They call it “the road less traveled,” a classic Vermont mountain situated about half way between Stratton and Okemo. Now in its second year of new ownership, Magic Mountain has carved a successful niche offering top quality, affordable skiing despite a competitive landscape. Ski Magic LLC added a new carpet lift and restarted work on a new double chair to service intermediate terrain soon after taking over operations in late 2016. Fresh off a successful 2017-18 season with increased skier visits, investors plan to spend an impressive $1.6 million on key infrastructure this summer including two important new chairlifts.
In addition to completing the Green Chair project by early summer, Magic announced today that a Poma quad chair will replace the Black lift, which dates back to the middle of last century. The 1962 Pohlig double was once converted to a triple with Yan chairs before being turned back into a double in recent years. Today it sports towers from Pohlig, Hall and possibly Poma and the time has finally come to retire it.
The new Black Line quad is a 1986 Poma Alpha model which is being removed from Stratton this month to make way for the Snow Bowl Express. The predecessor will find a new home less than 15 miles away, becoming the workhorse base-to-summit machine at Magic. The incoming Green Chair is also from Stratton, a Borvig removed in 1995 called Betwixed. “When we heard Stratton was replacing their Snow Bowl lift with a new high-speed detachable, four-passenger lift, our investor group jumped on the opportunity to try and purchase their Poma fixed-grip quad”, said Geoff Hatheway, President of Ski Magic. “For our ski community, this lift is a huge upgrade that meets and manages our current and future growth expectations, better fulfills customer desires for quality, reliable lift service at Magic, and sustains our reputation as an area with both minimal lift lines and low on-slope skier density.” He went on to thank Stratton President and COO Bill Nupp for his help securing the lift’s future in Southern Vermont.
Black Line capacity will more than triple from 620 skiers per hour to 2,000 with the new lift unloading slightly higher to service all of Magic’s trails. The 148 chair lift will be over 5,000 feet long with approximately 1,500 feet of vertical rise. Magic’s 1971 Heron-Poma double will stay in the rotation and operate at peak times, meaning the Black quad, Red double, and Green double are all slated for service in the 2018/19 season. With Magic’s plans, at least seven new lifts will debut in Vermont next season, the most since 1995.
SE Group and the White River National Forest test an interactive storyboard as a public engagement tool for Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park Expansion. Comments are due May 29th and a decision is expected in September.
The Forest Service proposes quickly approving the replacement of Arizona Snowbowl’s Agassiz triple with a 6,100 foot combination lift utilizing gondola cabins between every three or four chairs. Capacity would be only 1,200 passengers per hour.
Magic Mountain commits to finishing the Green lift and weighs the future of its nearby Pohlig-Hall-Yan contraption.
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.
Two loaded chairs collide at Owl’s Head, Quebec after the Green Chair was pressed into rare operation amid downtime on a neighboring high-speed quad. The 1972 Heron-Poma is the former Big Hitch lift from Stagecoach, Colorado.
The Olympics have become a boon for ski lift companies, which often supply tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in new lifts in the run up to each Games. Most recently for Sochi’s 2014 venues, Doppelmayr built a staggering 40 ropeways including multiple tricable gondolas that could even carry cars in the event of road closures. Poma built another $137 million worth – 16 lifts – the most concurrently at a single area in company history. Even summer host cities often feature ropeways that I’d like to think contributed to them being chosen as hosts in the first place. Transport for London and Doppelmayr launched the Emirates Air Line just in time for the 2012 games and Rio de Janeiro debuted multiple urban gondolas in the run up to 2016.
The 2018 games kick off February 9th in and around PyeongChang, South Korea. Three ski resorts will host alpine events just 125 miles from where North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un opened his own new ski resort with a gondola and four chairlifts in 2013. The South’s democratic government has constructed a similar facility from scratch to host the downhill and super-G events, called Jeongseon Alpine Centre. Doppelmayr supplied a unique two-section gondola in 2015 and added additional two high-speed quad lifts in 2016. This is notable because there are really only two runs! One of the chairlifts is very similar to the temporary Timing Flats high-speed quad at Whistler, which simply ferried foot passengers from the base area to finish plaza during the 2010 Games and was moved to Sunshine Village after just two weeks of public use.
The two-section Jeongseon Downhill Gondola is powered by a single 857 horsepower motor and services the entire 2,707 vertical-foot men’s downhill course. A stacked bullwheel at the lift’s angle station has two grooves for the two different haul ropes. After some delays with site prep, the gondola was built by multiple crews in just three months from November 2015 to February 2016, just before an IOC deadline. The finish line at Jeongseon sits at only 1,788 feet above sea level and a 4,500 gallon-per-minute snowmaking system was also built here. The venue receives little natural snowfall and has been criticized for its ecological impact and questionable future as a public facility.
Poma wins monster $47.1 million contract for five lifts from the company that operates Val d’Isère, Tignes, Meribel, La Plagne and Les Arcs in France. Last year’s three-lift, $29.4 million contract from the same group went to Doppelmayr.
An Australian teenager is lucky to be alive after doing pull ups on a moving chairlift cable.
MND Group turnover increases 15.1 percent year-over-year. The company aims to double sales by 2020 partially through LST Ropeways subsidiary. Referencing the new Cannon Mountain T-Bar in the latest magazine, MND notes “success has enabled LST to penetrate the US market, paving the way for other promising opportunities.”
Doppelmayr will begin building its next tri-cable gondola in December. Who would have guessed Kenya would get a 3S before the United States!
Forest Service gives final green light for Breckenridge and Keystone six-place upgrades.
Wolf Ridge, NC closes for the season following lightning damage to 1988 Doppelmayr quad. The place has an interesting past; a 2006 Doppelmayr CTEC quad and 1980 Borvig were both abandoned after a 2014 fire and only two lifts remain.