- MND Group’s LST Ropeways subsidiary invested $4.3 million and hired 25 people to develop detachable product that is now available worldwide.
- Cleveland Planning Commission considers nine-station gondola network.
- Arizona Republic takes a deep dive into Grand Canyon Escalade cultural and natural resource issues.
- Big investments are likely coming to Steamboat, Winter Park and the rest of the resorts KSL and Aspen acquired this week.
- Leitner has a new iPhone-like control system called LeitControl.
- Are there too many urban gondola ideas?
- Revelstoke will add 24 cabins to the Revelation Gondola this summer along with 21 chairs to The Stoke to address sometimes epic lift lines.
- Mechanics in New Zealand work to repair the fire-damaged lift at Christchurch Adventure Park.
- New York State Fair Gondola funding slammed by politicians and citizens alike.
- Vail Mountain proposes 1,870 foot fixed-grip lift above the Riva Bahn mid-station on Golden Peak.
News Roundup: China
- MND goup leads joint venture to develop a turnkey €110 million ski resort with at least three LST lifts in China.
- Poma signs exclusive contract to supply up to €200 million in lifts to Beijing 2022 venue Thaiwoo, will open spare parts facility in Chongli Olympic region.
- Bogotá’s first urban gondola to open in Q2 2018.
- Two-stage gondola proposed at billion dollar resort in Canmore, Alberta.
- Aerial tramway envisioned to connect Interstate 5 to the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California.
- Possible manufacturer Doppelmayr mum on Disney gondolas.
- Swiss Air Force plane severs camera cable, nearly misses Garaventa high speed quad at Alpine World Ski Championships.
- Vermont is King of the East when it comes to lift technology and skier visits.
- Magic Mountain’s 56-year-old Pohlig-Yan-Hall-Poma triple contraption licensed to operate (as a double chair) for the first time in three years. Magic claims the Vermont Passenger Tramway Board no longer permits mid-stations.
- Red Bull should be ashamed of itself for promoting stunts like this.
- Christchurch Adventure Park acknowledges significant damage to its brand new detachable following fire.
- This story is one of the reasons tram and gondola staff sleep at the top of Jackson Hole every night.
News Roundup: Leitner
- Michael Seeber takes a ride on Berlin’s new mile-long gondola built for the International Garden Exhibition.
- Guests can now view bears and gorillas from gondolas with glass floors in Spain.
- Paris launches study of 2.8 mile, €120 million urban gondola.
- The press takes a tour of the Partek-built State Fair Flyer in North Carolina.
- Regional district approves rezoning for Valemount Glacier.
- The future of the Grand Canyon Escalade will likely be decided Oct. 17th, construction could be complete by 2020.
- Follow this thread to see LST’s very first detachable lift take shape in La Plagne.
- NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com posts a grim progress report from Sunday River.
- Waterville Valley cuts the lift line for Green Peak.
- Good news for Leitner-Poma: Ruapehu Alpine Lifts in New Zealand plans another quad chair for 2017, gondola in 2018 that will likely be built in Colorado.
- The Teleférico do Alemão in Rio unexpectedly shut down Thursday for at least six months following the discovery of abnormal wear in the haul rope which now needs to be replaced.
- As Snowbird plans for construction in Mary Ellen Gulch beginning in 2018, environmental group takes the media on a tour of abandoned mines there. The 500-acre expansion will likely include a two-stage gondola, Sunday Saddle lift and a new, longer Mineral Basin six-pack.
- Jan Leonard, of CTEC and Skytrac fame, will be inducted into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Park City tomorrow.
- Big Sky posts lots of pictures as their new lifts near completion.
- Grouse Mountain is for sale, including two aerial tramways and four quad chairs.
- Doppelmayr signs agreement with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme to collaborate on mobility solutions worldwide.
- Yet another city in Mexico – El Marqués – looks at building a gondola.
News Roundup: Big Week
- Cloudchaser construction begins July 1 at Mt. Bachelor.
- La Paz’s gondola network sets a new daily ridership record – 180,000 passengers on three lines last Monday.
- Poma signs three year partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to promote environmentally-friendly urban cable transport.
- Doppelmayr sponsors exhibition at the Vienna Technical Museum showcasing ropeways in cities.
- Vista Ridge lost a carpet lift and might have to do some extra NDT but came away from the Fort McMurray wildfire relatively unscathed.
- It’s still not entirely clear when Vermont’s only aerial tram will reopen.
- The first LST lift in North America is under construction at Cannon Mountain.
- Local paper gives a progress report on Wilmot Mountain’s Vail makeover.
- Powdr announces Woodward Park City with lift-served downhill mountain biking and terrain parks to be built on 126 acres at Gorgoza Park.
- Powdr also commits to building a new lift at Eldora next summer, most likely the Cannonball six-pack.
- Laurel Mountain hosts a tower flying party.
- The President of Simon Fraser University puts the Burnaby Mountain Gondola back on the table in hopes of replacing 25,000 daily bus trips between campus and Vancouver’s SkyTrain Millenium Line with a 3S.
News Roundup: Peak Pressure
- Peak Resorts’ financial footing reportedly worsens amid staff layoffs, reduced operations and spending cuts. The company owns 14 resorts across the Eastern U.S.
- Leitner Ropeways celebrates 15 years of DirectDrive with 55 installations to date.
- Poma has already delivered components for Zacatecas, Mexico’s new gondola but construction that was supposed to start in January has been delayed.
- The 2002 Garaventa CTEC Chondola at Willamette Pass is still for sale along with the mountain’s Midway triple. WP apparently can’t afford to maintain its only detachable lift and listed it for sale a year ago.
- Le Relais also has 2 lifts newly listed (these are being removed to make way for a new six pack.)
- LST signs La Plagne to launch the company’s first detachable lift next winter. MND Group CEO Xavier Gallot-Lavallee commented, “We are delighted to announce the initial commercial success of our brand new range of detachable chairlifts. The new contract signed with SAP, a subsidiary of leading ski resort operator Compagnie des Alpes, confirms the benefits of the innovative technology that we have developed and positions MND as a leading market player.”
LST Ropeways to Launch Detachable Product This Year
The MND Group announced yesterday it will begin selling detachable chairlifts and gondolas from 2016 through its LST Ropeways subsidiary, becoming the first new entrant to the detachable lift market since CTEC in 1990. Based in France, LST has built more than 550 lifts to date including a handful of detachable chairlifts utilizing grips from the defunct German company Wopfner. Yesterday’s announcement outlines LST’s all-new detachable product for both mountain and urban applications. The combined market, estimated by MND at $865 million over the next 25 years, has been a duopoly since Leitner and Poma joined in 2002. Hence new competition is big news.
LST has spent more than $2.7 million to develop detachable technology that doesn’t require licensing from others. The most important component of any detachable lift is the grip; LST chose a double-position grip that opens and closes only once at each terminal, reducing the number of cycles by half compared with a single-position grip (keep in mind a grip that stays open through terminals presents its own challenges.) LST says its patented grip requires less force to open and close than competing models, reducing wear while allowing speeds of up to 6 m/s (1,181 ft/min) and requiring 15 percent less energy. LST detachable terminals will be 70 feet long with 75 percent fewer tires compared with competing terminals. While LST says its stations will be shorter than its competitors’, I believe the shortest LPA terminal is ~67 feet. LST’s all-new carriers (both chairs and gondolas) “designed for comfort and safety” are forthcoming.