La Paz breaks ground on its 17th and 18th gondolas, set to open in 2019.
The Saddleback sale still hasn’t closed and an update suggests a shift in focus from building new lifts to reopening with a limited number of existing ones.
Here’s a great rundown of Sigma’s new Symphony 10 gondola cabin, which complements the Diamond series.
In surprise announcement, Teton Pass says it won’t open this winter. This awesome but remote Montana resort has a 1973 SLI double and a number of used chairlifts in the parking lot for possible expansion.
New Zealand’s longest chairlift will reopen December 5th, nine months after a wildfire burned chairs and ruined the haul rope.
You can follow along as Garaventa enters the home stretch building the record-breaking Eibsee Cable Car 2.0 in Germany.
There’s also a construction blog for Leitner’s 3S project in Zermatt.
Steamboat finally opened its gondola Monday, lamenting “we made a mistake by trying to set an opening date” and thanking guests for weeks of patience.
Sunshine Village reopened the same day following fire scare.
Bidding opens for construction of a four-stage, 10-passenger urban gondola in Santiago, Chile – a contract estimated to be worth $78 million. When complete, Latin America will sport urban gondolas in Mexico City, Mexico (Leitner); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Poma); Medellín, Colombia (Poma); Caracas, Venezuela (Doppelmayr); Lima, Peru (Poma); Quito, Ecuador (Poma); La Paz, Bolivia (Doppelmayr); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Doppelmayr and Poma) and Santiago, Chile (TBD.) Impressive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.