Mi Teleférico announces it will transport its hundred millionth commuter in early December, three and a half years after opening La Paz’s first urban gondola. Eight gondolas now operate with two more forming the Orange Line set to debut September 29th. The White Line will follow in the first quarter of 2018 and the network will transport some 50 million passengers next year.
Saddleback begins removal of the Rangeley double in preparation for its replacement. The Cupsuptic T-Bar will now be repaired rather than replaced, providing access to the Kennebago quad until Rangeley is complete. “The scope of this project is partially what drove the decision to repair versus replace the T-Bar,” Saddleback says. “If we had replaced both, there is a chance that there would not be any skiing this year if early snow arrived.”
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows CEO Andy Wirth and landowner Troy Caldwell held a Base-to-Base Gondola open house and Q&A last week presenting lots of new details. The Red Dog replacement project won’t happen until the gondola alignment is finalized.
The Balsams files site plans for construction of a gondola and more beginning as soon as this fall.
Subaru Skyride debuts at the Indiana State Fair. Can anyone identify the manufacturer?
Owners of Lutsen say $40 million expansion will compel more skiers to stay in the Midwest instead of trekking to Colorado.
Mi Teleférico breaks ground today for its 13th and 14th gondolas. The four station, 159 cabin Sky Blue line will join the Red, Yellow, Green and Blue lines already operating and the Orange, White and Purple lines under construction.
Liberty Mountain delays J-Bar replacement project, saying in a statement, “We had hoped to put the triple chair in this summer but unfortunately it will not be happening…We are still planning on making this change in the future.” Liberty acquired one of Ascutney’s CTEC triples in 2013.
The Majella Group of Australia has agreed to purchase Maine’s Saddleback, among the largest American resorts ever to go dark, and plans to build two new lifts as soon as possible. Doppelmayr will install the lifts – a 1,500 pph Tristar fixed-grip quad to replace Rangeley, and a 1,200 pph T-Bar in place of Cupsuptic – a 1960 Hall. “The Rangeley Lift and T-Bar replacements have been carefully selected after a thorough analysis of the mountain operations,” Majella said in a press release. “We understand the importance of maintaining the serene trail experience and supreme trail conditions for which Saddleback is well known.” Both lifts are being designed to be as wind-resistant as possible.
It’s been two years since the Berry family announced the possible closure of Saddleback if they could not secure financing for a new Rangeley lift. The family spent some $40 million to upgrade the Kennebago and South Branch lifts to quad chairs and build a new base lodge between 2004 and 2008, but the business kept losing money with 80,000-100,000 annual skier visits. By 2012, the Berrys put the mountain up for sale, asking $12 million. With no takers, a Kennebago loan fell through in 2015 and the Berrys decided not to open again without a new lift serving the heart of the mountain.
Since 2015, sale rumors abounded and the nonprofit Saddleback Mountain Foundation attempted a crowdfunding campaign to buy the operation. The group raised less than half of the $9 million needed for the mountain and a fixed-grip quad and confirmed last night they were not the buyer. In the end, a more traditional investor emerged with plans restore Saddleback to its place as Maine’s third largest mountain with the goal of creating a premier four-season resort. “We believe Saddleback requires a plan to create more lodging, more restaurants, and additional on-mountain opportunities,” Majella CEO Sebastian Monsour said today at the mountain’s base lodge, surrounded by locals and dignitaries from across Maine.
Vail Resorts will re-use chairs and towers from Keystone’s Montezuma Express in building the new Red Buffalo Express at Beaver Creek.
Saddleback Mountain Foundation needs $11.2 million to purchase Maine’s third largest ski area, including $3.2 million to replace the Rangeley lift with a fixed-grip quad. So far, the group has only raised a fraction of that amount.
Sunday River’s new Spruce Peak triple will be a Doppelmayr Tristar, Boyne Resorts’ fourth.
Saddleback Mountain Foundation raises $750,000 towards the purchase of Maine’s second largest ski area which closed in 2015. The group plans to replace the Rangeley double and Cupsuptic T-Bar with new lifts and eventually expand with a new Magalloway lift.