- Demolition begins on the only lift in Oklahoma.
- Utah’s new Wasatch Peaks Ranch now includes five lifts but will remain private and members only.
- Skeetawk, Alaska looks at used lifts in Europe for expansion.
- The project to bring a used gondola to Eaglecrest, Alaska is delayed until the 2025-2028 timeframe.
- Ikon Pass profiles a lift operator who has spent 20 years sleeping at the top of Mammoth’s Panorama Gondola.
- Mt. Shasta joins the Powder Alliance.
- Alta Sierra, California struggles to stay in business due to storms and road closures this season.
- Vail promotes the General Manager of Perisher to lead Whistler Blackcomb.
- Alterra names a new President and COO of Crystal Mountain, teases “new and upgraded ski lift infrastructure” and “the potential for expanded terrain.”
- Schweitzer lists Musical Chairs for sale.
- Two new investors take ownership stakes in Windham Mountain, promising new investment.
- An April update on Loon Mountain’s South Peak expansion.
News Roundup: Flying High
- Sun Valley and Snowbasin ditch the Epic Pass, will be Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective partners beginning next season.
- Also for next season, Alterra pulls Mammoth, Palisades Tahoe and Sugarbush from the Mountain Collective Pass.
- Cascade Mountain lists the Mogul Monster triple for sale.
- New York State ski areas report a 26 percent increase in revenue so far this season.
- Newly nonprofit Skiland Alaska looks to raise $100,000 for upgrades to its chairlift.
- Jay Peak says it has two viable suitors currently.
- A great podcast features Andy Shepard of Saddleback taking listeners through the mountain’s closure, sale and reopening.
- The team behind Edmonton’s Prairie Sky Gondola says it’s working on another gondola in a different Canadian city.
- Fast Company features a story on gondolas as urban transportation gap fillers.
- Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory is quoted saying this season has gone “shockingly well” despite “pinch points.”
- Leaders in Alaska’s capital city vote to spend $2 million on a used pulse gondola for Eaglecrest Ski Area.
- Big Squaw owner James Confalone is ordered to pay $4.5 million in penalties for timber violations and failure to maintain the ski area.
- Alpine-X proposes a second indoor ski area in Dallas.
- Officials pause pursuit of a Gunstock expansion.
- Flying Yankee at Attitash will be down for the foreseeable future due to an issue with the tension system.
- The Colorado Sun catches up with me to talk about visiting every US ski area.
- A Panorama guest is helicoptered to a hospital after falling off the Mile 1 quad.
- Crystal Mountain confirms a $100 million capital plan will include new lift(s) and expanded terrain in 2023-24.
- The proposed Okanagan Gondola is already moving forward.
- Belleayre and Doppelmayr organize a major gearbox repair operation on the Belleayre Express.
- Skiers criticize staffing and operations at Hunter Mountain.
News Roundup: Wish List
- The largest gondola network in the world looks to add four more lines.
- Aspen Mountain is likely to gain approval for Pandora’s next month with lift installation targeted for 2023.
- The Burnaby Mountain Gondola remains a top funding priority in the Vancouver region.
- 49 Degrees North names its new detachable quad Northern Spirit.
- Opposition emerges to the Lutsen Mountains expansion proposal.
- Kelly Canyon flies towers for its new Skytrac.
- Ground is broken for a seven station urban gondola system in Santiago, Chile.
- Beaver Creek releases its new map with McCoy Park. Okemo’s new lifts hit the trail map. Saddleback too.
- A proposed wildlife park with gondola ride receives a $400,000 grant from the State of North Dakota.
- Maine’s Mt. Abram reactivates its long disused Mini T-Bar.
- A documentary about Canada’s largest lost ski area will debut at the Banff Film Festival.
- MND Ropeways commences construction on its first North American detachable at Waterville Valley.
- 462 ski areas operated last season in the United States, 8 fewer than 2019/20.
- Purgatory’s Ice Creek expansion and triple chair are approved, subject to a 45 day objection period.
- Ski Cooper’s wish list includes a frontside detachable quad and lifts on Chicago Ridge.
- Alberta’s Hidden Valley may not open this season.
- Nitehawk takes delivery of Lake Louise’s former Summit Platter for immediate installation and conversion to a T-Bar.
- A Snow King gondola update.
- Fire-damaged Big Snow American Dream will remain closed into 2022.
- As some suggest a gondola, Denver International Airport seeks proposals for a non-rail link between its three concourses.
News Roundup: Insights
- A tram in Butte, Montana?
- The Utah Department of Transportation hosts a podcast all about the proposed Little Cottonwood Gondola.
- Saddleback passes its skier visit goal for the season, secures $1.5 million in new financing and orders another new lift to run up the Cupsuptic line.
- Pat Campbell steps down as President of Vail Resorts’ mountain division.
- The group proposing a West Seattle SkyLink embarks on a public education campaign.
- Keystone says goodbye to both Argentine and Peru Express.
- 461 US ski areas operated in 2020-21, down by 9 from 2019-20.
- Doppelmayr USA is hiring for lots of positions right now.
- Bartholet to build its first gondola in Austria.
- Bloomberg interviews Vail CEO Rob Katz.
- Doppelmayr will host a virtual event featuring product news and more on May 5th.
- Publicly-owned Spirit Mountain reports a 17 percent increase in revenue.
- Due to an electrical issue, the Sugarloaf SuperQuad will operate on a diesel engine for the rest of the season.
- The Forest Service green lights Arapahoe Basin’s Lenawee lift replacement project.
- This cool video explores how one Swiss T-Bar is able to turn sharply both left and right.
News Roundup: More Than a Mountain
- Mission Ridge is named its community’s Business of the Year for pressing forward with an ambitious lift replacement project using local labor during the pandemic.
- An auction gets underway for Howelsen Hill’s retiring double chairs.
- More than 28,000 non-union Vail Resorts employees will see end of season bonuses.
- Looking to cut costs, Six Flags axes one of its last three remaining VonRoll gondolas in Georgia.
- Silverton, Colorado weighs building a traditional ski resort to complement the non-traditional Silverton Mountain.
- Another child slips out of a chair but this time hangs on all the way to the top.
- Vail Resorts announces a better than expected 28.4 percent decrease in revenue for the quarter ended January 31st. Season to date through March 7th, skier visits are down 8.2 percent, lift revenue is down 8.9 percent, ski school revenue down 43.2 percent, dining revenue down 56.9 percent and retail/rental revenue down 31.6 percent.
- A report prepared by SE Group suggests $23 million worth of improvements to Spirit Mountain including a replacement Gandy lift. Under the plan, Double Jaw and Summit would be removed without replacement.
- Great Bear begins construction of its new Skytrac quad.
- A strategic plan for Arctic Valley includes T-Bar replacement.
- Blue Knob performs a night rope evacuation of the Route 66 double.
- The former owner of Showdown Montana floats developing a small ski area atop an EPA superfund site near Great Falls.
- The Jackson Hole Aerial Tram will shut down for maintenance all summer but two gondolas and a chairlift will spin instead.
- Leitner introduces an online ropeway configurator tool.
- A new lost Northeast ski area video series begins with an episode on Hogback Mountain.
- Virginia could become home to an even larger indoor ski area than New Jersey.
- Big Sky and Bridger Bowl skier visits trend lower than last year.
- Mt. Sunapee will auction chairs from the Duckling double to benefit the EpicPromise Foundation.
News Roundup: Ramping Up
- Northeast gems Saddleback and Waterville Valley join the Indy Pass coalition, effective immediately.
- Winter Park Resort looks for the Forest Service’s blessing to replace multiple lifts.
- The Forest Service fully approves Keystone’s Bergman Bowl project.
- Welch Village voluntarily withdraws the East Quad from service following an unspecified incident (now back open).
- Guests of Mission Ridge love the Wenatchee Express and here’s the final episode of On the Way Up.
- Spirit Mountain lends a hand to repair the chairlift at nearby Chester Bowl.
- A girl is okay after falling from a Mohawk Mountain chairlift.
- A child also falls from a lift at Saddleback.
- Skyline at Pebble Creek is partially rope evacuated.
- Lookout Pass eyes 2022 for new lifts servicing Eagle Peak.
- More reports of stellar seasons from Iowa, New York and Pennsylvania.
- Cabins return to the Sea to Sky Gondola with more on the way.
- Mt. Bohemia considers building a lift in the Haunted Valley.
- Timberline Lodge closes for three days following a messy ice storm.
- Once a cartel hub, Medellín is a city transformed in part by a modern gondola network.
- Waterville Valley President and General Manager Tim Smith discusses a future gondola, bubble six pack and other lift changes.
- A rider who fell into a net along with another passenger and lift operator sues Snow King Mountain.
- Murray Ridge secures a six figure grant to rehabilitate one of the world’s longest T-Bars.
- MND reports revenue fell 5 percent in the second half of 2020 ($20.7 million in sales came from snowmaking and lifts.)
- Aspen will delay the Silver Queen Gondola‘s summer opening to complete big ticket maintenance items.
- Doppelmayr’s latest Wir magazine explores the Eiger Express.
- Saddleback closes for a day to shorten the haul rope on the new Rangeley quad.
- Poma will build an eight station urban gondola system in Madagascar with 274 cabins.
- Parent company Dream Unlimited says Arapahoe Basin is on track for its second best financial year ever despite opening four weeks late.
- Just two weeks to go until old lifts start coming down to make way for new ones.
- Squaw will experiment metering skiers at gates to avoid long lift lines at Silverado.
- The world’s largest urban gondola network might add four more lines.
- Big Squaw reopens tomorrow, two weeks after this deropement.
- A gondola is no longer a core component of the Oakland Athletics’ planned new stadium.
- There’s talk of building a 7,000 vertical foot gondola on Mt. Kilimanjaro.
News Roundup: Middle of Winter
- Blue Hills reopens following inspections and a meeting of the Massachusetts Recreational Tramway Board.
- A Swiss study finds the risk of catching the coronavirus on a 12 minute gondola ride with windows open is a thousand times less than at an indoor meal with eight people.
- Saddleback teases another new lift coming next winter.
- This will be cool: a gondola which loads over water.
- Idaho’s Soldier Mountain and Pomerelle both join the Indy Pass.
- A hotel management company takes over operation of King Pine Ski Area.
- Japan’s first urban gondola opens April 22nd.
- Atlantic Canada’s only gondola remains on track to launch in July.
- Doppelmayr USA is hiring construction team members for multiple roles.
- Doppelmayr is also looking for an Electrical Panel Production and Install Technician.
- Sugarbush shows from the air how lift lines this season are shorter than they appear.
- Take a drone flight over a deserted Blue Mountain, Ontario.
- This month’s Smithsonian Magazine features the story of James Curran, the non-skier who invented the chairlift.
- With Black Line under construction and the Red Chair out of service, Magic Mountain is left without summit access for at least a few days.
- Attorneys for families of two skiers killed on Colorado lifts want the state’s Supreme Court to overturn a recent lower court ruling limiting resort liability.
- With minimal skier compaction, some French lifts are getting hit by avalanches.
News Roundup: Settling Up
- Doppelmayr and the Government of Bolivia settle a multi-million dollar dispute over payment for urban gondola lines already completed.
- A small child falls from a lift at Ski Sundown.
- The world’s longest multi-section gondola opens in Serbia.
- Les Otten’s company takes 100 percent ownership of The Balsams.
- Brundage Mountain temporarily closes a lift due to Covid-related staffing issues.
- A shutdown of skiing has cost 9,000 jobs and CA$90 million in Ontario.
- The Wenatchee Express won’t open January 15th and a new date is TBD.
- Laurel Mountain closes for a week due to lift issues but will reopen today.
- French ski resorts remain closed through at least next week.
- Bartholet opens a new production site and teases an autonomous ropeway solution coming soon.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola sues insurance brokers over business interruption coverage and claims. The company has also ordered a fourth batch of cabins from CWA and intends to reopen late spring or early summer.
- Vail Resorts acknowledges a rough start to the season with skier visits down 16.6 percent, lift ticket revenue down 20.9 percent, retail/rental down 39.2 percent, ski school down 52.6 percent and dining down 66.2 percent through January 3rd.
- Cuchara gets close to reopening with one of four chairlifts.
- A Colorado appeals court upholds that waivers broadly protect ski resorts from chairlift-related injury claims.
- The Province of British Columbia and Big White will host a virtual public meeting regarding the resort’s ambitious master plan on January 26th.
- Spirit Mountain remains at a financial crossroads.
- Gunstock President Tom Day discusses what lift projects he’d like to see in the future and much more.
- With a part fast-tracked from Italy, Kimberley’s lone detachable chairlift could reopen as early as Sunday.
- A New York ski club fundraises for a new T-Bar cable.
- Parts are already arriving for Catamount’s new Glade triple.
News Roundup: Next Up
- Robert Redford sells Sundance Resort to two private equity firms.
- 49 Degrees North completes the same retrofit as Chair 1 received on Chair 4, which will reopen today.
- Kamiscotia, Ontario rebrands as Mt. Jamieson.
- Kennywood Park removes rides to cut costs including its 1996 CTEC quad (sister park Lake Compounce did the same three years ago.)
- Saddleback is open! The trail map shows replacement Cupsuptic and Sandy lifts coming soon.
- A Utah entrepreneur wants to bring back a tram to Bridal Veil Falls.
- Vail Resorts looks to raise another $500 million from investors.
- Kelly Canyon seeks to replace Stony Mountain and Summit with one triple or quad.
- Sun Valley’s old Dollar double hits the market.
- Ditto for Ragged Mountain’s former Speak Mountain triple.
- Local officials approve Utah Olympic Park’s West Peak expansion and a 17 tower double or triple.
- Magic Mountain expects to have the Black Line Quad operational by MLK weekend.
- Leitner-Poma of America is hiring a Field Service Technician.
- The Burlington Free Press begins a three part series on the Jay Peak fraud case.
- Still no gondola as Mont-Sainte-Anne reopens.
- Two injured guests are airlifted following a chairlift fall at Park City.
- A formal feasibility study is the next step toward a gondola in Long Beach.
- Fatzer ships a new rope to the Sea to Sky Gondola.
News Roundup: On the Map
- Sugarloaf’s forthcoming West Mountain expansion makes the trail map.
- Disney blogs report some recent downtime on the Skyliner.
- Pine Knob removes Chair 4 and puts a rope tow in its place.
- Four mountains get new trail maps from VistaMap: Granite Peak, Loon Mountain, Sunrise Park and West Mountain.
- Winter Park renames Eskimo Express Explorer Express with the following reason behind it:
Last summer, we examined the names of our trails and lifts, and recognized that the name “Eskimo” is considered derogatory and offensive by many. Through research we learned people in many parts of the Arctic consider Eskimo a derogatory term because it was widely used by racist, non-native colonizers. Many people also thought it meant eater of raw meat, which connoted barbarism and violence. Brands with longer histories than Winter Park’s have also decided to abandon the term. The iconic Eskimo Pie dropped the name in 2020, and the Edmonton Canadian football team announced it would no longer use the name as well.
Winter Park is a place for all people to Venture Out, to escape and retreat, to transform and trailblaze. Winter Park is an inclusive place and that’s why we moved to change the name of the Eskimo Express Lift to the Explorer Express Lift. The name “Explorer” more accurately represents our resort, our brand, our team, and our guests.
- Both Gore Mountain’s new lifts run in somewhat new locations.
- You can virtually tour the new 3K K-onnection 3S gondola, including on top of towers and inside stations.
- Europe’s longest 3S opens tomorrow.
- New ski area alert! Skeetawk sends first chair tomorrow after decades of dreaming.
- Paul Bunyan, Wisconsin to reopen this month after 25 years shuttered.
- Mt. Baldy, Ontario’s new quad chair isn’t finished so the ski area is closing for an hour to teach people how to ride the T-Bar.
- Austria and Switzerland say yes to skiing while France, Germany, and Italy continue to keep lifts closed.
- BousquetMountain.com goes live with a new trail map.
- Liftopia will likely be sold with proceeds going to creditors.
- Saddleback secures $1.3 million in new funding to support redevelopment.
- Mountain Capital Partners’ bet that Texans would love lift-served mountain biking is paying off.
- This fact sheet outlines the five transportation options for Little Cottonwood Canyon, two of which include a gondola.