News Roundup: Interalpin

  • Revelstoke homeowners aren’t happy lift development has stalled for almost ten years now.  The resort’s response identifies master plan lifts 1 and 11 as the highest priorities but notes construction of them is subject to market demand.
  • In an interview, new Crystal Mountain owner John Kircher says he wants to build a second gondola to Campbell Basin.
  • NY State Fair gondola continues to be targeted as an example of government waste.
  • Whaleback’s T-Bar project is a go.  The lift came from Plattekill, NY and will be installed by SkyTrans.
  • New Gatlinburg Sky Lift looks to be almost finished.
  • Poma reaches agreement to build new gondolas in Vietnam with the first next-generation Sigma Diamond EVO cabins introduced yesterday at Interalpin.  The new cabins offer more natural light and feature doors that slide rather than opening out.
  • Move over D-Line: the new Leitner Station is here.
  • LST gets another detachable contract.
  • Leitner launches urban gondola in Berlin.
  • Skier visits at Vail Resorts were down 2.8 percent this season but lift ticket revenue increased 7.4 percent.
  • Mi Teleférico opens $1.5 million Operations Control Center with 22 people monitoring 1,300 surveillance cameras on 66 screens and lightning detection system for four gondola lines.
  • Purgatory will add a mid-station to its Needles triple this summer.

Poma to Build World’s First 3S Dedicated to Public Transportation

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A new 3S gondola will open in Toulouse, France in 2020, becoming the first dedicated tri-cable gondola system for public transport.

In its home country of France, Poma Ropeways has won a $56 million tender to realize the first 3S gondola designed entirely for public transport. Téléphérique Urbain Sud (South Urban Cable Car) will link two hospitals to Paul Sabatier University in the city of Toulouse. You may know France’s fourth largest city, with 1.2 million inhabitants, as the global headquarters of the Airbus Group.

The gondola’s 1.9 mile route will ascend a 300-foot hill called Pech David before crossing the Garonne waterway.  Factors leading to the selection of a 3S over a MGD were the need for long spans between towers (just 5 required instead of 20), the ability to more easily transport wheelchairs/bicycles as well as wind tolerance.  Fourteen 35-passenger Sigma Symphony cabins will circulate between three stations with an hourly capacity of 1,500 passengers per direction.  At 5 m/s, the system will achieve headways of just 90 seconds and a trip will take ten minutes each way, a 20-minute improvement from today in a car.  Like other successful urban gondola projects, riders of the 3S will be able to use existing fare media and easily transfer to and from metro trains or buses.  Additional stages are likely to be added to the ends of the new gondola in the future.

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News Roundup: For Sale

Instagram Tuesday: Cabins

#cablecar #lines #minimal #blackandwhite #igers #igersportugal #china #instatraveling #sonya6000 #sonyalpha

A post shared by Miguel Prata (@migueljoanaprata) on

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News Roundup: Eurotrip

Squaw-Alpine Applies to Build Base-to-Base Gondola(s)

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8-Passenger Sigma Diamond demo cabin in Squaw Valley’s shop.  Source

Earlier this fall, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings submitted its formal application to the Placer County Planning Department to build the three-stage gondola connecting Squaw Valley with Alpine Meadows that was first announced last spring.  Leitner-Poma will design the system on the heels of completing Squaw’s Big Blue and Siberia six-packs.  LPOA has lots of experience building detachable lifts with angle stations including similar three-section gondolas at Breckenridge and Sunshine Village.

The Squaw-Alpine gondola will be around 13,000 feet long with 37 towers and two ridge-top angle stations.  The unique system will have three haul ropes but only two drives located at the end stations (Breck and Sunshine’s gondolas have just one rope & drive each.)  In this sense, the base-to-base gondola is really two gondolas similar to Whistler Village and Revelstoke. What’s different at Squaw is the center section will operate with the Alpine drive by sharing a common bullwheel where the sections meet.  As such, the Squaw section could be run independently but the other two spans must operate together.  Regardless, cabins will normally make the entire trip from Squaw to Alpine.  The gondola’s hourly capacity will be 1,400 passengers per direction with 8-passenger cabins and a line speed of 1,000 fpm.  Squaw also plans full-speed operations during a power outage with generators at each drive station.

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Updated map with some changes from the original alignment.

The north mid-station on the Squaw side will be sited on private lands near the summit of the KT-22 detachable quad while the south mid-station will be in the Tahoe National Forest within Alpine’s existing permit boundary.  Skiers will be able to access some pretty awesome terrain from both mid-stations when conditions allow.  The Squaw Village terminal will sit between KT-22 and the Squaw One Express while the Alpine terminal will be between the Roundhouse Express and Hot Wheels. The gondola will actually fly over Alpine’s base lodge and under Squaw’s Funitel.  One interesting point from the application is that the Alpine mid-station at just over 7,700 feet in elevation will have no permanent road access or power line to it, which is part of why the central section has no drive motor of its own.  The terminal control systems, lights, etc. will run off a line generator and diesel genset.

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News Roundup: New Owners

  • See how Sigma Composite builds gondola cabins in the French Alps.  The company also just delivered the first of two trains for Leitner-Poma’s automated people mover at Miami International Airport.
  • Aspen Skiing Co. submits a formal proposal with the Forest Service to replace Lift 1A on Aspen Mountain with a high speed quad, gondola or combination lift as early as next summer.  Meanwhile, this summer’s lift upgrade at Snowmass nears completion.
  • Another Doppelmayr Eco-drive quad going up.
  • Scott Shanaman, who founded Aerial NDT, becomes the proud new owner of Lost Valley near Lewiston, Maine.  The resort (if you can call it that) has two classic Hall double chairs and a T-Bar that hasn’t run in quite some time.  Congratulations, Scott and family!
  • Powdr Corp.’s Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort changes its name (back) to Lee Canyon.
  • Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. buys Mt. Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island, becoming the company’s fourth (and largest) mountain resort.  The Utah-based group bought Ragged Mountain in 2007, Wisp Resort in 2012, and Wintergreen earlier this year.  How’s that for some geographic diversity?
  • Some pics of a sharp-looking bubble six-pack being built by Leitner Ropeways in the Czech Republic.

Two Big Gondolas Opening South of the Border

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Sigma Diamond cabins in France waiting to be shipped across the pond.  Photo credit: Sigma Cabins

Park City and Lutsen Mountains in Minnesota won’t have the only new gondolas in this part of the world come December.  Leitner Ropeways is in the final stages of building a $72 million gondola system in Ecatepec near Mexico City.  Two connected gondola lines will include seven stations and 184 10-passenger cabins.  They will feature the first Leitner DirectDrives in North America.  DirectDrive technology eliminates the need for a gearbox and associated points of failure.

Map of the two lines and seven stations.
Map of the two lines and seven stations.

The longer of the two lines will have a slope length of 9,577 feet while rising 180 feet in 10.5 minutes.  It will have 20 towers and 108 Sigma Diamond 10-passenger cabins.  The second line will be 5,922 feet long with a slightly larger vertical of 203 feet and ride time of 7.5 minutes.  This one will have 76 cabins and 16 towers.  Both lines will travel at a max speed of 1,181 feet a minute and transport 3,000 riders an hour each way.  With five mid-stations, it would be difficult for cabins to be shared between the two haul ropes.  A fault or stop at any of the seven terminals would halt the entire system which is just one of the reasons it is being split up with cabins turning around in the middle.

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News Roundup: Small Mountains and Big Cities

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Doppelmayr load tested Snow King Mountain’s new Rafferty Quad this week.
  • Construction on The Balsams Resort in New Hampshire may begin late this summer.  We could see new lifts there next summer.
  • A bit further south, Waterville Valley started cutting trees for its Green Peak Expansion.  Unfortunately they don’t have funding for a new lift or even a used one.
  • Also in New Hampshire, Tenney Mountain plans to reopen next season after being closed since 2010.  The mountain has a 1964 Stadeli double and 1987 Borvig triple
  • You can own one of Oregon’s ski areas for only $1.25 million.  Includes lifts with charming names like “Happy” and “Echo.”
  • The Harbour Skylink would be a four-stage gondola in one of the world’s great capitals.
  • Poma is currently building five gondolas in Latin America, two for the Metrocable system in Medellin, Colombia and one each in Bolivia, Chile and Mexico.  They recently received €1.3 million from the French government to lead a consortium promoting ropeway transportation in cities.
  • The world’s tallest observation tower is coming to Brighton, England, courtesy of Poma, who also brought us the London Eye and the High Roller in Las Vegas.
  • Sigma takes on CWA with 3S gondola cabins developed by Italian car designer Pininfarina, set to debut in 2018 on the world’s highest 3S in Zermatt.