News Roundup: Turnover

  • Squaw seeks extension for permit to replace Red Dog lift.
  • MND Group turnover increases 15.1 percent year-over-year.  The company aims to double sales by 2020 partially through LST Ropeways subsidiary.  Referencing the new Cannon Mountain T-Bar in the latest magazine, MND notes “success has enabled LST to penetrate the US market, paving the way for other promising opportunities.”
  • Doppelmayr will begin building its next tri-cable gondola in December.  Who would have guessed Kenya would get a 3S before the United States!
  • Forest Service gives final green light for Breckenridge and Keystone six-place upgrades.
  • A slow landslide continues to move tower 6 of the Barrows lift at Howelsen Hill.
  • SE Group will study placement of Aspen Mountain’s future Lift 1A.
  • Denver Post publishes two part interview with Larry Smith of the CPTSB re: Granby Ranch.
  • The LiftDigital safety bar display system with integrated Wi-Fi will launch in Colorado for 2017-18.
  • New PomaLink newsletter features the Grand Canyon Express and a six-station gondola at a zoo in China.
  • Poma’s 2016 Reference Book includes LPOA installations but not Skytrac ones.
  • Mountain Creek files for bankruptcy protection with debts totaling $40+ million including $500,000 balance on 2012 Partek chairlift loan.
  • One of Heavenly’s original 1962 tram cars is for sale.  Email me if you’re interested.
  • heavenlytramcar
  • Artur Doppelmayr died Friday at age 95.  May he rest in peace.

Vail Resorts to Build Three New Six-Packs in Colorado for 2017-18

With strong Epic Pass sales and early snow blanketing its properties, Vail Resorts revealed today it will go big on new lifts in 2017, adding additional six-place chairlifts at Vail, Keystone and Breckenridge as part of a $122 million capital program.  In the company’s first quarter results, CEO Rob Katz noted, “we remain committed to reinvesting in our resorts, creating an experience of a lifetime for our guests and generating strong returns for our shareholders.”  The news follows construction of four new lifts at Vail mountains in both 2015 and 2016.

vail 4-1-07 028
The Northwoods Express #11 on Vail Mountain will be replaced at the end of this year, the resort announced today.

On Vail Mountain, the Northwoods Express #11 will be replaced, leaving only three CLD-260 first-generation detachables in service.  The new Northwoods will also become the mountain’s 10th new lift in 11 years.  At Breckenridge, Vail will upgrade the Falcon high speed quad on Peak 10 to a six-person detachable, allowing more guests to experience some of the best intermediate and advanced terrain on the mountain.   The Falcon SuperChair is a 1986 Poma high speed quad also approaching the end of its useful life.  At Keystone, the 1990 Doppelmayr Uni-model Montezuma chair will be replaced with a six-pack version.

The six-place Avanti Express #2 at Vail replaced an older high speed quad in 2015 as part of Vail Resorts’ ongoing initiative to replace high-traffic lifts in recent years.

Leitner-Poma is likely to build Breckenridge’s newest lift, which would extend a 16-lift streak for the manufacturer at Breck.  Vail and Keystone operate a mix of Leitner-Poma and Doppelmayr lifts and could plausibly sign with either company.  Noticeably absent from today’s release was any mention of new lifts for Park City or the newly-Epic Whistler-Blackcomb.  Vail Resorts will detail further capital improvements in the spring but these three projects are a huge start.

Update 1/23/17: Leitner-Poma will build and install all three of these lifts.

Instagram Tuesday: Global

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

Good morning partner! 🌥🌥🌥#wynnpalace #southdragon #doppelmayr #skycab #morning #cloudy

A post shared by Ellie Bhandari (@elliebhandari) on

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Instagram Tuesday: Election Day

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

#anotherdayatwork #ilovemyjob #snowiscoming #skilift #sunrise #moutains #shredingsoon #seaofclouds

A post shared by Eli Waga (@eliwaga) on

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News Roundup: The People

Instagram Tuesday: Doing Work

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

#heliatwork #helicopter #skilift #chopok #mountains #Tatry #nizketatry #tatramountains

A post shared by Jadzia Stachoń (@hedvig92) on

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Instagram Tuesday: Splicing

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Instagram Tuesday: Rime

A stunning capture of sunrise at the top of the Sunburst Chair by @feliciafox #SunPeaks360 #ExploreBC

A post shared by Sun Peaks Resort (@sunpeaksresort) on

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Instagram Tuesday: Stars

The magic of the Milky Way on a perfectly clear night. #mammothstories 📷 @petermorning

A post shared by Mammoth Mountain (@mammothmountain) on

Flat Top Flyer top terminal being set! #christmascomesearly #skipowderhorn #bringonwinter #bringonwinter2015 #sharegj #flattopflyer

A post shared by Powderhorn Mountain Resort (@skipowderhorn) on

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Vail Resorts to Add Lift Wait Times to EpicMix

The EpicMix app will show lift wait times in minutes for major lifts at Vail's four Colorado resorts.
The EpicMix app will show lift wait times in minutes for major lifts at Vail’s four Colorado resorts.

Last week, Vail Resorts announced their EpicMix mobile app will provide guests with live lift wait times for 55 lifts at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone starting this winter.  Vail Resorts will use their app to track guests through lift lines to provide a crowd-sourced estimate called EpicMix Time.  The technology is currently being tested at the company’s Perisher resort in Australia.  Vail compares the system to Google’s Waze app, which crowd sources traffic and accident information for Google Maps.  The company plans to expand the technology in future years to all its resorts and other places where guests have to wait in line such as restaurants and rental shops.

Vail's Gondola One can move an impressive 3,600 skiers per hour but sometimes even that isn't enough.
Vail’s Gondola One can move an impressive 3,600 skiers per hour but sometimes even that isn’t enough.

Other resorts have tried to provide lift waiting times in the past.  For years, Whistler-Blackcomb has had lights on its lift status signs that indicate whether a lift line is less than 5 minutes, 5-15 minutes, or more than 15 minutes.  I suspect Whistler’s system is powered by lift operators calling a dispatcher which is a less than perfect solution.  Vail’s technology will be much more accurate and timely.

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