- Reopening of Steamboat’s refurbished gondola has been delayed one more week to July 21st.
- Pats Peak starts work on the new Peak chair, a CTEC from Ascutney, VT with Skytrac upgrades and a loading carpet.
- Alta updates skiers on the new Supreme.
- The Snowdon triple at Killington is getting new SkyTrans crossarms this summer.
- Didn’t make it to Interalpin? You can see the Leitner-Poma Group’s booth through an interactive panorama.
- This week’s Disney gondola update comes from EPCOT.
- Waterville Valley proposes replacing unreliable High Country double with a T-Bar.
- More details surface in fatal Gulmarg Gondola tree incident.
- Six Flags sky ride reopens with new between-leg restraints following rider fall.
- The Community Ski Areas at Risk Symposium, sponsored by Skytrac, is a worthy watch.
- I stopped by Hogadon this weekend and confirmed the Red chair has been removed. Pictures of all 33 of Wyoming’s lifts are now in the database and Montana will be completed next.
- An Eldo Express update.
- Doppelmayr opens an impressive over-water gondola in South Korea’s second largest city.
- Medellín’s four gondola lines will be joined by a fifth.
- The Lake Compounce Skyride, a 1997 CTEC Sprint with 14 towers closes for good.
- Leitner’s new urban gondola in Berlin sees a million riders in its first three months.
- Insolvent Ski Blandford may be sold to Ski Butternut.
Killington Resort and a local developer will invest $110 million to revitalize Bear Mountain over the next few years, including the addition of a fixed-grip quad chair at South Ridge next summer. Most of the plans involve base infrastructure and real estate but the lift news is exciting given the South Ridge area has been without direct service since its triple chair was removed in 2011. The $3 million quad chair will be the first new lift at the East’s most visited resort since the addition of the Skye Peak Express in 2008. “This Bear Mountain Revitalization Plan is especially exciting for me because I know that our core group of season pass holders has wanted a new South Ridge lift since the day we removed the old one,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “With the trail work our team has planned, this layout should greatly enhance the Killington experience by improving connectivity between the north and south sides of the resort.” The Bear Mountain Quad, a 1979 Yan will remain for now but is likely to be upgraded in the future with new development at its base.
Lift Engineering built the old South Ridge lift in the shape of a triangle, a wacky setup that will not be repeated. The new version will follow the path of the old light side from the bottom of Roundabout to an unload near the summit of Killington Peak. “From the top of the Bear Mountain Quad, the long-awaited replacement of the South Ridge lift will give skiers and snowboarders easy access the resort’s north side terrain including the Canyon and Snowdon areas, or easy access to the many trails in the sunny South Ridge area,” says Jeff Temple, director of mountain operations. Leitner-Poma is likely to build the fixed-grip quad as a longstanding supplier to Killington, but there’s also a chance it could go to Doppelmayr with Powdr Co.’s recent history. In further good news, The Beast also announced an agreement yesterday to host World Cup ski racing in both 2017 and 2018.
- Portland’s next Transit on Tap talk on Jan. 24th features the story of the Portland Aerial Tram. The lift turns ten with a celebration planned for Jan. 28th.
- A veteran mechanic dies after falling from a catwalk at Killington’s Skyeship Gondola.
- Yesterday’s New York Times daily 360 video comes from the world’s largest urban gondola system.
- This is what happens when Toblerone sponsors a mid-station.
- Telluride extends gondola hours to 17.5 per day.
- 2016 New England lift projects stretch into 2017.
- LST launches an all-new website.
- Spotlight stays on urban gondolas.
- Squaw lifts got buried by 14 feet in 11 days.
- Grand Canyon Escalade bill tabled for a future meeting.
- Alpine Mountain says goodbye to skiing. The Pennsylvania ski area once operated three Borvig fixed-grips chairlifts.
- Nearing December, Suicide Six and Waterville Valley are still building their respective new lifts.
- Skytrac talks ANSI and more with Ross Stevens of Stevens Engineering.
- East River Skyway gains more backers.
- City of Branson to vote on American Gondola agreement Dec. 13th.
- One summer is down, two more to go building the world’s highest 3S.
- Chile’s President inaugurates new Poma gondola in Santiago.
- Saddleback Mountain Foundation raises one third of the millions needed to reopen Maine’s third largest resort as a co-operative.
- Parks Canada is not on board with gondola transit for Banff.
- Ski racer gets $750,000 after being left on a gondola at Killington for five hours in October 2011.
- A movement is afoot to turn Saddleback into a Mad River Glen-style cooperative.
- Red Mountain seeks to raise $5-10 million through crowdfunding.
- Leitner Ropeways launches interactive map of installations since 1996.
- With the haul rope being pulled, Mi Teleférico anticipates an early 2017 opening of the Blue Line in La Paz with 5 stations, 38 towers and 208 gondola cabins.
- Killington renews permit for the Pico interconnect to include four chairlifts and 110 acres of new terrain.
- BMF wins a contract for an 8-passenger gondola and six-pack at a new venue for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The company is currently building 5 lifts in Switzerland along with ones in Val Thorens and Moscow.
- New York University gets behind the East River Skyway as a solution to the looming L-Train subway closure in NYC.
- Public gets a sneak peak inside the Banff Gondola’s new $26 million top station.
- Three people injured in a March 2014 de-ropement on a Mueller double chair at Crystal Mountain, BC have filed claims against the resort. The BC Safety Authority’s investigation found the cause to be low tension in the haul rope due to the lift’s counterweight resting on the ground. Crystal Mountain has been closed ever since.
- Wolf Creek’s owner still floating the idea of a low capacity jag-back tram on the backside of the mountain.
- Re-opening plan for Antelope Butte Ski Area moves forward with two Riblet doubles scheduled to be back in operation by December 2017.
- Another child falls from a chair, this time on the Glacier Express at Lake Louise.
- Saddleback is probably the largest ski resort ever to go out of business.
- A group has formed in opposition to Arapahoe Basin’s proposed Beavers expansion, which would include a new chairlift.
- Killington’s Skye Peak Express had to be rope evac’d Friday afternoon, possibly as a result of damage from a thunderstorm the day before.
- The first non-prototype photos of Doppelmayr’s new detachable terminal that will replace the Uni-G model over the next few years. It’s certainly different; note the huge windows, Frey controls and stairs instead of ladders on the Kirchenkarbahn’s terminals. Thanks for the head’s up, snowtirol.
- Maine’s chief tramway inspector releases his report with pictures on the King Pine rollback and Sugarloaf’s GM responds. Eight months after the incident, the replacement drive terminal is nearly finished.
- Doppelmayr Garaventa Group revenue was down 7.5% to $841 million in fiscal 2015 while the company’s global employee headcount rose to 2,546.
- Still more bad press surrounding Saddleback and the resort’s asking price is down to $9.5 million for 2,000 acres. Meanwhile Boyne offers passholders in the lurch last spring’s rates on New England Passes.
- Peak Resorts, the fourth largest operator of lifts in North America, buys Hunter Mountain for $36.8 million. After the deal closes the publicly-traded company will operate 14 ski resorts with 153 lifts in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri.
- Two different models of LPOA chairs going up at Okemo and Purgatory.
- West Mountain demonstrates an old lift can be new again with help from Leitner-Poma, SkyTrac, Green Mountain Control Systems and Alpine Engineering.
- They call it ‘The Beast’ for a reason. Killington opened for skiing on October 19th and is running 240 snow guns nightly, all while flying concrete and adding a mid-station to their Snowdon triple. The 1973 Heron-Poma is evidently going to stick around for awhile. Fun fact: Snowdon had a mid-station in nearly the same spot which was removed in 1990.
- Lutsen’s recently retired Hall Skycruiser gondola cabins sold out in 4 minutes on Cyber Monday for $1200 each. A new gondy opens to passengers December 11th after a brief delay. If you missed out on the $1200 gondola cabins, you can still get someone a $150 double chair this holiday season.
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.)