Once again, Austria led the way over the summer when it came to building new lifts for the upcoming season.
Chris Madoc-Jones' full round up of new lifts can be found in Issue 2 of this season's Ski+board
So much so that their market-leading lift manufacturer Doppelmayr – which is based in the Tirol – had to move into a new, €62 million home as they had outgrown their old headquarters. Among many others, look out for two big new gondolas in the Ziller Valley, a replacement for the key access gondola at Zell am See, yet another luxury fast lift in Ischgl and Kitzbuhel’s seventh (yes seventh) eight-seater, fast chair.
This article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of Ski+board, read the full magazine online here.
We start with the most expensive project of the winter, the new Spieljochbahn access gondola in the Ziller Valley at Fügen. Coming in at a massive €40 million, the new ten-seater lift covers almost 3km to access the popular Spieljoch Mountain. Particular attention has been paid to the new lift stations, which feature a unique wooden design that is bound to turn heads this winter.
Another €40 million project has been finished at the small resort of Ifen, right on the German border in the Kleinwalsertal Valley. The new ten-seater access gondola runs from the base all the way to the summit of the popular family ski area. It joins the six-seater Olympiabahn chairlift that was built last season to complete a full overhaul of the resort that is now home to only fast, new lifts.
In addition to these two major lift projects, no fewer than seven other resorts are the proud owners of new access gondolas this season. One of these is Finkenberg in the Zillertal Valley, a stone’s throw from the party town of Mayrhofen. The new Almbahn gondola – equipped with wi-fi and heated seats – has replaced a 30-year old workhorse, doubling the uphill capacity to 2,400 people per hour in the process. Just a short bus ride away from Mayrhofen, this new lift will provide a great alternative route up to the sunny Penken Mountain during busy periods.