News Roundup: Dire

  • Hemlock Mountain, BC re-brands as Sasquatch Mountain and eyes a high-speed quad to replace Skyline.
  • Vail Resorts’ fiscal 2017 net income rose 40.6 percent and skier visits 20.1 percent over 2016 with Epic Pass pass sales trending 17 percent higher for 2017-18.
  • Och-Ziff sells Mountain High back to previous ownership group.
  • Frost Fire, ND won’t open this winter, citing the “dire” condition of its triple chairlift.  The nonprofit mountain estimates $1.35 million is needed to buy a replacement.  The statement makes no mention of the mountain’s other lift, a double chair with Poma components.
  • Sugarloaf’s five year plan would turn the SuperQuad into a SuperSix in 2019, move the CTEC Stealth to Timberline and add a T-Bar to Brackett Basin in 2021.
  • Kevin Mastin paints a new trail map for Whiteface.
  • Belleayre’s gondola will feature a new rack design for snowboards and skis of different sizes.
  • Steamboat Resort won’t operate Howelsen Hill.
  • Resorts grapple with whether service dogs should ride chairlifts.
  • Allen Peak Tram’s new tower is in at Snowbasin.
  • Doppelmayr’s latest Wir magazine features Oakland’s new gondola and more.
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News Roundup: New York

  • Colorado posts its second best season with nearly 12 million skier days. Vermont was up 21 percent year-over-year and New Hampshire went +30 percent.
  • Valemount opening pushes back to 2019-2020.
  • Rumors swirl of possible lift surveys at Saddleback.
  • Doppelmayr Cable Car and Transport for London extend operations & maintenance contract for the Emirates Air Line for another five years.
  • The government of Venezuela owes Garaventa $14.5 million!
  • Belleayre’s Catskill Thunder Gondola will be a Doppelmayr opening this December.
  • Partek’s only 2017 project is underway at Mt. Peter.
  • Peak Resorts plans to spend $9 million to expand Hunter Mountain and add a new high-speed chairlift in 2018.
  • Arapahoe Basin and Sugarloaf prove even relatively small lift projects make for interesting off-season reading.
  • Vermont’s defunct Maple Valley is for sale along with three Hall lifts for $950,000.
  • Val Gardena, Italy is the launch customer for Sigma’s innovative Symphony 10 gondola cabin and the new Leitner station.
  • Could North Korea’s ski resort with counterfeit and relocated Doppelmayr lifts host Olympic skiing?
  • Doppelmayr removes Wildcat at Snowbasin to make way for Utah’s first six-pack outside of Park City.  Thanks @ozskier for the photos!

News Roundup: Skyline

  • Two men want to build an iconic gondola called Skyline along the Chicago Riverfront.
  • Sandia Peak unveils new tram cabins for its 50th anniversary.
  • Sugarloaf updates the public on its summer lift maintenance projects.
  • BMF wins contract for its first 10-passenger gondola to be built next year in Switzerland.
  • The owner of Gletscherjet 3+4 built last summer in Austria say it has already carried 3 million passengers, believed to be a record for a winter lift.  The system is an 8/10 combination lift interlining with a 10-passenger gondola.
  • Poma’s 2015 Reference Book is now online highlighting last year’s projects from around the world.
  • Are Vail Resorts and Powdr Corp. bidding on Eldora?
  • A New Zealand developer will test whether a Whistler-style bike park with its own high speed quad can stand alone without skiing.
  • Doppelmayr and its contractors take responsibility for a construction accident at one of the terminals under construction in La Paz that injured ten people on Saturday.

News Roundup: Gearbox Trouble at Sugarloaf

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  • Sugarloaf’s Whiffletree high speed quad (shown above) will be down 1-2 weeks while its gearbox gets rebuilt in Michigan for the second time in six months.  Cone Drive rebuilt the gearbox in question last Fall and it was back in action a mere two months before failing on Saturday.  Whiffletree is a 1997 Garaventa CTEC Stealth detachable at a mountain that’s had more than its fair share of lift setbacks.
  • Doppelmayr’s latest Wir magazine is online.  Some article highlights: the Penkenbahn 3S gondola turns 6.5 degrees mid-line and Park City’s new gondola transitions between two different line gauges.
  • Leitner Ropeways will break ground on a two-stage gondola in Berlin March 26th to serve guests of the city’s 2017 horticultural expo.  Doppelmayr built temporary gondolas at similar expos in 2009 and 2011.  Must be nice to spend millions on lifts for four months of temporary operation!  To be fair, Whistler did something similar for the Olympics.
  • Garaventa crews pulling rope 600 feet above Ha Long Bay but they took some time off to celebrate the Lunar New Year.  The world’s largest aerial tramway opens next month.
  • The Telluride-Mountain Village gondola transit system, built by CTEC in 1992, has clocked 100,000 hours and elected officials are trying to figure out how to modernize it.

News Roundup: Italy Goes Premium

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  • Leitner Ropeways will build Italy’s first 8-passenger chairlift this summer featuring the Leitner Premium Chair.
  • A 16-year old rides up outside of a gondola cabin hanging upside down from the doors.  Yikes.
  • Sugarloaf’s Lift Safety blog keeps guests informed of hiccups with the mountain’s lifts, most recently the SuperQuad,  Sawduster and Double Runner East.
  • Snowbird will replace the four track ropes on its Garaventa Aerial Tram starting April 18th.  The tram will re-open sometime in June.
  • 11-year old boy falls from the Peak Chair at Whistler, is caught by a group of staff and guests to the cheers of onlookers.

News Roundup: Now That’s a Model

  • Snowbasin will test solar-powered USB charging bars in five of its gondola cabins in partnership with Goal Zero.
  • Mt. Waterman in Los Angeles’ San Gabriel Mountains reopens this weekend with 3 Riblet doubles operating for the first time in five years.  The mountain will honor all tickets and passes sold since 2011!
  • Two years after his 6-year old daughter fell from a chair, a New Jersey man sues Campgaw Mountain and the town/county it’s located in for “careless and reckless” operation of a ski lift.
  • Sugarloaf just can’t catch a break.  A power failure shut down most of its lifts for hours on their first Saturday with snow.
  • Did you know Doppelmayr operates a zoo with more than 400 animals at its headquarters in Wolfurt?
  • Speaking of Doppelmayr, their interactive installation map now displays 24 world record-breaking ropeways (click the red button on the bottom left.)
  • Somebody had to do it.  Spirit Mountain, Minnesota becomes the first to offer lift-served, downhill fat biking starting Sunday.
  • Whistler Village Gondola cabin #84 returns to its roots in the Alps as The Coffee Gondola.
  • What appears to be a Doppelmayr quad chair rolls back in China, screaming ensues.

News Roundup: Up, Up and Away

King Pine is open for the season #theloaf LiftsAreSpinning

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Photo credit: Christopher Strunk

Instagram Tuesday: Fireworks

Happy New Year, Sugarloafers! #theloaf #happynewyear #fireworks #skitheeast

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Ride in style on the new Gondolas between Eagle Mountain and Moose Mountain 🎿🏂#skiresort

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News Roundup: Washout

  • Teams from Mt. Hood Meadows have repaired and re-opened the Shooting Star Express that was damaged by falling trees over Thanksgiving. Now the storm recovery turns to the Mt. Hood Express, which received ten feet of snow in one week.
  • White Pass has more snow than it did at anytime last winter but no one can get there.  Crews have been working around the clock to repair washouts that cut off the resort from both sides of the Cascades Dec. 9th.  The ski area will re-open Wednesday.

  • The Berry family says it’s close to a deal to sell Saddleback to a new owner that hopes to open by late January.  Passholders can get a refund or gift card now.
  • Aspen’s 1971 SLI double on Shadow Mountain will be replaced with a detachable quad or gondola in 2016 or ’17.  The top terminal will move 200 feet to the southwest resulting in a slope length of 3,600′ with 1,390′ vertical and a capacity of 1,200 skiers per hour.
  • Park City and Canyons are now one thanks to the Quicksilver Gondola but judging by snow conditions it’s going to be awhile before you can ski between the two.
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Sugarloaf and Doppelmayr load test King Pine on Dec. 19, 2015.
  • James Coleman opens new quad chairs at Purgatory (Leitner-Poma) and Arizona Snowbowl (SkyTrac) with more new lifts on the way.
  • Doppelmayr secures $27 million European government loan for research and development in Austria.
  • Cherry Peak Resort opens today!  It’s the first all-new ski facility in North America since Tamarack debuted back in 2004.