News Roundup: Dollars and Euros

News Roundup: Visit Numbers

News Roundup: Good Friday

Whistler Blackcomb to Shut Down Again

The largest ski resort in North America is closing for at least three weeks effective midnight tonight. The pause comes as part of a provincial effort to slow the spread of Covid-19 through new restrictions on business and travel. Gyms, indoor dining, and houses of worship are also closing by order of the BC government. Whistler Blackcomb was specifically identified to “address and prevent community spread related to non-essential travel,” according to a news release. Other British Columbia ski resorts are currently allowed to remain open.

“Covid-19 continues to create challenges for people and businesses throughout B.C., and we are grateful for the sacrifices people continue to make to keep one another safe,” said British Columbia Premier John Horgan. “We know that the idea of more restrictions is not welcome news, but we are asking people to rise to the challenge with the confidence that vaccines mean better days are ahead. We are not out of the woods yet, but the provincial health officer’s orders, combined with our vaccines, give us the tools we need to move out of this pandemic together.”

Whistler Blackcomb parent company Vail Resorts recently announced 28.4 percent decline in net income due to effects of the pandemic. Whistler Blackcomb was disproportionately impacted due to the Canadian border remaining closed. Destination visits declined to 15 percent of Whistler Blackcomb visitation this season compared to 48 percent in the same period the prior year. Skier visits across all North American Vail Resorts declined 8.2 percent for the season as of March 7th.

The Whistler Blackcomb closure order is scheduled to last through April 19th, 2021. Whistler Mountain had been scheduled to close April 18th with Blackcomb Mountain planned to remain open until May 24th.

On Monday evening Whistler Blackcomb Chief Operating Officer Geoff Buchheister issued the following statement:

“Throughout the season, Whistler Blackcomb has prioritized the health and safety of our guests and employees. Monday’s order from the Province of British Columbia to close Whistler Blackcomb came as a surprise and we respect the decision and are taking immediate steps to comply. We would like to thank all of our guests and employees for their willingness to adapt to our COVID safety protocols and will update the website with more information on the future of the 2020-21 season.”

By Tuesday, resort officials decided to close both mountains for the season and turn their attention to summer.

News Roundup: Investments

News Roundup: Tough Choices

  • 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.

News Roundup: Millions

News Roundup: Unboxing

  • Lizards prevent construction of an announced chairlift project in New Zealand.
  • Berkshire East and Catamount owner Jon Schaefer finds success staying away from detachable lifts and acquiring used lifts from across the country.
  • Ikon Pass sales rose 60 percent over last year.
  • Cockaigne, NY will reopen in January after many seasons closed.
  • Frost Fire, ND reopens after a missed season.
  • A 3S gondola to Snowbird and Alta would cost more than $300 million to build and $12 million a year to operate.
  • Vail Resorts looks to build it first D-Line chairlift, not in Colorado or California but at Perisher.
  • The Forest Service green lights construction of a new Big Burn lift at Snowmass.
  • A new version of Eagle’s Rest comes Jackson Hole.
  • A downed tree causes extended stops at Silver Mountain.
  • The one year old Blackcomb Gondola went down Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.
  • Disney Skyliner guests can now call a dedicated phone line for information when gondolas stop for longer than usual.
  • Lift service returns to Tamarack’s Wildwood zone tomorrow.
  • Copper’s Tucker Mountain becomes lift served for the first time today.
  • Regardless of whether Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows build an interconnect gondola, a private ski area may open nearby.

News Roundup: SkyDream

News Roundup: 3S