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Belleayre Gondola?

ss20

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I had heard rumors of this before. I asked a couple of employees when I went after the blizzard a few weeks ago- they said that surveying was being done and it was pretty much a done deal. In for next season? This article doesn't say but seems hopeful.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2017/03/orda%E2%80%88eyes-new-gondola-for-belleayre/

LAKE PLACID — Including a new gondola at Belleayre Ski Center in the Catskills, new state Olympic Regional Development Authority President and CEO Mike Pratt outlined upcoming capital project work to be undertaken at the state authority’s three ski centers.

ORDA is going into its fourth season operating the Catskill-area ski center, and at last week’s authority board meeting, Pratt said the new gondola and renovations to Belleayre’s beginner and main lodges would improve traffic flow and enable the center to host year-round activities.

“It’s still an awkward facility in that it has two different elevations of lodges,” Pratt said.

The gondola will operate from the ski center’s base to the mountain summit, and Pratt said the authority planned to finance part of its investment. In the three years since ORDA took over ownership of Belleayre, the authority has built a new rental shop, replaced an entire grooming fleet, added a conveyer lift and installed new kitchens.


I have only skied Belleayre once, but I will be getting the MAX pass so I'll more than likely ski it again next year. Just from my one day+looking at the trail map a base-summit gondola seems pretty gimmicky. There's no reason for experts to ski down to the base and no reason for beginners to go up top. I'd imagine it'd over-pack the summit as well, given there's only two blue trails from the top.
 

KustyTheKlown

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haven't been to belle in ~20 years but will definitely be there next season when it gets max pass'd. i have no opinions on the new gondola.
 

cdskier

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I have only skied Belleayre once, but I will be getting the MAX pass so I'll more than likely ski it again next year. Just from my one day+looking at the trail map a base-summit gondola seems pretty gimmicky. There's no reason for experts to ski down to the base and no reason for beginners to go up top. I'd imagine it'd over-pack the summit as well, given there's only two blue trails from the top.

The existing setup of Belleayre without a Gondola was really fantastic at separating skiers of different ability levels. Beginners stayed at the bottom and advanced skiers had no reason to go down there. I've skied at Belleayre dozens of times over the years and never once skied below the base of the Super Chief quad.

I don't get the quote in the article that this will "improve traffic flow". In my opinion it does exactly the opposite. The last plans I saw with the proposed line showed it crossing over the mid-lodge/parking lot area with the top terminal on the West Side. From the west side there will be virtually no easy way to make a continuous run down to the base of that gondola so it is not something people can just lap. I don't necessarily think it will over-pack the summit because I think once people take it a couple times, they will quickly realize it has little value and it will end up being very under-utilized. The summit is also a long ridge and it is quite a traverse if you're on one end and want to go to the blue run on the other end. If they terminate it somewhere on the top in the middle of the mountain between Super Chief and Lift 7, that would be a bit better, but there's still little point to a beginner going to the top or an advanced skier going all the way to the bottom.

Overall, gimmicky and pointless is correct!
 

kingslug

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Because developing new areas or the area next to it would be pointless of course. I mean every resort should have a gondola..just..because.
 

tnt1234

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The only thing I can think of is, they want everyone to start at the main base, and the gondola will give experts one ride to the lookers right side of the mountain?
 

snoseek

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A gondola for a 1400 vert mountain seems a bit overkill to me but I've never been there
 

ss20

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A gondola for a 1400 vert mountain seems a bit overkill to me but I've never been there

Most likely it will go to the "summit" over by the HSQ and summit lodge. Measured on Google Earth that's a 1,300ft rise over a 7,100ft run. That is f-l-a-t by definition. To put it in perspective, stage 1 of the Skyeship at Killington is 7,800ft with a 1,200ft rise. That's pretty comparable to this Belleayre gondi. I don't think there's a lift in the Northeast over 7,000ft that serves such little vertical. Mount Snow's summit lifts might just be the closest, at 1,600ft vertical over a 7,800ft run.
 

tnt1234

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Most likely it will go to the "summit" over by the HSQ and summit lodge. Measured on Google Earth that's a 1,300ft rise over a 7,100ft run. That is f-l-a-t by definition. To put it in perspective, stage 1 of the Skyeship at Killington is 7,800ft with a 1,200ft rise. That's pretty comparable to this Belleayre gondi. I don't think there's a lift in the Northeast over 7,000ft that serves such little vertical. Mount Snow's summit lifts might just be the closest, at 1,600ft vertical over a 7,800ft run.

The plan I saw had it terminating over by the Tomahawk lift.
 

cdskier

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The plan I saw had it terminating over by the Tomahawk lift.

I was going to post that yesterday, as you're correct that the Belleayre Unit Management Plan from 2015 with the full build out proposal had it terminating on the west side next to Tomahawk. Then I saw a map on liftblog I think it was showing it terminating over near the Super Chief at the top. That was just a Bellayre trail map with a single red line for the new Gondola shown on it. I'm not certain of the source of that. If it came from someone that actually has knowledge of the plans, then I think that is a better alignment than terminating by Tomahawk (although still completely unnecessary). If that was just the author of the post on liftblog drawing their own map without any real knowledge, then it is irrelevant.

All articles with anyone from ORDA or Belleayre quoted always say it is terminating at the "summit". The problem is that tells you nothing since the entire top ridge of the mountain could be considered the summit.
 

tnt1234

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I was going to post that yesterday, as you're correct that the Belleayre Unit Management Plan from 2015 with the full build out proposal had it terminating on the west side next to Tomahawk. Then I saw a map on liftblog I think it was showing it terminating over near the Super Chief at the top. That was just a Bellayre trail map with a single red line for the new Gondola shown on it. I'm not certain of the source of that. If it came from someone that actually has knowledge of the plans, then I think that is a better alignment than terminating by Tomahawk (although still completely unnecessary). If that was just the author of the post on liftblog drawing their own map without any real knowledge, then it is irrelevant.

All articles with anyone from ORDA or Belleayre quoted always say it is terminating at the "summit". The problem is that tells you nothing since the entire top ridge of the mountain could be considered the summit.

Huh - yeah, I think terminating at the top of the supercheif makes more sense - still, not really necessary but certainly more useful (and better for folks who like the tomahawk terrain uncrowded) than they other plan.

I guess the charm in it is year round gondi rides? I don't get it at all.

I guess they are trying to take pressure off the super chief which does get crowded.

Whatever floats their boat - I just hope they leave the tomahawk side alone and sure, the lodges could use some spring up...
 

skimagic

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I've been to Belle only twice and never knew there was a lower Lodge and terrain below super chief! The new Gondi doesn't even connect to the new Lodge, condos down there.

One of the plans show a two stage Gondi with the upper stage IN the tomohawk lift alignment.
And New green trails below tomohawk leading to the lower Gondi stage.

http://www.catskillheritage.org/images/AlpentechMap.jpg
 

cdskier

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I've been to Belle only twice and never knew there was a lower Lodge and terrain below super chief! The new Gondi doesn't even connect to the new Lodge, condos down there.

One of the plans show a two stage Gondi with the upper stage IN the tomohawk lift alignment.
And New green trails below tomohawk leading to the lower Gondi stage.

http://www.catskillheritage.org/images/AlpentechMap.jpg

Careful...that's from 2007 and a lot has potentially changed from then. The 2015 Unit Management Plan is much newer, although I'm still not sure if things have changed even more recently. Here's the DEC findings of the 2015 proposal along with the plans at that time: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/permits_ej_operations_pdf/umpfindings.pdf
 

raisingarizona

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The only thing I can see in value of this gondola would be mountain biking from it in the summer.

With such a high rate of illegal Mexican immigrant violence in the state of NY I would think a much better use of that $ would be putting it towards the border wall. Safety first has always been my policy.
 

benski

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Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 4.22.05 PM.jpg
I have never been to Belleayre but from this it looks like the Skyship gondola at Killington but without the mid station beginners can't take it and no mid load for the intermediate who don't want to take the long beginner trail. Seems silly not go go with a similar setup.
 

raisingarizona

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There is almost zero connectivity with using that lift. They have one flat trail over a bridge. Who is ORDA's engineer for this project, who comes up with this sh#t? If you really are trying to get money into local communities then why wouldn't you design and create something that people will actually utilize and be excited about?

Well, maybe it's mainly for summer use. With climate shift that might be what they are really going for anyways but as for being a functional ski lift this plan is a fail.
 
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