Snow King Mountain’s expansion officially enters the National Environmental Policy Act pipeline. Proposed lifts are a 1,500 pph gondola with cabin storage, a 3,015′ backside fixed-grip quad, one 679′ T-Bar or platter and two new carpets.
Denver Post alum Jason Blevins, now writing for the Colorado Sun, traces the remarkable ski industry journey of the Mueller family from Vermont to Colorado. Insights from his must read piece: Tim and Diane Mueller took out a second mortgage on their home to buy Okemo, invested in Catamount before it failed, nearly bought Steamboat and once bid to operate Winter Park.
I wrote briefly a few weeks ago about Parks Canada’s proposed site guidelines for Sunshine Village, the second largest ski resort in Banff National Park. Banff Sunshine operates a unique gondola and nine quad chairlifts within a UNESCO World Heritage site surrounded by spectacular scenery – the only resort to span two Canadian provinces. This document will govern the public-private partnership between Sunshine Village Corporation and Banff National Park through 2060. Currently, Sunshine’s capacity is capped at 6,000 skiers, though Sunshine says it only has enough parking for 4,500. The future could allow for more visitors – but exactly how is up for debate.
Site guidelines Parks Canada proposed last month set a new skiers at one time figure of 8,500 at build-out compared with the 11,500 settled upon at Lake Louise and 3,800 at nearby Mt. Norquay. Sunshine says it “reluctantly” agreed to the 8,500 number a few years ago even though the resort could theoretically reach 12,900 persons at one time (PAOT). The new Parks Canada plan includes a gondola reliever lift as well as three new lifts in Lower Meadow Park, Hayes Hill and Goat’s Eye II, areas which currently sit within the Sunshine lease area.
After a tower shifted downhill this spring, the City of Steamboat will again fix Howelsen Hill’s chairlift rather than replacing it.
In the Jay Peak fraud case, former resort owner Ariel Quiros and executive Bill Stenger settle with the State of Vermont for $2.1 million without admitting wrongdoing.
In a separate class action lawsuit, a group of Jay Peak investors allege more than 100 immigration lawyers received $5 million in kickbacks from the resort, creating undisclosed conflicts of interest.
The federal government orders an immediate shutdown of the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center, which allowed foreigners to invest in ski resorts such as Jay Peak and other businesses in exchange for green cards.
Hermitage Club members could lease Haystack Mountain to reopen next season but Berkshire Bank will not. Homeowners may have a senior lien on the Barnstormer six-pack but would need to pay for $300,000 of lift maintenance to reopen.
Even though his purchase of Saddleback never closed, Australian businessman Sebastian Monsour did spend $400,000 on the closed Maine ski resort last year. Hopefully some went to lift maintenance!
Parks Canada seeks public comments on possible Sunshine Village lift and terrain expansions into Goat’s Eye II, Lower Meadow Park and Hayes Hill. Another new lift could eventually parallel the gondola.
Jackson, Wyoming stakeholders mostly agree to site a new gondola in a public park at the base of Snow King Mountain.
Loveland will hold a lottery for season passholders to win purchase rights for Lift 1 chairs.
The final last chair for the Norway lift at A-Basin is Sunday.
We're sad to say goodbye to this legendary lift that's been sending us to the summit since 1978. Alas, it's time for Norway Lift to retire on Sun., May 13. Celebrate her final day of operation with one last ride up, and share your favorite Norway Lift stories with us! #ABasinpic.twitter.com/5oagNspkhU
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows CEO Andy Wirth and landowner Troy Caldwell held a Base-to-Base Gondola open house and Q&A last week presenting lots of new details. The Red Dog replacement project won’t happen until the gondola alignment is finalized.
The Balsams files site plans for construction of a gondola and more beginning as soon as this fall.
Subaru Skyride debuts at the Indiana State Fair. Can anyone identify the manufacturer?
Owners of Lutsen say $40 million expansion will compel more skiers to stay in the Midwest instead of trekking to Colorado.
Metal fatigue eyed in horrific ride incident at the Ohio State Fair (additional photos of the break are here.) The Fair’s SkyGlider chairlift was not involved but temporarily shut down as a precaution.
Leitner-Poma will build two new lifts at Arapahoe Basin over the next two years. A 400′ Telecorde surface lift called Lazy J Tow will go in this summer to access Montezuma Bowl while the Beavers fixed-grip quad will follow next year.
Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows are now one company owned by KSL, the Crown Family of Aspen Skiing Co. and Rusty Gregory. Currently known as Hawk Holding Company, LLC, a new name and brand will be introduced this fall.
Rescuers in boats and ladder trucks assist with dramatic evacuation of a bi-cable gondola over the The Rhine in Cologne, Germany.
Bill Brett, retired GM of Timberline writes about rime and how Palmer almost became Riblet’s first detachable.
You can follow along as Garaventa enters the home stretch building the record-breaking Eibsee Cable Car 2.0 in Germany.
There’s also a construction blog for Leitner’s 3S project in Zermatt.
Steamboat finally opened its gondola Monday, lamenting “we made a mistake by trying to set an opening date” and thanking guests for weeks of patience.
Sunshine Village reopened the same day following fire scare.
Bidding opens for construction of a four-stage, 10-passenger urban gondola in Santiago, Chile – a contract estimated to be worth $78 million. When complete, Latin America will sport urban gondolas in Mexico City, Mexico (Leitner); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Poma); Medellín, Colombia (Poma); Caracas, Venezuela (Doppelmayr); Lima, Peru (Poma); Quito, Ecuador (Poma); La Paz, Bolivia (Doppelmayr); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Doppelmayr and Poma) and Santiago, Chile (TBD.) Impressive.