the market.
- Ditto for Ragged Mountain’s former Speak Mountain triple.
- Local officials approve Utah Olympic Park’s West Peak expansion and a 17 tower double or triple.
- Magic Mountain expects to have the Black Line Quad operational by MLK weekend.
- Leitner-Poma of America is hiring a Field Service Technician.
- The Burlington Free Press begins a three part series on the Jay Peak fraud case.
- Still no gondola as Mont-Sainte-Anne reopens.
- Two injured guests are airlifted following a chairlift fall at Park City.
- A formal feasibility study is the next step toward a gondola in Long Beach.
- Fatzer ships a new rope to the Sea to Sky Gondola.
Oldest Operating Lifts in the US & Canada
1. Single Chair, Mad River Glen, VT – 1948 American Steel & Wire Single Chair
The single chair at MRG still has its original towers and terminal structures but everything else was replaced by Doppelmayr CTEC in 2007. As part of that project, towers were removed, sandblasted and repainted before being flown back to new foundations with new line gear. Doppelmayr also replaced the bullwheels, chairs, grips, drive and haul rope. This begs the question of ‘when is an old lift a new lift?’
Gatlinburg Sky Lift, Gatlinburg, TN – 1954 Riblet double
Everett Kircher of Boyne fame bought this chairlift from Sugar Bowl, CA for $3,000 in 1954. Originally it was a single chair built in 1939. Modified sheave assemblies were machined at the Kircher’s car dealership in Michigan when the lift went to Tennessee. At some point it appears to have gotten newer-style Riblet towers. Boyne Resorts still operates this lift 800 miles from their nearest ski resort. (edit: JP notes in the comments below that this version was replaced by a Riblet double in 1991. Thanks JP!)
3. Chair 1, White Pass, WA –
1955 1962 Riblet double
This lift only operates on busy weekends and holidays but it’s an old one and a good one . A classic Pacific Northwest center-pole double with very few modifications from its original design and no safety bars! (edit: Brian notes in the comments that this lift was actually installed as Chair 2 in 1962. The original chair 1 operated 1955-1994.)