- The Seattle Times runs a feature story on Vail Resorts’ operational challenges at Stevens Pass compared with Alterra at Crystal Mountain.
- Ridgeline Executive Group will continue running Granby Ranch following the sale to a new ownership group.
- The unique triangle gondola at Sterling Vineyards remains closed seven months after a wildfire with no estimate for reopening.
- Big Snow renames its quad chair in honor of General Manager Jim Haas and others who died of Covid-19.
- Two employees of the Georgian ski resort where a lift rolled back in 2018 have been charged criminally and face up to five years in prison.
- Visits to New York’s three state-owned ski areas were up 14 percent to 672,000 with revenue up 10 percent and expenses down 8 percent.
- Whiteface will replace the Bear and Mixing Bowl lifts with a $2.5 million Skytrac quad.
- Powder Mountain, Mt. Ashland and West Mountain join the Indy Pass, which topped 96,000 redemptions this season.
- Cherry Peak, Eagle Point, Red River and Snow Valley sign on to the Freedom Pass alliance, Toggenburg leaves.
- Another fire threatens Ski Apache, which is so far unscathed.
- We now know why the Mighty Argo Cable Car project is stalled. Owners have sued lenders, alleging breach of contract and a $4.5 million loss.
- The Routt National Forest approves Steamboat’s Wild Blue Gondola and Sundown Express replacement projects, subject to a customary objection period.
- Japan’s first urban gondola opens.
- Mi Teleferico celebrates seven years as La Paz’s urban gondola system, providing 328 million rides.
- Loon Mountain confirms the former Kancamagus detachable quad will replace Seven Brothers in 2022.
- Loveland closes Lift 8 for the season due to a mechanical issue.
- The only jigback tramway in Texas could make a return.
- Holiday Valley posts tons of photos of its latest lift replacement project.
- The first gondola components arrive in Squaw Valley.
- As new cabins arrive in Canada, operators of the Sea to Sky Gondola say it will be the most protected lift system on the planet when it reopens this summer.
- Sundance’s Ray’s quad is listed for sale, though it will continue to operate until October 10th.
- The Finance Authority of Maine approves $135 million in funding for the rebirth of Big Squaw as Moosehead Mountain with high speed quad installation as soon as this summer.
- Owners of West Mountain discuss replacing an entire ski area worth of infrastructure and plans for future development.
- An Ober Gatlinburg tram rebuild update.
- Steamboat and Doppelmayr begin moving the village gondola station.
- Mexico City’s next urban gondolas will go out to bid late this year or in early 2022.
- Keystone to auction Argentine chairs for charity.
- In an interview, the head of MND says he hopes to build more lifts in the USA.
- After a strong spring in Colorado and Utah, Vail Resorts upgrades its revenue guidance.
- Al Roker and Bill Nye ride the Roosevelt Island Tram to talk green transportation on Earth Day.
- There was a minor collision in the Hollywood Studios Skyliner station last night which broke a cabin window.
- Squaw Alpine posts a pre-construction update on the Base-to-Base project.
- Now open: Nordic Valley’s flagship six pack, dubbed the Nordic Express.
- The Yellowstone Club trail map is updated to show two new additions for a total of 23 lifts.
- Still without access to the summit, Mission Ridge provides expanded updates on the Wenatchee Express project including another video.
- Grand Targhee modifies its proposed expansion, pushing potential approval out to March 2022.
- A local newspaper obtains inspection reports from 49 Degrees North showing no red flags prior to last month’s accident.
- Doppelmayr showcases AURO, an autonomous lift which can be run by one person in a ropeway operations center.
- A storm packing 150 mph winds shutters Dodge Ridge for eight days. Eight towers de-roped on Chair 8 with 1,000 feet of comm line needing to be replaced.
- A child is seriously injured in a fall from the lone chairlift at Blue Hills, Massachusetts. The ski area said no mechanical issues caused or contributed to the unfortunate event.
- Three days later, the very same lift strands riders for hours.
- Gearing up for a busy summer, Skytrac is hiring lift construction project managers.
- ORDA will spend $2.2 million for electrical upgrades to Whiteface’s Cloudsplitter Gondola and Face Lift.
- Two more resorts are set to join the Indy Pass on February 2nd.
- Re: Indianhead, an incident report notes the chair hit a halo on tower 4, causing its clip to be ejected from the haul rope. A follow up inspection found no mechanical or structural deficiencies with the lift.
- Steamboat plans to move the bottom terminal of the new Steamboat Gondola outdoors and 300 feet east this summer to make room for the future Wild Blue Gondola.
- Sunrise Park Resort considers building a combination lift.
- Mont-Sainte-Anne works diligently toward reopening its gondola with a reduced capacity of 30 cabins at first.
- A Vancouver developer scraps a gondola from its plans.
- Ontario’s more than 40 ski areas are ordered to close as part of a multi-week lockdown beginning tomorrow.
- The City of Sioux Falls orders a Skytrac quad for Great Bear Ski Valley.
- Fashion designer Rachel Zoe shares the story of her son falling from a Buttermilk quad chair on social media.
- Another fall at Sundance gets featured on Reddit.
- An 8 year old raises $10,000 to support a struggling nonprofit ski area in North Dakota.
- Snow King Mountain previews its gondola cabins which are being fabricated in France.
- Michigan’s Blackjack and Indianhead are both for sale with a listing price of $3.49 million.
- Blizzard Beach, chairlift and all, will reopen March 7th after a year-long closure.
- A group proposes connecting West Seattle to the regional transit network with a four station gondola.
- Steamboat creates a virtual gondola line powered by text message.
- With Europe’s ski industry struggling particularly hard, MND Group focuses on international markets including North America.
- The reimagined Bousquet Mountain opens with a new triple chair January 1st.
- Mission Ridge’s new summit lift opening later this winter will be called the Wenatchee Express.
- Lake Louise updates its trail map to show the West Bowl expansion, Summit lift and two future lift alignments.
- The New York Times checks in with ski resorts across the country about business during the pandemic.
- 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.