News Roundup: Down to the Wire

  • Beaver Creek renames the Buckaroo Express gondola Haymeadow Express, the name of the double chair which ran in the same alignment from 1980 to 2007.
  • Whether the Hermitage Club closes a $30 million loan to catch up on lift maintenance and operate this winter is still an open question.
  • Arapahoe Basin and Leitner-Poma fly steel for the Beavers project.
  • As of yesterday, Vail Resorts officially operates Okemo, Mt. Sunapee and Crested Butte.
  • Vail reports fiscal 2018 resort EBITDA was $616.6 million, an increase of 3.9 percent over the prior year.  2018-19 season pass sales are up 25 percent in units and 15 percent in dollars as of Sunday.
  • West Mountain adds a million dollar chairlift and looks to build another.
  • A New York-based developer receives one of many approvals for Mayflower Village at Deer Valley, which could eventually mean a slate of new lifts.

MAYFLOWER-visual

  • Doppelmayr is named in connection with an urban gondola eyed for Long Beach, California.
  • Watch a remarkable 3S gondola launch live from Zermatt at 9:15 Eastern tomorrow morning, 6:15 Pacific.
  • The CFO and COO of Peak Resorts open up about their decision to buy Snow Time and note the three new mountains don’t immediately need much capital investment.
  • The longtime owners of Great Divide, Montana plan to sell to another couple next year.
  • Legendary ski resort builder Les Otten remains committed to The Balsams but laments, “time is killing this project.”
  • Mountain Capital Partners releases more details on the Spider Mountain Bike Park project.
  • The damaged Zugspitze cabin is successfully lowered to the valley for disassembly.  The cable car’s operator says damage exceeds $1.2 million and the lift could reopen by year end.
  • Boreal names its new quad California Cruiser.
  • The latest Leitner-Poma six-pack at Hunter Mountain, seen below, will be called Northern Express.
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Runaway Equipment Damages the Zugspitze Cable Car

An ugly scene on the Zugspitze.  Photo credit: Kreisbote.de

This is not a good week for tramways in Europe.  An incident last night on the highest mountain in Germany severely damaged one of two Eibsee Cable Car cabins during a practice exercise.  Apparently a rescue carrier broke loose due to a broken chain hoist and crashed into the 120 passenger tramway cabin below at high speed.  Like with the fire at a French tram on Tuesday, the lift was free of passengers and luckily no one was injured.  A Zugspitze spokesperson says the Garaventa-built tram will be out of service until further notice.

The lift became the pinnacle of ropeway technology when it opened last December, breaking world records for the tallest lattice tower (416 feet), longest ropeway span (10,541 feet) and highest vertical rise (6,381 feet), making this a truly stunning setback.  When a cabin on the Alyeska, Alaska tram hit a tower in 2013, technicians were able to replace it with a counterweight in just a few weeks until a new cabin could be manufactured.  We’ll have to wait and see whether CWA can repair the Zugspitze cabin or must fabricate a whole new one.

Instagram Tuesday: Scenes

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

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Instagram Tuesday: Mystery

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

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News Roundup: Economies of Scale

  • Poma wins monster $47.1 million contract for five lifts from the company that operates Val d’Isère, Tignes, Meribel, La Plagne and Les Arcs in France.  Last year’s three-lift, $29.4 million contract from the same group went to Doppelmayr.
  • An Australian teenager is lucky to be alive after doing pull ups on a moving chairlift cable.
  • The inaugural gondola featuring Sigma’s Symphony 10 cabins debuts in Italy.
  • Canton, Ohio looks at gondolas, calling them “transportainment.”
  • Props to Bear Valley for frequent Moke Express updates.
  • A judge sides with Monarch in lift unloading injury lawsuit.
  • Following a workplace death and news that a major lift is out of service, confusion surrounds Sunrise Park Resort’s season, though new management and lifts could be on the way.
  • Record-shattering aerial tramway with 6,381 feet of vertical and a 10,541′ free span opens in Germany a week from today.
  • Connecticut’s Woodbury Ski Area might be gone for good.
  • George Kruger of Ski Lifts Unlimited, instrumental in rebuilding lifts at Magic Mountain and beyond, passes away.
  • Leitner-Poma is completing final assembly of a cool 25-passenger tramway at the upcoming Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.

Instagram Tuesday: Lifted

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

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Day one, complete. What a day it was. #iheartwh2o

A post shared by Whitewater Ski Resort (@whitewaterskiresort) on

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Instagram Tuesday: At Sunset

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

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Garaventa Building Record-Breaking Tram in Germany

Germany's highest mountain is getting a new tram.  Photo credit: Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG
Germany’s highest mountain is getting a new tram. Photo credit: Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG

Just weeks after opening two record-breaking aerial tramways on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group has begun construction on an even more remarkable tramway to Germany’s highest summit.  Replacing a 1963 jig-back tram, the new 120-passenger Eibsee Cable Car on the Zugspitze will leave a base terminal at 3,337 feet and top out at 9,718 feet with only one tower in between.  Two other aerial tramways that reach the same summit, the Tyrolean Zugspitzebahn and the Zugspitze Gletcherbahn, will remain unchanged.

Summer rendering of the new bottom terminal building.  Photo credit: Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG
Summer rendering of the new bottom terminal building. Photo credit: Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG

The new cable car will maintain the old version’s record for the largest vertical rise of a single tramway span at 6,381 feet, down slightly from 6,398 feet.  Its lone tower will be the tallest in the world at 416 feet – 43 feet taller than the current tallest on Austria’s Gletscherbahn Kaprun III.  The new cableway will also have the longest unsupported span at 10,541 feet, breaking the current record of 9,941 feet on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola’s middle span.

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