News Roundup: States

  • Keep an eye out for a brand new urban gondola adjacent to the stadium during coverage of the final World Cup soccer match in Moscow.
  • The Jay Peak receiver goes after the owner of six Quebec ski resorts for allegedly aiding and abetting fraud that followed the sale of its Vermont ski resort to a Florida businessman.
  • Boston will spend $400,000 to study a gondola and other possible transportation options for the city’s Seaport district.
  • Utah skier visits fell 9.6 percent compared with last year but were even with the state’s ten year average.
  • Vermont visits rose 1.2 percent year over year to 3.97 million.
  • New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald says the state will have the final say in Vail Resorts’ announced takeover of Mt. Sunapee’s lease from Triple Peaks.
  • The Oakland Zoo will more than double in size on July 12th thanks to an innovative gondola.
  • SilverStar’s new gondola, recently dubbed the Schumann Summit Express, launches July 14th.
  • The White River National Forest approves Vail’s Game Creek six place project. I’m still waiting to hear back from Vail Resorts about a construction timeline and manufacturer.
  • A Branson, MO company is still talking about building a $260 million gondola system there.
  • The second Doppelmayr Wir magazine of 2018 highlights the company’s quickest ever gondola construction project in the United States, Big Sky’s upcoming D-Line eight seater and a 2,800 pph gondola that requires no operators at all.
  • Purgatory furloughs employees, reduces hours and eliminates some positions entirely as it remains closed due to the 416 Fire.
  • Sebastian Monsour, the Australian developer who flew to Maine to announce his purchase of Saddleback, is arrested in Brisbane, accused of misusing $3.4 million in investor funds.
  • Parts are everywhere at Wolf Creek for the upcoming Meadow detachable quad.
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News Roundup: Un-Lost?

  • The State of Pennsylvania looks to spend $7.8 million on new lifts at Denton Hill, where a Riblet triple, Hall double and two platter lifts last spun in 2014.  A private operator is also being sought.
  • Maple Valley, Vermont – last operated in 2000 with three Hall lifts – sells to a new ownership group.
  • As Aspen Mountain prepares to reinvent Lift One, the Aspen Daily News traces the remarkable history of the original.
  • Doppelmayr will build and operate a $64 million urban 3S gondola in Moscow.
  • The Portland Aerial Tram is set to close for five weeks in June and July while the track ropes are slipped downhill.
  • Leitner commissions the first 2S gondola with DirectDrive in South Korea.
  • As the public comment period nears its end, California Express faces critics.
  • Under the proposed Hermitage Club receivership, FTI Consulting would maintain properties but wouldn’t reopen the mountain for skiing next winter.  The Club objects to some of the proposal even though the receivership would be dissolved if Berkshire Bank is paid in full or the assets auctioned off.
  • This guy is lucky to be okay and probably won’t be allowed back to Squaw Valley for a long time.
  • Boston’s Seaport gondola proposal might be in trouble.
  • The Forest Service gives a final green light to Purgatory’s Gelande lift project although construction this summer is uncertain.
  • Hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum coming into the United States from the European Union, Canada and Mexico take effect at midnight tonight.
  • North America’s newest urban gondolas, built by Poma in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, carried 41,000 riders in their first 18 hours last week.

Boston Gondola Would Link South Station with Seaport District

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A gondola in Boston, Massachusetts could connect America’s sixth busiest train station with a growing waterfront neighborhood and convention center.  Photo credit: Handel Architects

Two private development firms are moving forward with plans for a $100 million gondola in South Boston, which would feature three stations in its first phase.  Millennium Partners and Cargo Ventures are building a 2.7 million square foot mixed-use development at the eastern edge of the Seaport District, a part of the city historically under served by public transit.  The current Silver Line bus rapid transit lines here have been criticized since their inception as slow, overcrowded and inconvenient while a gondola would create a quick and efficient path to the new complex and beyond.

Photo credit: Handel Architects

Millennium is working with Handel Architects and Leitner-Poma on a design which it presented to the Boston Planning and Development Agency in January.  The latest route avoids cabins flying past rooms at the new $550 million Omni Hotel, a source of criticism for an earlier route proposal, which is somewhat ironic considering Omni’s hopes to build its own gondola at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire.  The Boston gondola would travel over Summer Street for its entire 4,650′ alignment with stations adjacent to the South Station transit hub, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and Marine Park.

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The lift would travel down Summer street at varying heights to avoid getting too close to buildings.  Photo credit: Handel Architects

The lift would feature 13 towers, 70 10-passenger cabins and a capacity of 4,000 passengers per hour, per direction (nine second spacing!)  A ride between South Station and Marine Park would take just 7.3 minutes.  A second phase could service the South Boston neighborhood with the Marine Park terminal becoming a sharp angle station.  Cabin parking and maintenance would also be housed at Marine Park.

Photo credit: Handel Architects

This proposal is one of many urban gondolas envisioned for North American cities including Albany, Vancouver and Washington, DC.  It will be interesting to see which one will be the first to actually break ground.