News Roundup: Halfway

  • The first D-Line lift in New Zealand won’t be built this summer after all and The Remarkables will place 60 containers of lift parts into storage until government approval comes through.
  • A little ski resort in Labrador has as many new lifts as Whistler Blackcomb this winter – three!
  • A proposed gondola in Oakland would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits, says a new study.
  • Two workers fall to their deaths during a practice evacuation of a new gondola in India.
  • A Swiss aerial tramway will be out of service for months following an avalanche that damaged a support tower.
  • Sleeping Giant experiments operating without a general manager.
  • Waterville Valley explains why some of its lifts are out of service.
  • Recently closed Vermont area Plymouth Notch goes up for sale along with its 1964 Mueller double.
  • The old  high speed quad from Horseshoe, Ontario is still available.
  • Faced with the possibility of losing its operating lease completely, Sunshine Village reluctantly agrees to new guidelines that remove the proposed Goat’s Eye tramway, Bye Bye Bowl expansion and Wildside lift from future consideration.  A second lift in the existing gondola corridor, Goat’s Eye II, Lookout, Hayes Hill and Lower Meadow Park expansions are still possible.
  • Environmental groups and Squaw Alpine are still sparring over the proposed California Express gondola.
  • Resorts across the Pacific Northwest come to the aid of Hurricane Ridge season pass holders, who lost a month of their season due to the government shutdown.
  • Rain delays the debut of Spider Mountain, the seventh lift-based destination for Mountain Capital Partners.
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Smokey Mountain to Replace Entire Lift Fleet

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One of Atlantic Canada’s best kept secrets is Smokey Mountain, which will soon sport three new lifts.

A community ski area surrounded by iron ore mines near the Quebec-Labrador border will build as many new lifts as Whistler Blackcomb this summer, though they will be of quite a different variety.  Smokey Mountain Ski Club is set to debut Canada’s first Skytrac, a quad chair where a 1972 Poma double with a floating bullwheel stands today.  The mountain’s Blue lift, a detachable Poma in operation since the 1960s, will be swapped for a brand new Leitner-Poma version.  Another new LPOA platter lift will serve an area known as coaches’ corner and supplement a carpet lift built last year.  Smokey has also retired its Red and Green Poma lifts meaning the entire lift fleet will be renewed by next winter.

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This revitalization has been in the works since at least 2016 but was put on hold due to a downturn in the iron ore market.  The Iron Ore Company of Canada will fund the not-for-profit ski club’s modern and more reliable lift system as part of mitigation for a new site nearby.  Below are some photos from Smokey’s website to memorialize the truly classic Poma lifts which will be missed.

This ambitious project brings the North America new lift count to a potential 48 for 2018.  That number includes at least five Skytrac Monarchs, a dozen Leitner-Poma installations and 21 Doppelmayr machines.