- Multiple companies take big losses removing the VonRoll skyride in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Snowbird will debut new rooftop tram balconies June 17th.
- Eight people are expected to be charged in the 2021 Italian tramway disaster that killed 14 people.
- Crested Butte lift mechanics file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election.
- British Columbia still hasn’t decided whether to permit a sightseeing gondola or competing ski resort proposal near Chilliwack.
- Poma publishes a new urban gondola highlight book.
- A group opposed to the privatization of Homewood says the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has paused permitting for the project, set to include a new D-Line gondola.
- Critics want Taos’ base to base gondola proposal to go through more detailed environmental analysis than the Forest Service has planned.
- Utah leaders vote to include the Little Cottonwood Gondola in a regional transportation plan.
- Kelly Canyon plans multiple lift upgrades this summer.
News Roundup: Sigma
- The three New York State-owned ski areas report record skier visits.
- Doppelmayr launches a new customer magazine called Up.
- Sigma Cabins has a new website.
- Park City’s outgoing Red Pine Gondola cabins go up for sale with an asking price of $25,000 each. New Sigma cabins have already started arriving.
- Lake Louise cuts the lift line for the future Upper Juniper Express.
- The Forest Service approves China Peak to reinstall Jackson Hole’s old Thunder quad.
- Snowshoe takes bids for retired triple chairs.
- Poma inaugurates the world’s fastest and highest capacity urban gondola in the Dominican Republic.
- No link but an end of season email from Sugarbush teases multiple upcoming lift replacements.
- Mont Blanc, Quebec to retrofit a second quad chair with a loading conveyor.
- The new triangle gondola in California wine country gets set to open in October.
Manufacturers Introduce Innovations at Interalpin
If the last week and a half was quiet on the blog, it’s because I was skiing my way around Austria, Germany and Switzerland with a few lift factory visits along the way. The last stop on my journey was Interalpin, the world’s largest trade show for mountain technology which takes place in Innsbruck every two years. Thanks to Covid, this was the first Interalpin in four years with an estimated 35,000 people attending.
Doppelmayr made a splash the first day with the introduction of a new logo, the company’s first brand refresh in decades. For the first time Doppelmayr Group companies like CWA, Carvatech, Garaventa, Gassner and Frey all have logos matching the parent company’s identity. The new brand will be introduced to international subsidiaries over time.
Doppelmayr’s sprawling two story booth featured numerous cabins, chairs, grips and carriages from an 8 seat Carvatech gondola all the way up to a 32 passenger CWA Atria.
A 20 passenger cabin called Stella debuted for the first time. This cabin will be available for both Tri-Line 3S and 20 passenger monocable gondolas. Stella fills the gap between the ubiquitous Omega and much larger Atria model, which has only been used to two lifts to date. Future 20 passenger monocable gondolas will utilize a new D9000 carriage, which is built around two side by side D5000 grips.
Introduced last year, Tri-Line is a streamlined version of the 3S gondola with smaller stations requiring less concrete. The first Tri-Line is under development at Hoch-Ybrig, Switzerland. Both Tri-Line and 20-MGD are based off standard D-Line stations and can achieve up to 8,000 passengers per hour with Stella cabins that fit closely together and can open on two sides. On the three rope Tri-Line, Stella cabins will be capable of spanning longer distances between towers than monocable gondolas with high wind stability.
Doppelmayr also showcased a simplified surface lift product family called S-Line.
Doppelmayr had a full size mockup of an Auro autonomous gondola station which can be monitored remotely from a ropeway operations center. A chairlift version is also undergoing testing on two lifts in the region using artificial intelligence to monitor unloading. In both cases, large detachable lifts could be operated by just one person.
Also on the software front, Doppelmayr’s resort management software clair now integrates with other mountain technology providers such as Fatzer, Skidata and TechnoAlpin.
HTI group hosted another large booth shared between Prinoth, Leitner, Poma and DemacLenko. For the first time Bartholet was also part of the HTI area. With three different lift brands now under one umbrella, HTI showed off multiple Diamond cabins, a premium chair, Symphony gondolas and Bartholet chairs/cabins.
I got to experience both Leitner’s 2S and 3S gondolas in the surrounding mountains and was very impressed with their smooth ride and quality. The newest 2S design utilizes plastic carriage rollers and can span long distances between towers more economically than a 3S.
Bikes were a big focus with both chair and gondola loading solutions on display. The European industry has embraced vertical racks so passengers can ride on the same chairs as bikes without having to skip chairs with trays.
HTI is also getting into the software game with a resort management program called Skadii including digital logbooks to manage documentation.
Energy efficiency is a huge focus in Europe and HTI also showed off its Ecodrive program, which uses cameras to analyze lift queues and automatically adjust lift speed to save energy.
MND Ropeways had a Waterville Valley style six place chair along with a gondola cabin on display. The company continues to push the benefits of providing lifts, snowmaking, avalanche control systems and summer attractions all from one supplier.
News Roundup: Interconnect
- Eaglecrest secures a $10 million investment to install a used pulse gondola.
- Ex-Netflix CEO Reed Hastings acquires a minority stake in Powder Mountain, looks to fund lift improvements.
- Whistler Blackcomb will auction quad chairs from Big Red and Fitzsimmons.
- The Forest Service lists a new proposal by Alterra to connect Big Bear and Snow Summit with two new lifts.
- Vail Resorts reports successful season results with skier visits up 6.1 percent with ski school, dining and retail/rental revenue all up as well.
- Doppelmayr’s 2023 yearbook is out. Poma’s too.
News Roundup: Sold Out
- Mexico City and Leitner inaugurate a new urban gondola line with 283 cabins and 7 stations.
- Leitner-Poma looks to hire a Sales Manager specifically for urban ropeways in North America.
- Leitner, Poma and Bartholet parent company HTI reports a record €1.3 billion in revenue for fiscal 2022.
- A skier dies after falling through a gondola cabin window in France.
- With its gondola back in operation, Mont-Sainte-Anne eyes a $100 million renewal with bids already received for two lift replacement projects.
- Doppelmayr revitalizes a 110 year old cable car over Niagara Falls.
- The Indy Pass suspends sales due to capacity limitations at partner resorts.
- Eagle Point teases multiple lift upgrades including a new connector chair.
- Powdr sells Lee Canyon to Mountain Capital Partners.
- Taos confirms Leitner-Poma will build new chairlifts on both sides the mountain this summer.
News Roundup: California Republic
- The owners of Mountain High and Dodge Ridge purchase China Peak.
- Vail Resorts reports 2.3 million pass products sold, though full Epic and Epic Local sales are down 12 percent.
- From the classifieds: a Poma gondola for sale in Australia and a Poma six pack for sale in Ontario.
- Kelly Canyon renames all its chairlifts.
- An updated trail map shows where Bittersweet’s new chairlifts run.
- Mt. La Crosse changes hands.
- Carriers are on both Big Red and Creekside at Whistler Blackcomb.
- A Park City reporter discovers more than 20 percent of the Red Pine Gondola‘s cabins are out of service.
- Attitash asks for votes on four name options for next year’s high speed quad.
- Storms slow progress on Red Dog at Palisades Tahoe and Far East Express can’t open until the new lift is complete.
- KT-22 is currently operating as a triple chair.
- European multi-resort operator Compagnie des Alpes signs a four year lift deal with Poma worth €200 million at list prices.
- MND’s first chairlift in the USA goes live tomorrow morning.
- The nonprofit which runs Big Squaw signs a new five year contract.
- Deer Valley will host open houses this week regarding future plans.
- Thanks to Dave Amirault for these progress photos of Burns Express at Deer Valley.
News Roundup: Thank You Firefighters
- Indy Pass signs two more ski areas – Chestnut Mountain, Illinois and Snowriver Mountain Resort, Michigan.
- Snowriver plans to replace multiple fixed grip lifts with one detachable at Jackson Creek Summit (formerly Indianhead)
- Searchmont takes delivery of a Skytrac drive terminal as a retrofit to a Blue Mountain triple chair and will complete another Skytrac triple in the beginner area.
- The Emirates Air Line in London will be named the IFS Cloud Cable Car from October as part of a two year sponsorship deal.
- A nonprofit takes over development of the Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium gondola.
- Ukraine-related sanctions halt a Poma 3S gondola project on the China-Russia border.
- Steamboat posts an update on the new longest gondola in North America.
- Vail Resorts will report earnings and possible new capital plans on September 28th.
- Gallix, Quebec seeks to raise $1.2 million to pay for ongoing chairlift repairs.
- Big Bear, Brundage and Nordic Valley all escape unscathed from wildfires this week.
- Mont Farlagne says goodbye to its T-Bar.
- The Heineken Highline gondola at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami will be open to all on game days this football season.
News Roundup: Succession
- As he prepares to relinquish day-to-day duties at Alterra, Rusty Gregory reflects on decades of ski industry changes.
- Poma names a new global President.
- One of the last US theme parks with a VonRoll skyride is sold to an e-commerce fulfillment developer and will close within the next decade.
- Pittsburgh will use $600,000 in federal grant money to study a possible gondola transit corridor.
- Vermont’s Suicide Six ski area will change its name in the coming weeks.
- The first gondola with 8 passenger Omega V cabins opens soon in Morocco.
- The Burnaby Mountain Gondola may really happen.
- Emirates ends its naming rights sponsorship of the London Cable Car after ten years.
- Sunday River provides an update on the massive Jordan 8 project.
- The Portland Tram finally reopens to the public.
- Hilltop Ski Area seeks $2.2 million in American Rescue Plan funds to replace its aging triple chairlift with a modern fixed grip quad.
- Firefighters help evacuate a chairlift at a Massachusetts zoo.
- Thanks to Benjamin Bartz for these photos of now-halted Park City lift construction. I have asked Vail Resorts what the plan is for already-produced lift equipment and will update if I hear back.
News Roundup: Hurdles
- Four people file appeals seeking to halt construction of Park City’s new lifts.
- Doppelmayr, Poma and Leitner all release annual brochures featuring lifts built last year.
- The former owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain is sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $8.3 million in restitution.
- The Tenney Mountain property is sold.
- Grouse Mountain formally applies for a development permit to build a new gondola.
- West Mountain looks to break ground in 2023 on a $140 million real estate project which includes a high speed quad.
- Whistler’s chair and gondola sale is live now.
- Heavenly to sell North Bowl triple chairs beginning today (update: the sale has been postponed for unspecified reasons.)
- With multiple projects in planning, Canada may beat the United States to the urban gondola party.
- Maine’s Quoggy Jo loses key funding.
- A preliminary timeline for the Timberline Lodge gondola construction: 2028.
- Juneau will spend $845,000 to transport the used 15 passenger gondola it purchased for Eaglecrest, more than double an initial estimate.
- Mount Roberts Tramway operator Goldbelt downplays its involvement in the Eaglecrest gondola project.
- Preliminary lift work begins begins at Mayflower.
- In case you missed Doppelmayr Insights, here’s a replay.
- Bartholet prepares to build Flem Xpress, the first Ropetaxi with autonomous gondolas and multi-station selection.
- Big Snow is on track to reopen May 27th.
- County officials approve Mt. Shasta’s Gray Butte expansion and construction begins.
News Roundup: Fresh Designs
- Poma introduces new station and tower elements in Europe with an eco-friendly focus.
- Doppelmayr now offers a third D-Line station design.
- Sugarbush proposes replacing Heaven’s Gate with a fixed grip quad.
- Chairs from Big Red and cabins from Creekside will be sold to benefit the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.
- Doppelmayr to host the second annual Insights virtual event on May 4th.
- Ski Sawmill, Bluewood and Kelly Canyon become the latest resorts to sign on to the Indy Pass; Marmot Basin leaves after just one year.
- Snow King Mountain joins the Powder Alliance.
- Vail reports a season-to-date 12.5 percent increase in skier visits.
- A new Doppelmayr Wir is out with features on Big Sky and Loon Mountain.
- The first urban ropeway trade show will be held in June in Germany.
- Powder Ridge, Minnesota to sell chairs from a retired double chair.
- Two new lifts are approved for Park City.
- A May deadline looms for 100,000 Vail Resorts employees to join or opt out of a class action lawsuit regarding labor practices.
- Boyne Mountain will sell Disciples chairs on May 2nd to benefit a local charity.
- A public hearing is scheduled regarding the Moosehead Lake resort project.
- Eaglecrest staff visit the gondola they bought in Austria; all systems are go for bringing it to Alaska.
- Seventh Heaven at Stevens Pass closes for the season early for “maintenance/evaluation.”
- Icy Strait Point opens its big Mountain Top gondola for the first time.