- $150 million Raymond James settlement includes $762,503 for Burke Mountain’s new Leitner-Poma T-Bar.
- Power outage leads to rope evacuation of Loveland’s newest lift.
- Steamboat gondola refurbishing begins (I got to tour Northstar’s gondola this week which received a similar upgrade in 2015.)
- Orlando Sentinel confirms Walt Disney World is building three Doppelmayr 10-passenger gondolas with six stations.
- Crystal Mountain breaks away from Boyne Resorts, orders five additional gondola cabins and plans to build new Discovery and Gold Hills lifts in 2018.
- Eldora is selling Hall and Heron chairs as six-pack construction begins.
- Preview Oakland’s new $13 million restaurant accessible only by gondola.
- Sunday River’s new owner commits to replacing Spruce Peak.
- This week’s cities floating gondolas include Edmonton and Burlington, Vermont.
- Fatzer delivers four 153-ton track ropes to Germany’s Zugspitze using two trucks linked together for the entire journey.
Vail Resorts got welcome news yesterday that went largely unnoticed with the big Stowe buy. The Placer County Board of Supervisors finally and unanimously approved a new master plan for the 3,200-acre Northstar Resort on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe. Booth Creek Ski Holdings started working on this plan way back in 1990 before eventually selling the mountain to Vail in October of 2010. Today’s approval includes seven new lifts: a gondola, two detachable chairlifts, one surface tow and three additional fixed-grip chairs. Two of those lifts would have mid-stations and three will serve an exciting 550-acre expansion called Sawtooth Ridge.
“The plan is designed to help lengthen current guest stays and solidify Northstar as a premiere destination resort,” Vail Resorts said in a statement. “It provides guests with a wider, more diverse array of terrain offerings and recreational activities, facilitating an improved and extended vacation experience for the destination and day-use guest.” Northstar’s current fleet stands at 14 lifts, nine of which are detachable. The proposed additions are:
- Castle Peak Gondola: A six-passenger gondola to Northstar Village that wouldn’t serve any ski trails but would reduce traffic on Northstar Drive by diverting more vehicles to the offsite Castle Peak parking lots. The gondola alignment would require two stages and an angle station to the east of Northstar Village. It would serve a similar function to the Vail-owned BreckConnect Gondola. Upon completion of Castle Peak, Northstar will operate a whopping four gondolas.
- Lift C: A fixed-grip or detachable chairlift east of the existing Vista Express serving three new intermediate trails above Sawmill Lake.
- Lift J (Lookout Mountain Access): A long new detachable quad or six-place chairlift starting near the bottom station of the Highlands pulse gondola and ending near the Lookout Vista surface lift providing increased out-of-base capacity. A mid-load station would serve new trails to the north of the Tahoe Zephyr Express pod.
- Lift V: A bottom drive fixed-grip lift starting near the Backside Express/Promised Land Express rising into the new Sawtooth Ridge expansion area.
- Lift W: A second fixed-grip chairlift serving Sawtooth Ridge. No trails would be cut in this pod; it would be dedicated to serving natural tree skiing.
- Lift Z: Surface tow similar to Lookout Vista providing access to “backcountry-style” terrain beyond lifts V and W.
- Lift Q: A second lift on Lookout Mountain to the west of the Martis Camp Express. This one would be fixed-grip and top drive.
Build out of the ambitious plan is expected to take two decades and Doppelmayr stands to gain, having built every lift at Northstar since 1985. I’m guessing we might see the Lookout Mountain access lift and Sawtooth Ridge lifts first.
It appears Northstar California replaced most of its Big Springs Gondola in just three months between the end of last winter and the start of this summer. The bottom terminal of this 1985 Doppelmayr 6-passenger gondola was previously relocated in 2004. From the below pictures on Instagram, it appears Doppelmayr installed brand new terminal equipment inside of the existing terminal buildings along with new Agamatic grips, hangars and line gear. The first-generation CWA cabins were previously refurbished in 2013. Maybe Vail Resorts got a ‘buy eight get two free’ deal on Uni-G terminals from Doppelmayr this summer.
#TeepeeTown2.0!!! Here's how it works, when the chair enters the station on the cable, the cable is running at 5 meters a second, the wheels all run at different speeds and work to decelerate and accelerate the chair as it enters and exits the station. When the chair leaves the station it will re-grip on to the rope three chair lengths behind where it entered the station. (We're nerding out hard on our new chair.) || #howitworks #chairlifts #summerproject #newchairlift #sunshinevillage #skiing #snowboarding #skicanada #mybanff