News Roundup: Investments

  • 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.vailgoldenpeakexpansion
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News Roundup: China

News Roundup: Leitner

News Roundup: Big Week

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Garaventa recently fabricated new hangers for the Grouse Mountain Red Skyride cabins so riders can stand on the roof for an extra charge. Photo credit: Max U.

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 chair
LST will debut unique new detachable chairs and terminals for a new six-pack chairlift in La Plagne.

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 Grip
LST’s double-position detachable grip.

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.

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