- Park City lift mechanics and electricians will vote whether to unionize early next week.
- Charges against four Marines are dropped after they pay more than $18,000 in restitution for allegedly causing a lift deropement at the San Diego Zoo.
- Alta modifies operations and offers passholders refunds due to the delayed Sunnyside lift project.
- Sierra at Tahoe will reopen December 3rd following 15 months of fire recovery efforts.
- A progress report on Copper Mountain’s Alpine terminal replacement project.
- Grand Targhee debuts a new VistaMap.
- Disciples 8 shows up on the Boyne Mountain trail map.
- Echo Mountain and Granby Ranch become the latest Colorado resorts to join the Indy Pass.
- Mammoth Mountain looks to replace the Panorama Gondola with a realigned 10 passenger version.
- Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch reflects on last season and details what the company is doing to make this season better.
- Northern Virginia Magazine profiles the successful rebirth of Timberline Mountain under the Perfect family.
- A new owner takes a majority stake in Massif du Sud, promising new investment.
- Resorts are still flying towers for new lifts including Red Dog at Palisades, Hidden Valley at Snoqualmie and La Laurentienne at Sommet Gabriel.
- Construction continues on two new lifts at Vail, with completion expected in December.
- Whistler Blackcomb and Doppelmayr expect the delayed Creekside Gondola haul rope to arrive today.
- Reflecting on the Lone Peak Tram as it enters its final season.
- Frost Fire, North Dakota won’t open this season.
- Closed Holiday Mountain, Manitoba plans to reopen under new ownership.
- Searchmont updates guests on numerous lift projects around the mountain.
- Redevelopment of Big Squaw is cancelled due to failed negotiations with the current owner and global financial conditions.
San Diego Zoo
News Roundup: Bounty
- Sandia Peak won’t open for skiing this season due to weather and staffing challenges.
- A snowboarder falls from Vail Mountain’s Avanti Express.
- The mall where Big Snow American Dream operates faces mounting financial problems.
- Kimberley offers a CA$100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the Northstar Express arsonist.
- Castle Mountain loans Kimberley another passenger snow cat and Leitner-Poma prioritizes repairs in its production schedule.
- The Bode Miller Ski Academy at Granby Ranch will include a high speed surface lift for race training.
- Elk Mountain rope evacuates for the second time in a week, this time the C double.
- The same day, nearby Montage Mountain rope evacuates the Long Haul triple.
- Also last Sunday: 150 people evac’d from the double chair at Song Mountain.
- A Colorado mountain will join the Indy Pass for the first time next week.
- Tamarack removes a North Bowl lift from its expansion proposal, hopes to begin the NEPA process soon for its proposed gondola, south expansion lifts and Wildwood Express extension.
- The reincarnated Big Squaw would include a six person chairlift and new T-Bar.
- Outside Magazine talks with numerous Vail Resorts employees about operational challenges.
- Town of Vail leaders discuss the situation at the namesake company.
- A Sea to Sky-style gondola is planned for interior British Columbia.
- Sunshine Village posts some fascinating stats about its very unique gondola.
- Four men plead not guilty to felony vandalism charges following last month’s incident at the San Diego Zoo.
- Soldier Mountain closes for the weekend due to unspecified lift issues.
- Alaska’s first gondola system is complete and will open to the public in April.
- Cannonsburg laments contractor and supply chain delays which have kept its triple chair from operating this season.
- Aspen Skiing Company raises its minimum wage to $20 per hour, effective the day after tomorrow.
- Argentinian actress Vero Lozano breaks an ankle falling from height off an Aspen chairlift.
- The South Korean resort where a detachable quad rolled back on January 22nd won’t reopen any of its lifts this winter.
- Multiple parties file objections to Purgatory’s Ice Creek expansion approval.
- The State of New Hampshire will host a public meeting next week regarding the future of the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway.
News Roundup: Olympic Infrastructure
- Sugarbush’s Slide Brook Express may remain closed for the entire season.
- More brand new trail maps pop up: Black Mountain, New Hampshire and Sunlight, Colorado.
- Camp 10 in Wisconsin rope evacuates its only chairlift.
- Approximately 170 people are roped down from the F quad at Elk Mountain, Pennsylvania.
- Another Elk Mountain lift is the subject of a viral video.
- Cedar Pass, California won’t open this season due to required haul rope replacement.
- Boyne Resorts considers changing Shawnee Peak’s name back to Pleasant Mountain.
- The four people arrested for damaging the San Diego Zoo Skyfari are United States Marines and have yet to be charged with any crimes.
- Fortress Mountain’s owners now aim for a December 2023 reopening.
- Lake Louise opens the Juniper expansion and high speed quad.
- MND Group reports half year results with revenue up 41 percent to €39.7 million and snowmaking/ropeway sales increasing 79 percent.
- Telluride seeks public input on the future of the gondola.
- Operations remain limited at three Vail-owned Ohio mountains while other regional areas report being 100 percent open.
- Two Park City media outlets cover residents’ frustration with Vail Resorts over closed lifts, crowding and traffic.
- The Sandia Peak Tramway is seeking a tram maintenance manager and aerial tram mechanic.
- Work begins on bike trails which could eventually be serviced by gondola in Idaho Springs, Colorado.
- Caberfae Peaks releases a rendering of where its new triple chair will go.
- Fourteen Doppelmayr lifts will support the Beijing Olympics including 9 at the brand new downhill venue.
- Stevens Pass aims to finally open all its lifts by the middle of February.
- A resident floats the idea of a gondola running from a ferry terminal to business district on Bowen Island, British Columbia.
- Citing crowding, Berkshire East institutes a reservation requirement for Indy Pass holders.
- Whaleback aims to have its chairlift back in action by Sunday.
Arrests Made Following Stoppage of San Diego Zoo Gondola
A fault which stopped the San Diego Zoo Skyfari for two hours today was no accident, police say. A witness told the San Diego Union-Tribune four patrons were “swinging their gondola from side to side and knocked it off a rail or cable, forcing an automatic shutdown.” The San Diego Fire Department responded just after 2:00 pm but no evacuation was needed and approximately 100 passengers were safely offloaded under the lift’s own power. “Some patrons may need medical evaluation,” the department said in a 4:30 pm tweet. The San Diego Police Department later said it arrested four men, ages 20 to 24, on suspicion of felony vandalism.
The Skyfari is a VonRoll Type 101 gondola built in 1969. Its 28 four passenger cabins circulate between two stations at either end of the zoo.
In California, Parks & Zoos Wow with Gondolas
From flying over bison to coasting through redwood forests, wine tasting and beach cruising, visitors to California can do it all by gondola even when far from ski country. In every major region of the vast California Republic, gondolas greet more than 250 million annual tourists, providing unique experiences and spectacular views in one of America’s most diverse states.
California Trail – Oakland Zoo
California’s newest gondola debuted at the Oakland Zoo in June, whisking guests on a three minute safari to an $80 million experience called California Trail, which features animals native to the Golden State. In some ways this is America’s first urban gondola with the top terminal located in the basement of a combination transit station, restaurant and visitor center. The Doppelmayr UNI-G system sports 17 cabins that can move 1,000 guests each hour between California Station and the new hub for wolves, bears and mountain lions. Even though the exhibits don’t open until next year, the gondola is already so popular that the zoo’s chairlift rarely runs anymore as guests binge-ride the California Trail lap after lap.
Skyfari – San Diego Zoo
The VonRoll-built Skyfari is a big reason why the San Diego Zoo grew to become the most-visited zoo in America. Since 1969, 42 four-passenger cabins have transported some 75 million riders from the east side of the park to the west. Today, the Skyfari operates more than 3,300 hours a year and an impressive 60 percent of zoo guests choose to take the ride, making it by far the most-ridden gondola in this most populous state. The lift’s four towers reach up to 89 feet, yielding zoogoers spectacular views of their surroundings and downtown San Diego. Now presented by Alaska Airlines, the ride is impeccably maintained and features updated Doppelmayr controls and automated cabin launching. Just based on ridership, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it replaced with a modern system with more capacity in the coming years.