News Roundup: Interalpin

  • Revelstoke homeowners aren’t happy lift development has stalled for almost ten years now.  The resort’s response identifies master plan lifts 1 and 11 as the highest priorities but notes construction of them is subject to market demand.
  • In an interview, new Crystal Mountain owner John Kircher says he wants to build a second gondola to Campbell Basin.
  • NY State Fair gondola continues to be targeted as an example of government waste.
  • Whaleback’s T-Bar project is a go.  The lift came from Plattekill, NY and will be installed by SkyTrans.
  • New Gatlinburg Sky Lift looks to be almost finished.
  • Poma reaches agreement to build new gondolas in Vietnam with the first next-generation Sigma Diamond EVO cabins introduced yesterday at Interalpin.  The new cabins offer more natural light and feature doors that slide rather than opening out.
  • Move over D-Line: the new Leitner Station is here.
  • LST gets another detachable contract.
  • Leitner launches urban gondola in Berlin.
  • Skier visits at Vail Resorts were down 2.8 percent this season but lift ticket revenue increased 7.4 percent.
  • Mi Teleférico opens $1.5 million Operations Control Center with 22 people monitoring 1,300 surveillance cameras on 66 screens and lightning detection system for four gondola lines.
  • Purgatory will add a mid-station to its Needles triple this summer.

News Roundup: Colorado

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Likely new lifts for 2017 are pacing 39 percent ahead of last year, when 28 new lifts had been announced on this date.  I’ve identified 39 lift projects for 2017 and if last year’s pattern holds, lift manufacturers will build approximately 57 new ropeways in N. America in 2017, the most since 2004.  We’ll know by about July 1.

New Roundup: French

News Roundup: 360

40 New Lifts: Construction Extends Gains in 2016

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Steamboat’s new Elkhead Express is one of 40 new lifts debuting in North America for 2016-17.

With work wrapping up on 36 new and four used lifts across North America, 2016 will go down as the best year for lift construction since the Great Recession.  With Skytrac now a member of the Leitner-Poma Group, the big two manufacturers each supplied exactly the same number of lifts in North America – 17 – with one each for LST and Partek (although Skytrac provided controls for and installed the LST lift.)  Doppelmayr and Leitner-Poma also had their best years individually since 2008 and Skytrac its second best in history with five complete lifts and a retrofit terminal for Keystone.  These numbers include four gondolas manufactured in Europe by Leitner and Poma installed in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.  If only lifts built by Leitner-Poma of America in Grand Junction are counted, Leitner-Poma had its third best year since 2008 with eight new lifts.  I call it a tie.

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While everyone knows the East had a horrible season last year, the Pacific states actually showed the softest demand for new lifts in 2016.  Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California have steadily declined for more than a decade and just three new lifts went in there, the lowest number since at least 2004.  The Mountain region saw 12 installations, virtually the same as last year and the second most since 2008.  The Rockies also built the biggest lifts in the country – six-packs at Arizona Snowbowl & Big Sky, high speed quads at Steamboat & Vail and a two-stage gondola at Jackson Hole. The Midwest more than doubled last year’s count, achieving its second best year since 2004 with seven new lifts while the East was well below its ten-year average with six new lifts constructed in 2016.  The big shocker: Wisconsin built more new lifts in 2016 than any other state or province with three new Doppelmayr quads at Wilmot Mountain, two Leitner-Poma quads at Cascade Mountain and a Skytrac quad at Christmas Mountain Village.

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Canada finished right about average with eight new lifts, all built in the eastern provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Horseshoe Resort and Le Relais both added their first six-place detachables, which are sure to be well-received.  Look for Western Canada to rebound next year after struggling since the recession.  Perhaps most interesting is the four gondolas built for public transportation and tourism in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.  I expect growth in Mexico and the Caribbean to continue as the urban ropeway revolution spreads north from South America (and hopefully to the United States!)

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News Roundup: The People