- Copper Mountain seeks Forest Service approval to replace Lumberjack.
- More details emerge on the Argo Cable Car construction delay.
- The Canadian Ski Council says resort revenues fell 35 to 40 percent this year but it varied by province.
- Lots of jobs are available right now at Leitner-Poma and subsidiary Skytrac.
- Aspen Skiing Company will spin lifts across three mountains for the first time ever this summer.
- Another Gatlinburg tram update.
- Wasatch Peaks Ranch launches a website, though not much is on it yet.
- Squaw Alpine says its name change process is taking longer than expected but a historic announcement will come soon.
- In case you missed Doppelmayr Insights, product announcements included modular aerial tramway technology called Peak Line, resort management software clair and a new rotating gondola bike carrier dubbed Bike Cab. The entire event can be replayed here.
- Want to watch construction this summer? Great Bear, Seven Springs, Snow King and Sugar Mountain all have webcams pointed toward lift projects.
- Doppelmayr Cable Car is one of four finalists to supply a new automated people mover to Newark Liberty International Airport.
- Insurers appeal a NZ$12 million verdict against Christchurch Adventure Park for running a chairlift during a wildfire, allegedly spreading it.
- Steel prices reach all time highs.
- French ski resorts can finally reopen lifts May 19th.
- Snow King’s Cougar triple moves uphill to make way for the new gondola.
- Duluth, Minnesota looks to pump $25 million into Spirit Mountain.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will become one this summer with construction of an interconnect gondola to coincide with the renaming of the resort. The innovative three section gondola will follow in the footsteps of other great interconnect lifts: the Quicksilver Gondola unifying Park City and The Canyons, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola linking Whistler and Blackcomb and the Slide Brook Express connecting Mt. Ellen to Sugarbush. Leitner-Poma of America will build the 2.2 mile B2B (base to base) gondola, comprising of four stations, more than 30 towers and two drive systems.
The current Red Dog triple will be shortened to make way for the Olympic Valley station. Cabins departing this terminal will cross over the Exhibition and KT-22 lifts before arriving at the first angle station on Olympic Ridge. This section of the lift could operate independently without the other two segments in operation. At most times, cabins will continue to a middle segment. A second angle station will then redirect cabins toward Alpine Meadows without offering unloading for the general public. Alpine Meadows’ base station will sit near the new Treeline Cirque detachable quad, offering guests easy access to all of Alpine’s base area lifts. The system will transport 1,400 passengers per hour in each direction with a ride time of 16 minutes.
The $60 million project is part of Alterra’s $207 million capital plan announced today for 2021-22. The commitment includes $111 million in significant resort projects, $31 million for enterprise technology systems and $65 million worth of resort maintenance. “This past season has proven that our guests are loyal, passionate and looking forward to the many seasons ahead, and we plan to provide them with a premier guest experience as we focus on the long-term future of our mountain destinations,” said Rusty Gregory, CEO of Alterra. “Alterra Mountain Company has exceeded our initial five-year goal to invest over half a billion dollars into our destinations, in just four years. We continue to be committed to infusing meaningful capital into on-mountain enhancements, base area development, and advanced technology that will elevate the mountain experience for all who visit.” In addition to the B2B Gondola, the company announced a transformation of Steamboat’s Gondola Square, which will include moving the Steamboat Gondola base terminal. The first section of the proposed Wild Blue Gondola is planned for installation next year, subject to Forest Service approval.
With strong visitation and record season pass sales, Whitefish Mountain Resort today announced major lift projects for each of the next two summers. The big news is a deal with Leitner-Poma for a six place lift replacing Chair 4. The 1978 Stadeli triple had a great run but boosting out-of-base capacity and relieving pressure from the Big Mountain Express became top priorities for the resort. The new flagship will lift guests from the base lodge to Inspiration Ridge along a 5,700 foot alignment. Rising 2,200 vertical feet in less than seven minutes, it will be the largest lift investment in resort history and the first Leitner-Poma installation in the state of Montana. Preliminary work will begin this summer with completion scheduled for late 2022.
This summer, Leitner-Poma subsidiary Skytrac will complete the planned move of Chair 8 to higher elevation terrain in Hellroaring Basin. This will allow the basin to open earlier in the season and create a new pod of defined runs.
Another planned project already approved by the Forest Service is a third new lift to Hellroaring Peak. The timeline for that one has not yet been determined.
“I think it is important for passholders to know that the resort continues to reinvest into its infrastructure each year providing more value to the season pass,” said Dan Graves, Chief Executive Officer for Whitefish. “These are truly exciting times at Whitefish Mountain Resort.”
- After a successful winter, Monarch Mountain will think about building a lift in No Name Basin in the next few years.
- The Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola concept is back under discussion in the nation’s capital.
- Leitner-Poma seeks workers to help build the Squaw-Alpine base to base gondola this summer.
- Whistler Blackcomb will not attempt to reopen for spring skiing once British Columbia’s closure order ends.
- Revelstoke shuts down early due to a Covid-related staffing shortage.
- Big White fires employees for attending a party widely shown in local media and is also closing 6 days early.
- Ontario shuts down skiing again.
- Indy Pass will announce new pricing and resort additions on April 27th.
- Snow King’s expansion receives final permission and chairs are already off the Summit double.
- Magic Mountain says the Black Line Quad will be re-engineered and completed for the 2021/22 season.
- A New Zealand operator is ordered to pay $8.4 million for spreading a wildfire via a moving chairlift in 2017.
- Skeetawk celebrates a successful inaugural season but a second chairlift remains years away.
- Okemo’s new six pack won’t have bubbles and the Green Ridge triple will head to another Vail resort in Pennsylvania.
- A GoFundMe is started to benefit the victims of the recent Camelback lift accident.
- The Forest Services releases its Environmental Assessment for a modified Purgatory Ice Creek expansion and seeks public comments.
- Bluewood closes for a weekend due to drive line issues with the Skyline Express triple (now back open).
- For the first time in 15 years, The Summit at Snoqualmie sends a cat to the top of Alpental to clear snow from the Edelweiss lift line and top terminal.
- A Canadian resort trains a very good dog to catch and hold Ts for skiers.
- One of only two chairlift operations in Kentucky goes up for sale (asking price $750,000).
- Aspen Snowmass visitation falls significantly.
- Another chairlift fall video, this time from China.
- Also in China, Poma nears completion of a world first: three interconnected 3S gondolas.
- There was a serious grip slip incident at Snowstar, Illinois a few weeks ago.
- A company called Towpro tries breaking into the surface lift business with a low cost rope tow.
- Ski Area Management and Leitner-Poma launch a contest to recognize top lift maintenance teams.
- Arapahoe Basin will continue limiting both season pass and day ticket sales next season.
- No reservations will be required for passholders across Vail Resorts next season.
- After a few weeks idled, Big Sky announces Dakota will remain closed for the remainder of the 20-21 season due to “mechanical challenges.”
- Warner Brothers abandons plans to build a Hollywood gondola, opting to focus on its core business.
- A wild Red Bull video features an athlete sliding down a six pack’s haul rope under a parachute.
- A maintenance worker is injured when the chair he was riding falls from a Bartholet lift in Luxembourg.
Leitner-Poma of America has been selected to build the chairlifts at Wasatch Peaks Ranch, a private Utah ski community scheduled to open for the 2021-2022 season. The first two of nine planned lifts will service approximately 55 percent of the mountain’s 3,000-plus acres of terrain and are planned to feature both bubbles and heated seats. “We are honored to be working with the team at Wasatch Peaks Ranch to help make their vision come to life,” said Daren Cole, President of Leitner-Poma. “We developed a custom plan for the chairlifts to ensure the uphill amenities are in line with the elevated guest experience at this new community.”
Wasatch Peaks Ranch is located in Morgan County, 37 miles northeast of Salt Lake City on the backside of the Wasatch Range. The private mountain will offer one of the longest vertical drops in the west at 3,600 feet. Skiers and snowboarders will have access to pristine, groomed terrain along with natural, untracked peaks and chutes for an intermediate and advanced experience.
The initial two lifts Leitner-Poma is building in 2021 will provide access to 1,650 acres. The first lift is a high speed quad that will take skiers and snowboarders out of the base area and is more than 8,000 feet long, providing access to most of the ski mountain’s intermediate and advanced terrain. The second lift, also a high-speed quad, will provide access to expert open bowl terrain with ridge top views of the surrounding area.
“We selected LPOA to build our chairlifts not only because of their excellent track record and years of industry experience, but also because they were willing to work with us to design and customize a lift experience that mirrors the luxury guest experience that our members will have,” said Bob Wheaton, president and chief executive officer of Wasatch Peaks Ranch. “This included everything from technical specifications to thoughtful applications like selecting lifts to provide more space for our members as well as identifying comforts such as heated seats and bubbles.”
Approximately 80 percent of the components for the Wasatch Peaks Ranch lifts will be produced in the United States at LPOA’s Grand Junction, Colorado facility. Both phase one lifts are expected to be operational by December.
- 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.
- Looking back as Blackcomb turns 40.
- As Chair 1 reopens, 49 Degrees North provides a thorough update regarding what happened last weekend and the steps it’s taking to avoid future issues.
- Liftopia’s assets are acquired by a European firm.
- Arizona Snowbowl quietly opens the Arizona Gondola.
- More on the Eiger Express: Not only does it feature the first automated cargo loading on a passenger ropeway, but also a VIP cabin with boarding from a dedicated lounge (cost: $13,500 per year.)
- This interview with Hermitage Club manager Bill Benneyan includes tons of historical facts about Haystack and also Mountain Creek. The Club opens tomorrow for the first time in two and a half years.
- Mission Ridge works hard to complete the lift it brought over from Europe but cannot estimate a completion date.
- Residents seek to stop construction of Wasatch Peaks Ranch, a 3,000 acre private ski resort near Snowbasin.
- Leitner-Poma of America introduces Freedom Control, a wireless remote control for lifts.
- Public comments are being solicited for Big White’s new master plan, which includes a staggering amount of new terrain.
- Ski Magazine ranks top lift systems in the East.
- California effectively shuts down lodging in some ski regions.
- The new Broadway quad will carry its first passengers this weekend at Sun Valley.
- Zermatt and Doppelmayr prepare to launch the first unstaffed lift in Switzerland, a 10 passenger gondola.
- French ski resorts sue the government over closures.
- Holiday Valley pursues a tax break for its $4 million Yodeler Express project.
- A lawsuit seeking class action status alleges lift operators and other employees at Vail Resorts were not paid for use of personal equipment and time spent getting to and from work stations.
- Timberline Mountain relaunches tomorrow with both new chairlifts in operation.
- British Columbia’s Zincton Mountain Village releases new maps of its proposed layout.
- Les Otten courts environmental, social and governance investors as he tries to revive the northernmost ski area in New Hampshire.
- When asked about acquisitions on last night’s earnings call, Rob Katz said Vail is focused on positioning the company to be able to make the most of whatever opportunities may come over the next 12 months.
- Vail is forced to cancel some guest reservations and black out employee skiing in Colorado this weekend due to limited snow and terrain.
Jackson Hole will soon be a three gondola valley with the addition of an enclosed lift on what locals affectionately call the Town Hill. Leitner-Poma will not only supply Snow King Mountain’s new 8 passenger gondola but also a Skytrac chairlift servicing new backside terrain. The projects were recently green lighted by both the Town of Jackson and United States Forest Service. The approval is still subject to a 45 day objection period, but the ski area wanted to get in line early with Leitner-Poma and Skytrac with the goal of completion for the 2021-22 season.
“We are extremely excited to take this leap forward for Snow King to ensure that the historic ski area can be economically viable and sustainable long into the future,” said Snow King Mountain President Ryan Stanley. “We have gone through a very extensive review process with both the Town of Jackson and USFS over the past five years and are now looking forward to making some exceptional improvements to the Town Hill that the community will be able to enjoy for decades to come.” The gondola will be the first detachable lift for 82 year old Snow King and will replace a 1981 CTEC double. To make room for the bottom gondola terminal, the Cougar triple‘s drive station will be moved 250 feet uphill.
A ride on the gondola will end at a new summit lodge featuring panoramic views of the Town of Jackson and Teton Range. The gondola will operate year round for skiers, sightseers and mountain bikers. In winter, a mountaintop learning area will feature three new surface lifts in a scenic setting. More advanced riders can look forward to new trails and glades on the southern flank of Snow King.
The two lift order is one of the first major projects announced for 2021, which could be a busy one for lift companies. More than a dozen North American 2020 projects were delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and hopefully will be completed next year.
The once sleepy ski area in Eden, Utah will grow dramatically this winter with the addition of a high speed lift and new terrain. Leitner-Poma of America will supply the yet-to-be-named six place chair, which will move 2,500 skiers per hour and service approximately 50 acres of terrain the first season. When completed, the expansion will more than triple skiable terrain with 300 new acres. “The pioneers who started Nordic Valley dreamed of sharing this amazing terrain,” said Brandon Fessler, Nordic Valley general manager. “Our team has worked hard to realize that dream, and we cannot wait to share it with our guests, our friends and our neighbors this winter.” The lift will rise 1,400 vertical feet in just 4.2 minutes with a slope length of 4,213 feet. It will become the first six passenger lift built by Leitner-Poma in Utah.
Fast-growing Mountain Capital Partners took over operations of Nordic Valley in 2018. This expansion project will be located entirely on private property, though more lifts could eventually be added on Forest Service land at higher elevation.
MCP is also partnering with Leitner-Poma to add a base-to-summit Telemix at Arizona Snowbowl this summer. The two projects combine to form the largest lift investment in North American skiing for the 2020/21 season. While some resort groups have paused expansion capital due to the pandemic, Mountain Capital Partners and select others continue to forge ahead.
Nordic Valley expects to open the new six passenger lift early this winter, increasing its vertical drop by 65 percent.