- It looks like Snowbird has joined the Powdr family of adventure lifestyle brands.
- A batch of green gondolas arrives at Bretton Woods as towers go vertical.
- Another group of new Omega cabins is uncovered in Florida.
- Little Switzerland and The Rock Snowpark are upgrading chairs on multiple lifts and selling the old ones.
- The Lake Placid gondola cabins will be white and black.
- Top leadership positions at Doppelmayr will be filled by two longtime executives this fall.
- With no operations planned for this summer, Hermitage Club receiver Alan Tantleff updates the government on the status of the ski resort’s properties.
- Crested Butte receives approval for the Teocalli replacement project and plans to remove Twister as well.
- Killington says it’s considering upgrades for Superstar Express, Ramshead Express and Outpost at Pico next.
- Despite being partly flooded, the Grafton, Illinois gondola is on track to open later this spring.
- Tanzania might build a gondola on 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro.
- Peak Resorts reports double digit growth of season pass sales.
- West Mountain’s Thiokol is for sale along with some Poma lifts that were once planned to replace it.
- As Aspen Mountain considers a Telemix combination lift, the Aspen Daily News looks back at other unique lifts in Pitkin County history.
- Purden Ski Village in BC is for sale at $1.7 million USD ($2.2 million CAD). The area operates two doubles and a T-Bar, all built by Mueller.
- Snowbird’s Chickadee has a new tower that hangs from a bridge.
- The final Disney Skyliner towers rise from a lake and one station gets a mural.
- Peak Pass sales are pacing ahead of last year by 19 percent in units and 22 percent in dollars despite increased northeast competition from Vail and Alterra.
- The shut down Hermitage Club expects to close on $25-30 million in financing around Thanksgiving. One potential reopening complication: the chairlifts haven’t been touched by mechanics since March.
- A new trail map shows the locations of Killington’s three new lifts.
- Beech Mountain is rocking two new quad chairs this winter and an all new trail map.
- Taos has an updated map to go along with its high speed quad.
- Group eyes gondolas for Miami.
- Alaska’s upcoming new ski resort gets a name: Skeetawk.
- Doppelmayr joins Facebook.
- Italian snowmaking powerhouse Technoalpin enters the ski lift fray with a T-Bar in Turkey.
- Lookout Pass says 14 new runs will be cut this summer but new lifts will wait until 2019.
- Durango, Colorado advances plan to replace rope tows on Chapman Hill with a carpet and triple chair.
- Two of Hunter Mountain’s three summit lifts are down for the third day in a row.
- This week’s rope evacuation stories come from Blue Mountain (2000 Poma six-pack) and Giants Ridge (2017 Skytrac quad.)
Alterra Mountain Company dropped a bomb at the Outdoor Retailer/SIA show this morning, announcing the forthcoming Ikon Pass will bring together its dozen North American resorts along with eleven other major mountains. Aspen Skiing Company, Boyne Resorts, Powdr Co. and more have partnered with Alterra to add destinations such as Aspen Snowmass, Alta, Snowbird, Big Sky, Killington and Jackson Hole. “The Ikon Pass is a collaboration of like-minded mountain destinations across North America where incredible terrain, unique character and local traditions are celebrated,” said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer for Alterra Mountain Company. “We’ve curated a community of iconic destinations. We believe this new pass offers tremendous opportunity and appeal to mountain enthusiasts who have a passion for outdoor adventure.”
Pass options will range from a set number of days at varying destinations to an ultimate, unlimited season pass. I can’t stress enough how much this changes big mountain skiing in North America. For years now, Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass has been the largest and most successful season pass product in the world, now offering access to 272 lifts and 44,000 acres at 15 mountains in North America and Australia to some 750,000 passholders. Ikon will one-up Vail’s terrain offering with access to 23 top-tier North American resorts, a ridiculous 363 lifts and 48,840 acres (for both passes, I am counting gondolas, chairlifts and surface lifts with towers. If carpets and rope tows are included, the Epic Pass offers 340 lifts while Ikon has 434.)
Ikon Pass resorts for 2018-19 will be:
- Alta, Utah
- Alpine Meadows, California
- Aspen Highlands, Colorado
- Aspen Mountain, Colorado
- Bear Mountain, California
- Blue Mountain, Ontario
- Big Sky, Montana
- Buttermilk, Colorado
- Copper Mountain, Colorado
- Deer Valley, Utah
- Eldora, Colorado
- Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- June Mountain, California
- Killington, Vermont
- Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
- Mammoth Mountain, California
- Snowbird, Utah
- Snowmass, Colorado
- Snowshoe, West Virginia
- Snow Summit, California
- Squaw Valley, California
- Steamboat, Colorado
- Stratton, Vermont
- Sugarloaf, Maine
- Sunday River, Maine
- Tremblant, Quebec
- Winter Park, Colorado
Ikon passholders will also receive discounts and special offers at CMH heli-skiing in British Columbia. Epic holders already enjoy limited access to 30 European resorts. The Liftopia-powered Mountain Collective Pass, which allows destination skiers to sample many large resorts, will remain an option in its current form and also go on sale in March. The M.A.X. Pass, founded by Intrawest, Powdr and Boyne, will sunset. Specific Ikon tiers and prices will be released in the coming weeks.
As an employee of one of the independent resorts on the MCP and now Ikon Pass, I watched first hand the worry of consolidation last spring turn to optimism in the fall. Now I know why.
- SkyTrans Manufacturing announces the passing of its founder and president, Jerry Pendleton, who began his career with O.D. Hopkins in 1960.
- John Dalton’s tale of how two brand new lifts survived the Category 5 hurricane in St. Maarten is a must read.
- A dangling Mammoth Mountain guest escapes a fall from a chair unharmed; lifty who caught her isn’t as lucky.
- Snowbird’s in-house magazine demystifies how detachable lifts work with a sweet diagram from Doppelmayr and copy from a guy you might have heard of.
- Hatcher Pass, Alaska moves toward building a SkyTrans triple chair ASAP.
- Video of a swinging Austrian bubble chair with two skiers struggling to hang on goes viral worldwide.
- The Hermitage Club comes within days of having its water and sewer services shut off and is still working through other payables.
- A gondola cabin blew off an outdoor parking rail at Sunday River during last week’s storm and a slew of other lifts suffered damage but are now back in action.
- 9-year old unharmed after falling 15 feet from a lift at Boyce Park, PA.
- A three-station gondola is one of ten finalists for a signature attraction in Edmonton, Alberta. You can vote for it in an online public advisory poll.
- Fernie’s White Pass lift will be closed for awhile while new bullwheel bearings are sourced and installed.
- Powerful storm snaps a 30 mm wire rope on Mont Blanc’s iconic panoramic cable car, which was not operating and typically only runs in the summer.
- Granite Gorge’s sole chairlift has yet to open this season, apparently due to gearbox issues.
- NPR devotes almost six minutes of airtime to Mexico City’s innovative new gondola.
- Ski Areas of New York members to host six free lift maintenance trainings this summer across the state.
- Jay Peak made $9 million this year, Burke Mountain lost almost $2 million and $4.9 million in tram upgrades are underway with completion scheduled for next month. Follow along with Moving Parts|A Tram Story.
- Unfortunate winch cable accident sends Peruvian chair to the ground at Snowbird.
- Friends of Squaw Mountain, Maine get ~$2.4 million quote from Skytrac to replace a base-to-summit Stadeli double, which has not operated since 2004.
- Follow this thread for sweet construction photos from the world’s largest urban gondola network.
- Crews load test the new Gatlinburg Sky Lift. Cool to see non-galvanized EJ chairs with wood slats! Anakeesta’s lift is not far behind.
- Noting plans to “definitively enter the US market,” LST Ropeways is hiring a design engineer.
- New York State Fair gondola may not happen.
- Blacktail Mountain is for sale for $3.5 million.
- Brian Jorgenson tells Skytrac why lift installation is his favorite kind of flying.
- Here are the full specs for Leitner’s new station and Sigma’s new Diamond Evo cabin.
- Apex Mountain Resort sells to new ownership group eyeing capital investments.
- New D-Line six-pack in Ischgl will cost a whopping $13.1 million.
- Leitner Ropeways publishes 2016 Annual Report (Leitner-Poma of America installations are featured in a separate Poma Reference Book.)
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
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Had an amazing time above the clouds at sölden skiresort yesterday! 😍 #abovetheclouds #überdenwolken #sölden #paradise #clouds #cablecar #ötztal #tirol #big3 #whatsyourlimit #headski #vaude #goplayoutside #bluesky #grenzenlos #freedom #stopdiezeit #doepicshit #skidav #livetoski #powder #neuschnee #schneeverliebt #nofilter