- The Italian parent of Leitner and Poma reports record revenue of €1.06 billion, having completed 78 ropeway projects in 2019, though the company expects sales to fall 30 percent in 2020.
- Public comments are now being solicited regarding Steamboat’s proposed Wild Blue Gondola, Sundown Express replacement and Priest Creek removal projects.
- Vail Resorts suspends operations at two Australian resorts just three days into the season due to the evolving Coronavirus situation.
- Even though American Dream and Big Snow in New Jersey are closed, a second American Dream location remains in development in Miami.
- Vail Resorts-owned OnTheSnow.com and sister websites will shut down Monday due to the challenging financial landscape. A Vail-owned TV station is also closing.
- Bloomberg speaks with the CEOs of both Alterra and Vail about next winter.
- Today is the last day to comment on Little Cottonwood Canyon transportation alternatives, including a 3S gondola.
- Walt Disney World won’t allow unrelated parties to ride together in gondola cabins when the Skyliner reopens.
- Doppelmayr USA, Leitner-Poma of America, MND America, Skytrac and SkyTrans all received Paycheck Protection Program loans supporting more than 400 American jobs.
- A key link located on a receding glacier, the Horstman T-Bar at Whistler Blackcomb is no more.
- Design work continues for Aspen Mountain’s Lift One Telemix and related developments.
A 17,000 foot gondola. Two boundary expansions. Three six place chairlifts. Those are among the items on Alterra Mountain Company’s new wish list for its flagship Colorado resort. The two year-old operator acquired Steamboat in 2018 from Canadian developer Intrawest, which struggled to complete the volume of sustained improvements needed at this premier destination resort. The same was true for prior owner American Skiing Company.
Nonetheless, Ski Town USA grew to become Colorado’s fifth largest resort, hosting nearly 1.1 million skier visits in 2018/19. A new master plan amendment seeks to build on Steamboat’s success by boosting out-of-base capacity, enhancing experiences for varying ability levels and more efficiently moving guests around the mountain.
Perhaps most exciting is the prospect of a base-to-summit lift called Wild Blue. This would be the longest gondola on the continent, rising an impressive 3,465 vertical feet. Intrawest and Alterra spent millions to transform the existing Steamboat Gondola into a modern 3,600 per hour machine, but it’s still not enough to handle the more than 16,000 skiers who show up on peak days. Wild Blue would carry 3,200 riders per hour to a learning center in Bashor Bowl before ascending Sunshine Peak. The two stage gondola would pass over a total of four other lifts.
North America’s second largest resort operator today announced the purchase of two lifts for Mammoth Mountain, new terrain at Steamboat Resort and a two year project to build new trails and lifts at Tremblant. Alterra Mountain Company will complete $223 million worth of capital improvements in total for next season, up from $181 million in 2019-20 and $130 million the year before. Rival Vail Resorts announced back in December spending of $210 to $215 million across 37 mountain resorts, including construction of six new lifts in 2020.
At Mammoth, one of the most utilized lifts in the Alterra system, Broadway Express, will be replaced with a high-speed six place detachable, increasing uphill capacity by 42 percent to 3,200 skiers per hour. Sister lift Canyon Express will be replaced with a 3,000 people per hour six pack, increasing uphill capacity out of Canyon Lodge by 66 percent. Both of these lifts are likely to be supplied by Doppelmayr.
In Colorado, Steamboat Resort will expand onto 355 acres of Pioneer Ridge, providing skiers and riders with more terrain to explore. Pioneer Ridge will feature 1,800 vertical feet of advanced and expert gladed terrain accessible via the Pony Express lift. Twenty five new chairs will be added to the Garaventa CTEC high speed quad, increasing capacity from 1,200 people per hour to 1,800. The Steamboat master plan calls for Pioneer Ridge to eventually feature its own detachable chairlift.
This summer, Tremblant will begin a two-year expansion project called Timber. Quebec’s most popular mountain will open a new beginner zone with a magic carpet on Versant Soleil for 2020-21 to enhance the learning experience for new skiers and riders. In late 2021, the Timber summit will open with a new high speed quad and eight trails leading to Versant Soleil and the North side. “This project, which aims at diversifying the ski area, is part of the continued development of Versant Soleil and reaffirms Tremblant’s leader position as the #1 ski resort in Eastern North America,” said the resort.
“Three years ago, when we formed Alterra Mountain Company, an initial priority was to commit to investing a half a billion dollars by 2023 across our family of North American destinations,” said Rusty Gregory, CEO of Alterra Mountain Company. “To date, we have invested more than $350 million and are committed to exceeding our original plan, spending $575 million by 2020 on lifts and gondolas, snowmaking, summer activities, real estate development, hospitality and technology, all in the name of creating memories for our guests through an elevated mountain experience.” Privately-held Alterra owns 14 resorts, having recently completed its acquisition of Sugarbush.
- A power outage leaves guests stuck on the Skyeship Gondola at Killington for more than an hour.
- A broken bolt leads to a similar situation at Mt. St. Louis Moonstone.
- Teton Pass, Montana reopens after a few years shuttered.
- A second American Dream location with an indoor ski slope may break ground in 2021 near Miami.
- Travis Seeholzer, owner of Beaver Mountain, talks about running one of Utah’s oldest resorts.
- Former members look to save Hermitage Club assets from a stalking horse reportedly prepared to bid $3.6 million for the Barnstormer six pack.
- Vail’s new lift opens but not to the public. It will be available to all on select Tuesdays at noon.
- Marquette Mountain evacuates a lift during the busy holiday week.
- A man falls from Steamboat’s Sunshine Express due to a medical issue.
- Windham’s former Wonderama triple turns up in the Ski Butternut parking lot.
- Staff from the downed Sea to Sky Gondola will present what they learned about crisis management on January 30th.
- Juneau weighs partnering with the cruise industry to fund a proposed adventure park and gondola at Eaglecrest.
- The new Steamboat Gondola delivers fast ride times and short lift lines during its first Christmas break.
- The Forest Service expects to weigh in on the Sunlight East Ridge project in May.
- Mt. Abram becomes Indy Pass resort number 47.
The Steamboat Gondola will once again carry guests Thursday morning, ten days after a gearbox issue halted operation of the brand new lift. Through a holiday week and major snowstorms, teams worked diligently to make repairs including new parts shipped from Europe. During the downtime, the Christie Peak and Thunderhead Express lifts provided access to terrain normally serviced by the gondola.
Doppelmayr would like to apologize to the Steamboat community for the interruption in service on the gondola, which was caused by a failure of the main gearbox after only two days of public operation. The backup systems functioned properly and the Steamboat team reacted quickly and appropriately after the gearbox failure. Our technicians and engineers worked around the clock with Steamboat personnel and technical experts from Germany, Austria and Canada, to replace the failed gearbox and associated components. We also took additional steps to improve the overall design and brought in a technical expert to eliminate vibration that contributed to the original failure. We have conducted numerous tests and are happy to report that the gondola will return to service on Thursday. We offer a sincere thanks to Rob Perlman, Dave Hunter and Kurt Castor, and to the Steamboat community for their patience and support. We are confident and proud of the Steamboat gondola and look forward to years of use for skiers and snowboarders.
– Mark Bee, President, Doppelmayr USA
The new Steamboat Gondola is the product of a two part, $15+ million replacement project. This past summer, upgrades included new level walk-in cabins, grips, hangers, controls, tensioning systems, drive equipment, towers, line gear and parking. With the number of cabins increased to 137 and line speed pushed to six meters a second, travel time to Thunderhead Lodge is now under ten minutes. Capacity has increased by 38 percent versus the previous Silver Bullet Gondola.
Sometimes setbacks happen, especially with large scale projects such as this one. As the video above demonstrates, lifts are built by teams of dedicated people. I look forward to being one of the thousands to enjoy the new gondola in the coming weeks thanks to their hard work.
- Backpacker previews Copper’s long-awaited Tucker Mountain lift.
- Vail’s updated trail map shows where the new Golden Peak T-Bar #16 goes.
- Belleayre’s new beginner quad will be named Lightning.
- A guest took a now viral video of Snowdon Six bubble chairs dancing at Killington Saturday. The lift was closed to the public at the time and reopened later that day.
- The new Steamboat Gondola became one of the fastest 8 passenger gondolas in North America Saturday. Sunday evening, a drive line problem was discovered and the lift will remain closed until it’s fixed. Daily updates are being posted on Steamboat.com
- Frost Fire names its new Skytrac quad Lyle’s Lift.
- The new boss at Whistler Blackcomb says the Blackcomb Gondola should be more reliable now after a tough first season.
- Big Snow American Dream names its lifts The BIG Express Quad and Poma (both lifts were built by Doppelmayr.)
- Steamboat town officials earmark some money for the replacement of Barrows at Howelsen Hill.
- Another spectacular 3S gondola joins the global ranks tomorrow.
- The Forest Service approves Whitefish Mountain Resort’s two lift Hellroaring Basin Improvements Project, subject to an objection period.
- After a decade without lift service, Wildwood is officially back on the Tamarack trail map.
- Canadian police continue to investigate the Sea to Sky Gondola downing.
- The new Skyway gondola is the cornerstone of an elevated ski experience at Bretton Woods.
- Lookout Pass names its new quad Peak One to differentiate it from the upcoming Eagle Peak expansion.
- The new Ski Santa Fe trail map artwork is released.
- Doppelmayr books a massive order for a five station, four mile D-Line gondola system at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico.
- Mt. Snow ropes 190 people off Challenger on opening weekend.
- Doppelmayr introduces a new RPD system called Nexo.
- Cooper’s Tennessee Creek Basin expansion enters the final stretch.
- The only gondola in Illinois carried 6,000 riders in its first few weeks.
- The Epcot line of the Disney Skyliner experiences some downtime.
- Chair 4 at Cuchara is fired up as a test after almost 20 years idle.
- A two stage gondola is floated to connect Park City’s Kimball Junction commercial district to Utah Olympic Park.
- Aspen will look at building a gondola from airport to town.
- Completion of West Mountain’s new Partek triple caps the $17 million redevelopment of a place which was bankrupt seven years ago.
- Green Mountain Valley School receives approval for T-Bar construction next summer at Sugarbush.
- The State of New York plans to spend $2.4 million on new cabins and other upgrades to the Cloudsplitter Gondola at Whiteface.
- Boyne Resorts President and CEO Stephen Kircher discusses lots of exciting possibilities: a 9th peak at Sunday River, additional eight place chairlifts at key locations, more projects at Big Sky and a lift realignment at Sugarloaf.
- Vail Resorts sends layoff notices to numerous Peak Resorts staffers.
- Steamboat’s new and improved gondola opens tomorrow.
- Towers are up for the Hard Rock Stadium gondola, which will feature glass floors.
- After just three weeks being open, the Disney Skyliner flies its one millionth guest.
- The new Park City trail map shows exactly where Over and Out goes.
- Poma inaugurates a lift full of superlatives in South Korea: the longest span between towers (4,000 feet) and tallest concrete tower (492 feet) for a monocable gondola.
- The Boston Seaport Gondola project is officially dead.
- Timberline Four Seasons Resort is scheduled to be auctioned November 19th.
- Aspen Skiing Company will try again for approval of the Ajax Pandora expansion.
- With an expansion coming, a dispute arises between Idaho and Montana over how much of Lookout Pass Ski Area each can lay claim to.
- The Forest Service approves Timberline Lodge’s request to replace Pucci with a high speed quad.
- In what could be a preview of an eventual lift sale, Alterra, Vail Resorts and Seven Springs all bid to buy the Hermitage Club’s snowmaking guns (Vail won.)
- The latest Pomalink newsletter previews Téléo, the first 3S urban gondola in France.
- Tampa Bay will study gondola transportation.
- Park City elected leaders discuss the same topic.
- Grafton SkyTour is now open.
- Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers visits Granite Peak to see how lifts are inspected and learn about a proposed expansion.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola replacement haul rope is spliced.
- A guy BASE jumps off a tram tower in Germany.
- The urban gondola promoter in Edmonton unveils its first proposed station location.
- The new Gould Academy T-Bar at Sunday River will be open to the public whenever four or more major chairlifts go on hold.
- The name of Manning Park Resort’s new Doppelmayr quad is Bear.
- Steamboat’s new gondola completes acceptance tests.
- The Swiss gondola which lost a cabin on October 20th reopens.
- The West Virginia Timberline may be sold out of bankruptcy to an LLC offering $2.5 million.
- A Quebec resort is ordered to pay out six figures after leaving a guest stranded on a lift.
- Steamboat’s new gondola haul rope is spliced.
- Doppelmayr becomes a billion dollar company by annual revenue, up 10.5 percent from last year.
- Manning Park narrows the names for its new quad down to four and wants your help choosing one.
- A very long stop and near evacuation makes the local newspaper in Sun Valley.
- Another first is brewing in Europe: a gondola with cabin doors on two sides.
- Indy Pass adds eight more resorts.
- Eastlink Park in Alberta is adding a used Mueller T-Bar for this winter.
- ‘Qualified and reputable’ investors have expressed interest in the Hermitage Club assets in recent weeks.
- There are now four alternatives for possible Snow King Mountain expansion.
- Wired looks into the failures of both urban gondolas in Rio de Janeiro.
- Attitash assures skiers its Summit Triple is finally fixed after last year’s extended closures.
- Revelstoke receives a shipment of 22 new gondola cabins.
- Cooper releases the trail map for its Tennessee Creek Basin expansion and Little Horse T-Bar.
- The Orlando Sentinel hosts a half hour podcast all about the Disney Skyliner.
- Mont St. Sauveur’s new heated seat chairlift will be named Sommet Express.
- Cockaigne, New York intends to reopen this winter after eight closed seasons.
- Red Mountain has a new lift, new trails and now a new trail map.
- A New Zealand bike park heads to court, accused of spreading flames by running its chairlift empty during a wildfire.
- Nearly a month after disaster struck, the Sea to Sky Gondola reopens its Basecamp Cafe, retail store and select hiking trails.
- A Peak Resorts investor sues to stop the sale of the company to Vail.
- Wisconsin lost ski area Deepwood may reopen as WoodWind Park.
- The chairlift at the Nebraska State Fair breaks down and gets evacuated.
- Steamboat’s new gondola will have Wi-Fi.
- Aspen Snowmass offers numbers on Ikon Pass lift line impacts.
- Highlander Lift Services & Construction partners with Timberline Helicopters to fly towers for two new Idaho lifts in two days.
- Alterra, Oz Real Estate, Pacific Group and Snow Operating have all reportedly been interested in Jay Peak.
- Jay celebrates the successful replacement of over 20,000 pieces of tram hardware.
- Treeline Cirque at Alpine Meadows is shaping up to be one cool lift but I don’t think it will have the first double grooved bullwheel angle station in the U.S.
- Green Mountain Valley School looks to replace its platter lift at Sugarbush with a $1.4 million T-Bar in an extended alignment.