- A pair of osprey nest atop a tower on Beaver Creek’s Riverfront Express, preventing maintenance work for now.
- New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority plans to spend $80 million on lifts and snowmaking each of the next four years.
- The first 29 cabins will debut on Park City’s Red Pine Gondola June 30th with 26 more to follow next winter.
- SilverStar adds 21 new cabins to the Schumann Summit Express gondola.
- The first urban gondola in Canada could go out to bid in 2025.
- Leitner-Poma secures a tax credit for its upcoming facility in Utah.
- White Pass retires the Pigtail II double, the second oldest chairlift in the country dating back to 1958.
- The asking price for closed Toggenburg Mountain drops to $1.995 million.
- Leitner and Poma partner with a solar energy company to offer photovoltaic panels on detachable lift terminals.
- Lake Louise formally announces the Upper Juniper Express, to be built by Doppelmayr over the next two summers.
- A worker dies in a fall from an Italian aerial tramway while performing maintenance work.
- Chair 2 at Snow Valley is being shortened to become a beginner lift.
- Mt. Holly’s second detachable quad will be called Lightning Express.
- Snowmass seeks Forest Service approval to replace Coney Glade and Cirque.
- Cannon Mountain looks to announce a new tram on July 7th, the 85th anniversary of the original tram.
News Roundup: Sigma
- The three New York State-owned ski areas report record skier visits.
- Doppelmayr launches a new customer magazine called Up.
- Sigma Cabins has a new website.
- Park City’s outgoing Red Pine Gondola cabins go up for sale with an asking price of $25,000 each. New Sigma cabins have already started arriving.
- Lake Louise cuts the lift line for the future Upper Juniper Express.
- The Forest Service approves China Peak to reinstall Jackson Hole’s old Thunder quad.
- Snowshoe takes bids for retired triple chairs.
- Poma inaugurates the world’s fastest and highest capacity urban gondola in the Dominican Republic.
- No link but an end of season email from Sugarbush teases multiple upcoming lift replacements.
- Mont Blanc, Quebec to retrofit a second quad chair with a loading conveyor.
- The new triangle gondola in California wine country gets set to open in October.
News Roundup: Falling Trees
- Doppelmayr wins the contract to build Cablebus Line 3, a six station/40 tower gondola in Mexico City with a bid $19 million under Leitner.
- Steamboat’s new gondola won’t open until mid to late December.
- A falling tree de-ropes the Busch Gardens Williamsburg gondola off multiple towers.
- NSAA reports the number of US ski areas operating last season increased by 11 to 473.
- A brand new chairlift at Ski Wentworth gets battered by wind and falling trees from Hurricane Fiona but is believed to be undamaged.
- Lake Louise says both Upper Juniper and Sunnyside high speed quads could be constructed as early as 2023 (map here).
- A new map shows the location of Vail’s upcoming Chair 17 in Sun Down Bowl.
- Deer Valley’s new map shows where the new Burns Express goes.
- Apex Mountain uses video footage and social media to identify a group who tampered with the resort’s detachable quad.
- The Los Angeles transit authority expects to release the draft Environmental Impact Report for the Dodger Stadium gondola October 17th.
News Roundup: Olympic Infrastructure
- Sugarbush’s Slide Brook Express may remain closed for the entire season.
- More brand new trail maps pop up: Black Mountain, New Hampshire and Sunlight, Colorado.
- Camp 10 in Wisconsin rope evacuates its only chairlift.
- Approximately 170 people are roped down from the F quad at Elk Mountain, Pennsylvania.
- Another Elk Mountain lift is the subject of a viral video.
- Cedar Pass, California won’t open this season due to required haul rope replacement.
- Boyne Resorts considers changing Shawnee Peak’s name back to Pleasant Mountain.
- The four people arrested for damaging the San Diego Zoo Skyfari are United States Marines and have yet to be charged with any crimes.
- Fortress Mountain’s owners now aim for a December 2023 reopening.
- Lake Louise opens the Juniper expansion and high speed quad.
- MND Group reports half year results with revenue up 41 percent to €39.7 million and snowmaking/ropeway sales increasing 79 percent.
- Telluride seeks public input on the future of the gondola.
- Operations remain limited at three Vail-owned Ohio mountains while other regional areas report being 100 percent open.
- Two Park City media outlets cover residents’ frustration with Vail Resorts over closed lifts, crowding and traffic.
- The Sandia Peak Tramway is seeking a tram maintenance manager and aerial tram mechanic.
- Work begins on bike trails which could eventually be serviced by gondola in Idaho Springs, Colorado.
- Caberfae Peaks releases a rendering of where its new triple chair will go.
- Fourteen Doppelmayr lifts will support the Beijing Olympics including 9 at the brand new downhill venue.
- Stevens Pass aims to finally open all its lifts by the middle of February.
- A resident floats the idea of a gondola running from a ferry terminal to business district on Bowen Island, British Columbia.
- Citing crowding, Berkshire East institutes a reservation requirement for Indy Pass holders.
- Whaleback aims to have its chairlift back in action by Sunday.
News Roundup: Ramping Up
- As of the January 3rd Utah Passenger Ropeway Safety Committee meeting, Doppelmayr USA had sold approximately 30 lifts for 2022.
- Skytrac is already hiring construction employees for the upcoming build season.
- Sierra at Tahoe installs and splices a new rope on the fire-damaged Grandview Express, a key milestone toward reopening.
- An Italian maintenance technician succumbs to injuries sustained from being hit by a gondola cabin.
- Whaleback closes its chairlift due to a motor issue.
- The New York Times explores why some resorts are experiencing more staff shortages than others, the Denver Post talks with Epic Pass customers from across the country about their experiences this season.
- A number of lifts haven’t opened at Park City this year due to staff shortages; one of Crotched Mountain’s four chairlifts has no chairs on it.
- Vail Resorts Executive Chairperson Rob Katz joins the Storm Skiing Podcast to talk about remarkable growth of the company and this season’s challenges.
- Passholders at Stevens Pass are offered $150 off next year’s pass or the same amount in resort credit as a result of operational difficulties.
- Vail offers $13.1 million to settle lawsuits alleging labor violations.
- Le Massif introduces a Kevin Mastin trail map showing its new lift and removal of a disused gondola.
- Poma provides an update on the world’s largest current 3S project.
- Another insightful podcast: Indy Pass founder Doug Fish on the growth of that product.
- Lake Louise says testing of the Juniper Express is underway with a delayed opening now planned for February.
- The agency operating three New York State ski areas proposes a $105 million capital budget for 2023.
- Gore Mountain unveils a $30 million redevelopment plan for the North Creek Ski Bowl including replacing the Hudson triple with a longer detachable quad.
- A Colorado county passes on partnering with Florida developers to reopen Cuchara.
- Big Snow American Dream still doesn’t know when it will reopen.
- The City of Burnaby, British Columbia officially endorses the Burnaby Mountain Gondola proposal.
- Alaska’s newest ski area will need at least $10 million to install its next lift.
News Roundup: Many Uses
- Cranmore announces an over $1 million overhaul of the Skimobile Express to take place next summer.
- Granite Gorge’s owner says he’s unlikely to reopen skiing.
- Catamount and Berkshire East owner Jon Schaefer explains his strategy of relentless capital improvements.
- Park City Canyons Village skiers get stuck for a few hours when the Red Pine Gondola goes on wind hold.
- In Japan, a gondola lift doubles as a device to cure salmon.
- Carrabassett Valley Academy seeks to raise $1.6 million to build a T-Bar at Sugarloaf next summer.
- In other Sugarloaf news, pieces of Big Sky’s former Swift Current reportedly begin arriving.
- Telluride confirms it has ordered a Doppelmayr detachable quad to replace Plunge/Lift 9 in 2022. The existing triple will be sold to another resort.
- Chairs for Welch Village’s new Cannon Valley Quad arrive after a delayed journey from Asia through Canada.
- Alyeska’s tram will remain closed through December due to ongoing maintenance.
- Doppelmayr says its global market share stands at 55 percent.
- The gondola at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will reopen in Summer 2022 after a more than two year Covid closure.
- An interesting tidbit from the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board: a suspected bullet damaged the haul rope of Game Creek Express at Vail, requiring a repair.
- Vail Resorts sells more than 2.1 million season pass products, 700,000 more than last year.
- The 2022 Epic Lift Upgrade expands from 19 to 21 projects with additional lifts announced for Jack Frost and Big Boulder.
- Indy Pass will add yet another Western resort next week.
- Former Palisades Tahoe President Andy Wirth signs on to advise Alpine-X.
- Sundance says the Outlaw Express opening is delayed until December 22nd due to weather and construction timing.
- Doppelmayr flies towers in December for Juniper at Lake Louise, set to open in January.
- Steamboat considers a fourth gondola connecting the base area to town, Greenhorn Ranch will include a chairlift and eight passenger chairs are in play for future lift replacements.
- Maine’s Bigrock Mountain fundraises to purchase a Doppelmayr quad.
- Les Otten partners with Provident Resources Group to revive the Balsams redevelopment (same firm involved in reopening Big Squaw, Maine.)
- Boyne Highlands becomes The Highlands at Harbor Springs with lift improvements planned, starting with the southern end of the mountain.
News Roundup: Planning Ahead
- Indy Pass signs on Manning Park, British Columbia; The Rock, Wisconsin; and Seven Oaks, Iowa.
- Big Snow American Dream will remain closed several more weeks following last week’s fire.
- Leitner-Poma to build the previously announced Lakeview Express at Mt. Rose next year.
- The gondola to the gondola at Breckenridge nears approval.
- Rad Smith completes his largest illustration yet – a new map for Big White in the style of James Niehues.
- Another protest takes place against a gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
- Nitehawk continues fundraising for a new chairlift as it nears a second season without one.
- Lookout Pass works to convert Timber Wolf from a double into a triple.
- Alpine-X seeks to raise up to $5 million through crowdfunding.
- An Iowa county agrees to purchase Sleepy Hollow, a chairlift-served tubing park.
- Palisades Tahoe renames two of its chairlifts Resort Chair and Wa She Shu.
- Doppelmayr arrives on site to assess and make recommendations regarding the storm-damaged chairlift in Gallix, Quebec.
- Amsterdam could see a river crossing 3S gondola.
- Sundance will host a party on October 10th to celebrate the final rides on Ray’s Lift before removal.
- Another gondola concept emerges in Los Angeles.
- Lake Louise’s new high speed quad will be called Juniper Express.
- Camelback says it has completed an extensive inspection and certification process for its lifts and implemented additional safety protocols in the wake of last season’s chair fall.
- Stuart Winchester gets the latest from Aspen Snowmass CEO Mike Kaplan on 1A, Pandora’s, Coney Glade, Burnt Mountain, Goldenhorn and other lift projects.
- The Superior National Forest will host a virtual open house Tuesday regarding the Lutsen Mountains expansion.
- West Mountain unveils plans for its first detachable lift, including an intermediate station.
Five Mountains Readying Terrain Expansions for 2021-22
Despite an 18 month pandemic, supply chain challenges and continued uncertainty, a handful of US and Canadian ski resorts are putting finishing touches on expansion projects set to debut this winter. Two of these were delayed in 2020 and resumed construction this year while others were actually accelerated during Covid. Many of this year’s projects focus on learning terrain enhancements following the pandemic winter when new and lapsed skiers gravitated toward the mountains.
McCoy Park – Beaver Creek Mountain, Colorado
The lone expansion this year featuring two new chairlifts is Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park, encompassing 250 acres of new high alpine terrain. This beginner zone follows in the footsteps of Haymeadow Park and Red Buffalo Park, which both offer dedicated terrain for new skiers and snowboarders with detachable lifts. The new McCoy Park Express will service 17 trails and the Reunion Quad will provide easy exit from McCoy Park to the Upper Beaver Creek Mountain and Strawberry Park Express lifts.
Lower Juniper – Lake Louise, Alberta
Another beginner-focused expansion featuring a detachable quad is underway at Lake Louise. The new Lower Juniper Express is the second new chairlift here in two years. It will access four new low intermediate trails and provide an alternate out-of-base option to access the upper mountain.
Sunny Side – Snow King Mountain, Wyoming
Shadowed somewhat by construction of a new 8 passenger gondola on the front side of the mountain, Sunny Side at Snow King Mountain will also open this winter. This new backside bowl features extensive snowmaking and a Skytrac fixed grip quad.
Buzzsaw – Searchmont, Ontario
Searchmont hasn’t hosted a single day of skiing since March 2020, which makes its terrain expansion even more remarkable. New owner Wisconsin Resorts took delivery of two Skytrac triples last year, one of which replaced an existing Borvig double. The second lift sat in storage last winter and is now being installed to service two brand new beginner trails.
Merrill Hill – Sunday River, Maine
2021’s only New England expansion is a ninth peak at Sunday River. Merrill Hill features four ski trails and 23 new home sites near the South Ridge base area. This low angle zone will be serviced by a new Doppelmayr fixed grip triple, the mountain’s 15th chairlift.
Lake Louise Announces New Learning Area
Lake Louise owner Charlie Locke shared a hopeful year end message today, detailing among other things construction of the mountain’s eighth lift. Known as Lower Juniper in the Lake Louise Long Range Plan, the quad chair will eventually be joined by a second lift to form a new route from the Whiskyjack base area to the Top of the World. Lower Juniper is expected to transport 2,200 guests per hour and service 75 acres of beginner and low intermediate terrain.
Contract signing for a new lift in 2021 is the latest in a string of good news from Lake Louise, which just debuted West Bowl terrain along with a new Doppelmayr fixed grip quad. The manufacturer for Lower Juniper was not specified.
“As this challenging year draws to a close, we would like to give our heartfelt thanks to all our guests, staff, community members, and healthcare workers of all kinds who have supported us during this difficult time,” said Locke. “We have shown how resilient, creative and collaborative we are when faced with adversity and uncertainty. We are all looking forward to a New Year that will be safe, happy, healthy, and secure for all of us as the light at the end of this dark tunnel becomes ever brighter.”
News Roundup: Merry Christmas
- Sunrise Park Resort considers building a combination lift.
- Mont-Sainte-Anne works diligently toward reopening its gondola with a reduced capacity of 30 cabins at first.
- A Vancouver developer scraps a gondola from its plans.
- Ontario’s more than 40 ski areas are ordered to close as part of a multi-week lockdown beginning tomorrow.
- The City of Sioux Falls orders a Skytrac quad for Great Bear Ski Valley.
- Fashion designer Rachel Zoe shares the story of her son falling from a Buttermilk quad chair on social media.
- Another fall at Sundance gets featured on Reddit.
- An 8 year old raises $10,000 to support a struggling nonprofit ski area in North Dakota.
- Snow King Mountain previews its gondola cabins which are being fabricated in France.
- Michigan’s Blackjack and Indianhead are both for sale with a listing price of $3.49 million.
- Blizzard Beach, chairlift and all, will reopen March 7th after a year-long closure.
- A group proposes connecting West Seattle to the regional transit network with a four station gondola.
- Steamboat creates a virtual gondola line powered by text message.
- With Europe’s ski industry struggling particularly hard, MND Group focuses on international markets including North America.
- The reimagined Bousquet Mountain opens with a new triple chair January 1st.
- Mission Ridge’s new summit lift opening later this winter will be called the Wenatchee Express.
- Lake Louise updates its trail map to show the West Bowl expansion, Summit lift and two future lift alignments.
- The New York Times checks in with ski resorts across the country about business during the pandemic.