Instagram Tuesday: Night Moves

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

Lined up and ready to launch!

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News Roundup: Investments

  • MND Group’s LST Ropeways subsidiary invested $4.3 million and hired 25 people to develop detachable product that is now available worldwide.
  • Cleveland Planning Commission considers nine-station gondola network.
  • Arizona Republic takes a deep dive into Grand Canyon Escalade cultural and natural resource issues.
  • Big investments are likely coming to Steamboat, Winter Park and the rest of the resorts KSL and Aspen acquired this week.
  • Leitner has a new iPhone-like control system called LeitControl.
  • Are there too many urban gondola ideas?
  • Revelstoke will add 24 cabins to the Revelation Gondola this summer along with 21 chairs to The Stoke to address sometimes epic lift lines.
  • Mechanics in New Zealand work to repair the fire-damaged lift at Christchurch Adventure Park.
  • New York State Fair Gondola funding slammed by politicians and citizens alike.
  • Vail Mountain proposes 1,870 foot fixed-grip lift above the Riva Bahn mid-station on Golden Peak.vailgoldenpeakexpansion

News Roundup: $4.6 Billion

Instagram Tuesday: Earth

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

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Vail Resorts to Build Three New Six-Packs in Colorado for 2017-18

With strong Epic Pass sales and early snow blanketing its properties, Vail Resorts revealed today it will go big on new lifts in 2017, adding additional six-place chairlifts at Vail, Keystone and Breckenridge as part of a $122 million capital program.  In the company’s first quarter results, CEO Rob Katz noted, “we remain committed to reinvesting in our resorts, creating an experience of a lifetime for our guests and generating strong returns for our shareholders.”  The news follows construction of four new lifts at Vail mountains in both 2015 and 2016.

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The Northwoods Express #11 on Vail Mountain will be replaced at the end of this year, the resort announced today.

On Vail Mountain, the Northwoods Express #11 will be replaced, leaving only three CLD-260 first-generation detachables in service.  The new Northwoods will also become the mountain’s 10th new lift in 11 years.  At Breckenridge, Vail will upgrade the Falcon high speed quad on Peak 10 to a six-person detachable, allowing more guests to experience some of the best intermediate and advanced terrain on the mountain.   The Falcon SuperChair is a 1986 Poma high speed quad also approaching the end of its useful life.  At Keystone, the 1990 Doppelmayr Uni-model Montezuma chair will be replaced with a six-pack version.

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The six-place Avanti Express #2 at Vail replaced an older high speed quad in 2015 as part of Vail Resorts’ ongoing initiative to replace high-traffic lifts in recent years.

Leitner-Poma is likely to build Breckenridge’s newest lift, which would extend a 16-lift streak for the manufacturer at Breck.  Vail and Keystone operate a mix of Leitner-Poma and Doppelmayr lifts and could plausibly sign with either company.  Noticeably absent from today’s release was any mention of new lifts for Park City or the newly-Epic Whistler-Blackcomb.  Vail Resorts will detail further capital improvements in the spring but these three projects are a huge start.

Update 1/23/17: Leitner-Poma will build and install all three of these lifts.

Instagram Tuesday: Solo

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

#cablecar #cableway #UK #city #world #peace #Мир

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Vail Nears Completion of New Sun Up Express

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Brian Jorgenson of Timberline Helicopters flies a tower head for the new Sun Up Express lift on the backside of Vail Mountain.  Brian and his team have flown lift parts at Arizona Snowbowl, Big Sky, Grand Targhee, Jackson Hole, Steamboat, Sundance and Vail so far this summer.

With construction underway on a new lift for the ninth time in ten years, Vail Mountain will have only three fixed-grip chairlifts this winter. Adding to what is already the largest detachable lift fleet in the world outside of Europe, Vail and Leitner-Poma are now building the mountain’s 19th high-speed lift in the famous Back Bowls to replace the Sun Up #17 triple.  This is a major milestone for a mountain that in 1984 operated a whopping 19 fixed-grip chairlifts.   Following on the heels of two new six-packs from Doppelmayr USA in 2013 and 2015, Vail switched back to Leitner-Poma for its newest high speed quad, which will be designated Lift #9.  With its production facility down I-70 in Grand Junction, Leitner-Poma also supplied Vail’s Gondola One in 2012 and seven high speed quads in a row before that. Vail regulars will note that number 9 used to belong to the Minnie’s lift from 1972 until it was removed without being replaced in 2008.

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Tire banks for the return terminal of the new Sun Up lift await their new home in Vail’s Back Bowls.

The Sun Up Express will achieve 65 percent higher capacity than the 1992 triple version it replaces, which was actually one of the original lifts Doppelmayr built at Beaver Creek in 1980.  Fun fact: B.C.’s Centennial was originally two separate triple chairs.  What became Sun Up at Vail was the upper lift called Horseshoe.  The triple chair is now history and will probably find a third home somewhere in the Vail Resorts empire or beyond.

Sun Up Express’ uphill capacity will be 2,400 skiers per hour which should help alleviate crowding on lifts 5 and 9.  The Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin will now have a combined seven high speed quads.  Lift 9 will feature 82 quad chairs and 14 towers, most of which were set last week by helicopter.  The lift will have a vertical rise of 1,115 feet and will be 3,865 feet long with a 670 HP AC top drive located near Two Elk Lodge.  Sun Up Express will be Vail’s third lift with the new LPA (Leitner Poma Automatic) grips and terminals.

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Instagram Tuesday: Builders

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

#jasna #jasnanizketatry #chopok #new #ropeway #doppelmayr #winter #nizketatry

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News Roundup: 115.4 mph

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  • Mt. Hood Meadows updates skiers on the windstorm that sent two hundred-foot hemlock trees onto the Shooting Star Express the night of November 17th.
  • Vail Resorts announces $100 million in capital improvements across its mountains for 2016/17 including replacement of the last major fixed-grip lift on Vail Mountain.  The new Sun Up Lift #17 will be a detachable quad, manufacturer unknown.
  • SkyTrac splices the Humphrey’s Peak Quad at Arizona Snowbowl.
  • The latest from Sugarloaf on the new King Pine.  An apparent Doppelmayr delay will push opening until late-December. Luckily (or unluckily) there’s no snow anyways.
  • Utah’s new ski resort, Cherry Peak, announces a December 21st debut with two lifts.
  • Doppelmayr’s 10th  3S gondola, the Penkenbahn, is ready to go.
  • A nonprofit ski area in Ontario that’s been unable to operate its quad chair since 2011 due to a 2006 Doppelmayr service bulletin hopes to crowdfund $80,000 for repairs.
  • West Mountain celebrates their new lift with fireworks rather than skiing and already has the drive terminal up for another new-used lift next summer.

Instagram Tuesday: Making Snow

Finishing touches currently happening on our new high speed quad. #flattopflyer #6minutestothetop #powderhornmountainresort

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