- 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.
- Big Sky’s two new lodging access lifts are on the map, bringing The Biggest Skiing in America to 37 lifts.
- Sasquatch Mountain Resort needs help naming its shiny new Leitner-Poma quad chair.
- Mont St. Mathieu will expand with a 3,100 foot Doppelmayr surface lift set for commissioning in January 2020.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola confirms 9 cabins were undamaged in the August incident and will be used to shuttle workers this winter. With 30 new cabins on the way from Europe, the company will be able to easily take the lift to final capacity (40 cabins) in the future.
- Crested Butte’s new trail map shows the adjusted Teocalli alignment.
- In Bolivia, the largest gondola operation in the world reopens following a week of shutdowns due to civil unrest and the resignation of President Evo Morales. The general manager of the gondola company also resigned.
- Win Smith of Sugarbush chats with Vermont Public Radio about why now was the right time to sell.
- Mt. Timothy, BC is officially back in business.
- On December 9th, Vail Resorts will report fiscal first quarter earnings, traditionally accompanied by guidance on capital investment plans for the year.
- Thanks to Collin Parsons for these awesome photos of the gondola construction at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.
Vermont’s Sugarbush will join the Alterra Mountain Company family of resorts, bringing the two year-old group to 15 mountains. Sugarbush encompasses Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen, which are connected by a two mile long detachable quad called the Slide Brook Express. The resort operates a combined fleet of 13 chairlifts from both Doppelmayr and Poma. “Sugarbush Resort is a premier East Coast mountain destination and we are excited to expand the Alterra Mountain Company family in the Northeast, with Sugarbush joining Stratton in Vermont,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer of Alterra. “Sugarbush has been a partner on the Ikon Pass since its inception and we look forward to the opportunities ahead.”
Win Smith, managing partner of the current ownership group, will stay on and become President and Chief Operating Officer of Sugarbush under Alterra. “Having been a family-owned resort for nearly two decades, we were keen to find the right next owner of Sugarbush Resort,” said Smith. “We are delighted that Sugarbush will join the Alterra Mountain Company family, knowing that Alterra Mountain Company will continue to maintain our culture, values and commitment to our community, while bringing additional capital and other resources to make Sugarbush even better in the years ahead.” Since being acquired from American Skiing Company in 2001, Sugarbush has invested $74 million in mountain improvements including seven new lifts, significant upgrades to snowmaking, and the revitalization of the Lincoln Peak Base area.
Ikon Pass access to Sugarbush will remain limited to five or seven days for the 2019-20 season. It is likely to become unlimited for 2020-21 like at most other Alterra-owned resorts. Mountain Collective access will remain unchanged for this season. The transaction is expected to close in the fist quarter of 2020.
- 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.
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
- Mi Teleférico announces it will transport its hundred millionth commuter in early December, three and a half years after opening La Paz’s first urban gondola. Eight gondolas now operate with two more forming the Orange Line set to debut September 29th. The White Line will follow in the first quarter of 2018 and the network will transport some 50 million passengers next year.
- Waterville Valley receives approval to build a T-Bar this fall in place of the High Country double. It’s the second North American project for LST Ropeways, the French company that collaborated with Skytrac to build the Valar T-Bar at nearby Cannon Mountain last year (an arrangement made before Leitner-Poma bought Skytrac.)
- Saddleback begins removal of the Rangeley double in preparation for its replacement. The Cupsuptic T-Bar will now be repaired rather than replaced, providing access to the Kennebago quad until Rangeley is complete. “The scope of this project is partially what drove the decision to repair versus replace the T-Bar,” Saddleback says. “If we had replaced both, there is a chance that there would not be any skiing this year if early snow arrived.”
- LST’s first detachable lift, which opened on July 29th in La Plagne, closed August 17th, apparently so adjustments can be made before winter.
- Gould Academy’s new T-Bar on Locke Mountain at Sunday River will cost an estimated $750,000 and serve up to 1,200 racers per hour, rising 815 vertical feet.
- Sugarbush’s two new Alpen Stars are coming right along.
- Jackson Hole’s Sweetwater Gondola cabins are going inside this winter.
- Could a gondola from Windsor, Ontario help Detroit land Amazon’s second HQ?
- Now’s your chance to weigh in on New York’s proposed Capital District Gondola.
- The latest from St. Maarten, where a chairlift-based adventure park was slated to open just days after Hurricane Irma hit:
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
- Global ropeway market will grow to $4.6 billion by 2024, research firm says.
- Doppelmayr’s latest Wir Magazine features Big Sky, D-Line and the new Doppelmayr Connect control system.
- New Northwoods at Vail won’t have a loading carpet.
- Snowbasin traces Wilcat history from single to six-pack.
- Village removal is already underway at Sugarbush.
- Three years after commissioning, Rampart at Snoqualmie finally gets electric power.
- Hunter Mountain’s F Lift (1984 Poma) is apparently down for the season.
- FIS says Aspen likely won’t get another World Cup race until Lift 1A is replaced.
- Submit your name for Eldora’s new six-pack to email@example.com by April 9th.
- Big Sky experiments with season passes that exclude select lifts with prices ranging from $149 to $6,000.
- Austrian company Salzmann Formblechtechnik produces enclosures for up to five Doppelmayr Uni-G stations every week.
- Gatlinburg Sky Lift steel is up and boy is it orange.
- Utah Valley University students float gondola link over I-15 to the Orem FrontRunner station.
- Workers dig and dig some more to keep the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram above record snowpack.
- Forest Service sends a letter of noncompliance to Ski Apache resulting in the closure of a lift.
- Beloved lift maintenance team lead Mark McFadden dies in workplace incident at Kicking Horse. A Gofundme page has been setup to support his family.
Last week we learned Sugarbush Resort will join the Mountain Collective in 2017/18 and today Vermont’s second largest resort committed to upgrading two 50+ year-old chairlifts to modern fixed-grip quads. Sunshine, also known as Sunny D, is a 1963 Stadeli at the base of Mt. Ellen that will be removed and replaced in the same alignment. Village serves beginners on Lincoln Peak and was built by Carlevaro-Savio in 1964. The new version of that lift will start higher and greatly improve the beginner experience at Sugarbush.
The nostalgic out there may miss these pieces of ancient history come spring but the Sugarbush lift maintenance team likely won’t. “Our Director of Lift Maintenance, Jasen Bellomy, felt very strongly that we replace both lifts this year rather than over the next two years,” wrote Sugarbush President Win Smith. ” We took his advice, and fate proved him correct a few days later as the top sheave assembly on the Village Double failed. We would have had to ship the part out for repair which would have taken no less than two weeks, so we have officially retired what was once known as Lift 6.” These aren’t big new lifts (both are around 2,000′ long with under 500′ of vertical) but it’s great to see another mountain investing in its aging infrastructure. Carlevaro-Savio and Stadeli are both long gone and Village/Sunshine are 53 and 54 years old, respectively.
This summer, Sugarbush will also replace the electric motor on North Ridge, a 1990 Poma. I have an email out about the manufacturer of the new lifts; Doppelmayr built the new Valley House here in 2015. It may be a few days before Sugarbush replies, however with 18-24″ expected to bury the Green Mountains over the next 48 hours.
New England ski areas are building three new lifts this summer and all of them happen to be in Vermont. At Sugarbush, the Valley House double (a 1960 Carlevario-Savio) is out and a Doppelmayr fixed-grip quad is going in. At some point the old lift got a new Poma Alpha drive terminal and Borvig chairs. The perfectly good Poma terminal is off to West Mountain on the other side of Lake Champlain in New York. Sugarbush’s new lift looks like it’s going to have the Tristar-model terminal like many other recent Doppelmayr lifts in New England. The bottom terminal has been moved downhill to be much closer to the Super Bravo Express than the old lift. This will be Sugarbush’s 8th quad chair between Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen. Doppelmayr still has a ways to go on this project with just a couple towers and sections of both terminals standing but all the important concrete work is done.