News Roundup: Last Call

  • No ticket, no card.  You can now ride lifts using only your phone at Sunshine Village.
  • Berkshire East owners buy Catamount with summer business and upgrading aging infrastructure on the agenda.
  • U.S. skier visits decline 2.8 percent for 2017-18 with the Midwest and Southeast up year-over-year, the Northeast flat and the Rockies, Pacific Northwest and Southwest regions down.
  • New lift construction is nonetheless pacing 25 percent ahead of last year and 43 points above this date in 2016.
  • Quebec area Val Neigette closes for good with its Doppelmayr quad chairlift headed to an unknown Ontario mountain to cover outstanding debt.
  • Mi Teleférico is apparently in talks to build dozens more urban gondolas in La Paz between 2020 and 2030.
  • The Balsams project faces a key state vote on May 21st.
  • Add Nashville to the list of US cities considering public transport gondolas.
  • Boyne Resorts closes on its purchase of seven mountain resorts, bringing its owned and operated portfolio to ten across North America.
  • Jackson, Wyoming stakeholders mostly agree to site a new gondola in a public park at the base of Snow King Mountain.
  • Loveland will hold a lottery for season passholders to win purchase rights for Lift 1 chairs.
  • The final last chair for the Norway lift at A-Basin is Sunday.

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News Roundup: Connected

  • See for yourself is how Aspen parks its gondolas for the offseason.
  • The supremely-talented James Niehues is painting an all-new map of Copper Mountain to debut next winter along with two new lifts.
  • This month’s Poma Link spotlights good stuff from Europe…a new brand platform, details on Diamond Evo cabins and new sheave liners coming in 2019.
  • The Leitner Ropeways 2017 annual report is packed full of photographs and drawings for 32 new lifts the company completed last year.
  • The world’s tallest tubular lift tower goes up in La Paz at 194 feet!
  • A man who said he was stuck on a Gore Mountain chairlift the night of April Fool’s Day is charged with making false statements.
  • Two hackers say they were able to access the Doppelmayr Connect control system for an Austrian gondola in March, raising cyber security concerns.  Doppelmayr says the issue has been fixed and no riders were ever at risk.
  • The first Skyliner station is going up in Florida and it’s a monster that appears to have two separate turnaroundsA sea of lift parts is also on site at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Leitner unveils cabins clad with Swarovski crystals for the new Matterhorn 3S.
  • Berkshire Bank pays propane, electric and tax bills to keep the heat on and prevent a tax sale as it asks a judge to allow a receiver to take over operations at the Hermitage Club.
  • Doppelmayr names a new managing director set to take over later this year.
  • LST combines wireless operator controls, 3D cameras, RFID tags and LED lighting to encourage safety bar usage and increase loading safety.
  • The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management approve Sun Valley’s Cold Springs Canyon project.
  • Big Sky teases an updated rendering of Ramcharger 8 and the first photo from the factory.
  • I’ll end this week’s roundup with some interesting thoughts on recent ski resort sales and valuations from Mike Krongel.

La Paz Debuts Sixth & Seventh Urban Gondolas

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La Paz, Bolivia’s newest gondola rises above traffic as part of the city’s innovative elevated transit system.

Under blue sky at 12,000 feet, the President of Bolivia pressed start at high noon yesterday for Línea Blanca, the newest gondola in the world’s urban ropeway capital.  Surprising thousands gathered for the occasion, President Evo Morales then proceeded to inaugurate the first section of the Sky Blue line, initially slated to open later this year.

The day was momentous as seven color-coded gondola lines now stretch contiguously throughout La Paz and El Alto with no significant gaps between them.  From this weekend, Mi Teleférico (My Cable Car) includes approximately 140,000 feet of haul rope, 962 gondola cabins, 168 towers and 26 stations.  The scale is almost unbelievable and there are still four more lines in development!

Built by Doppelmayr like most of Mi Teleférico, the White line services four stations with 131 10-passenger cabins.  It’s capable of transporting 3,000 passengers each hour on a 13 minute trip between the Sky Blue (Celeste) and Orange (Naranja) lines.  The initial section of Celeste was once planned to be part of a four-section White line which was later split to serve additional neighborhoods and prevent any one line from becoming too congested.  Like most of the world’s largest gondola system, I’m pretty sure the White Line is made up of two separate haul rope loops and vault drive systems with cabins that rotate through both.

 

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Instagram Tuesday: Bliss

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

#6-SBK/B#Schaffürggli#Madrisa #Klosters#beautifull#Prättigau #sun

A post shared by 🅰N↩️®E (@_seilbahnench_) on

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News Roundup: Firsts

News Roundup: Eruption

  • Move over Epic Pass, Alterra is launching the Ikon Pass.
  • Granby Ranch is officially listed for sale.
  • Aspen CEO Mike Kaplan says snow challenges bring out the best in people.
  • Think your area is busy on a Saturday?  The urban gondola network in La Paz sets a new one day record: 278,621 riders!
  • New York Governor calls previously announced state fair gondola “an exciting idea” but withholds funding for now.
  • More stories surface of the Hermitage Club owing people money.
  • Skier records volcano erupting from a Doppelmayr detachable in Japan. One person was killed and a gondola damaged by rockfall.
  • ORDA, the state owner of Belleayre, Gore Mountain and Whiteface, lost $20.8  million last year.
  • Powder catches up with Alterra President and COO David Perry, who stresses the company will do things differently than Vail.
  • Public comment period opens for Mt. Rose’s Atoma expansion, which would include construction of one or two new chairlifts as early as 2019.
  • The draft environmental impact statement is also out for Steamboat’s expansion, to include a second gondola, Rough Rider chairlift, new Bashor lift and Pioneer Ridge pod with groundbreaking possible by May.
  • Lake Louise and Nakiska are probable venues for a possible 2026 Calgary Olympics. Denver, Reno-Tahoe and Salt Lake also weigh bids.
  • Just upgrading electric infrastructure for Disney’s Skyliner gondola system will cost $3.8 million, around the total price tag of a typical ski lift project!
  • For the first time since I started keeping track, 2018 new lifts are pacing behind 2017.

Instagram Tuesday: Crafted

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

Still drooling over last night’s sunset.

A post shared by Boyne Mountain Resort (@boyne.mountain) on

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Instagram Tuesday: Mystery

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

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Instagram Tuesday: Lifted

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

Day one, complete. What a day it was. #iheartwh2o

A post shared by Whitewater Ski Resort (@whitewaterskiresort) on

Happy Monday from Beaver Creek! _ Photo taken this afternoon by @jresnick215

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Instagram Tuesday: Wintry

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

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