- Caledon Ski Club is set to replace its Blue Mountain triple with a new Doppelmayr quad this summer.
- Showdown rope evacuates 87 riders from Payload on a busy Saturday.
- Lutsen ropes down 25 from the Caribou Express and has it back in action within hours.
- The New Hampshire Business Review profiles legendary resort developer Les Otten.
- The privately-held conglomerate behind Leitner Ropeways, Poma, Leitner-Poma of America and Skytrac announces the highest revenue in the company’s history for 2018: €1.02 billion. The group built approximately 100 ropeways around the world last year, up from 75 in 2017.
- The State of Washington is poised to grant $750,000 of public money to Mt. Spokane for the Northwood project.
- Edmonton is one step closer to building an urban gondola.
- The Nordic Valley expansion project is in limbo.
- Vail officially owns two more ski resorts.
- Palm Springs reopens its tramway after storms cause $4 million in damage and lost revenue.
- The Forest Service tentatively approves alternative 4 of the ambitious California Express gondola project.
The Next Big Resort?
Last Wednesday, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed a bill that may create the largest resort in the east out of a tiny, closed ski area called The Balsams. The resort hotel and Wilderness ski area have been closed since 2011 when the owners began renovations and ran out of cash. Now Les Otten, founder of American Skiing Company, has partnered with the Balsams ownership group to create the next big eastern ski resort. The bill the governor signed allows the state to back $28 million in development loans for the $143 million project.
Otten is perhaps best known for turning Sunday River from a one-lift operation to a 525,000 skier visit beast of the east. Circa 2002, his empire included Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Cranmore, Attitash, The Canyons, Killington, Sugarbush, Mount Snow, Heavenly and Steamboat. After leaving the ski industry, Otten created a renewable energy company and ran for Governor in Maine. He lost. Now, six years after selling The Canyons, he’s back in the lift business.