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The NEW Magic Mountain

IceEidolon

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Aug 10, 2017
Messages
428
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Also, we don't have the full picture yet. We don't know who was making the call to stay running, we don't know for sure why the drive was surging, we don't have enough facts to make any kind of informed call right now. Based on communication and gut feeling and observation as the Pfister crew, the drive guy, the state inspector, and the ops crew get this problem diagnosed and the damage repaired, maybe this board will come to a consensus. I've felt totally safe riding one lift listed above that dropped chairs, and another lift not listed had emergency preemptive repairs but I have avoided it since on suspicion. (Depress towers below mid unload, Canaan Valley, there's welded sections on the side of the tower.)
 

Keelhauled

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Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Messages
124
Points
18
The odds of me getting killed by somebody highballing it down the ski hill, slipping into a tree, or of me dying in a car accident on the way to the hill are far higher than the odds of my dying falling off a chairlift
Funny you mention dying, since the last lift fatality in the US was from an identical problem a few years ago in Colorado--new drive on old motor, lift surged, woman fell from bouncing chair. I like Magic as much as anyone, and I have a lot of respect for folks trying to make a capital intensive business work--I know exactly what it's like--but safety issues like this are no joke. There must have been a serious breakdown in protocol/communication somewhere to run the lift in that state for five minutes or more with no one apparently comfortable having the authority to make the call to shut it down.
 

ThatGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
790
Points
93
Location
America
My girlfriend and I watched it surging and were like no way in hell we’re getting on that lift right now. The one summit run we had was great though. Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a larger issue leading to prolonged lack of summit access.
 

skithetrees

Active member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
173
Points
28
I didn't see any and was on the lift both days.
on Wed when it started surging they ran it at super low speed to get everyone off of the lift.

today it was almost like they ignored it, slowed it down a little bit and just kept it going.

everyone up top was looking at the chairs swinging around the bull wheel wildly. Patrol included.
And this is why I am pissed. It’s like they said fuck the solution and safety. The lift equivalent of “hold my beer”?
 

Newpylong

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Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
4,093
Points
113
Location
Upper Valley, NH
jfc, a chair struck a tower and fell off the line? this means the required 15 degrees of swing clearance was exceeded, this is a huge operational error. did the grip come off the hanger, or the grip ripped from the rope. of course that grip and carrier must be destroyed because they both saw forces for which they were not designed. the former was tweaked being ripped off the rope, the latter when the carrier struck the ground. that rope section must be marked and inspected by a qualified wire rope inspector who will look for broken and displaced wires. finally, the tower needs to be inspected also. did the grip get entangled with a pair section, some guidage, or what. riblet clips are well known for coming out of the rope when striking a tower, but never a grip of usual design.

it's time for the lift inspector to man up and order a "stand down" on the red lift until the lift is proven to be safe in loaded and unloaded conditions, lift operators are given authority to slow or stop loading a lift as conditions warrant, lift mechanics are trained to recognize and respond to unusual situations, and whoever was running the lift is kicked in the balls.

There is no need for anyone to "man up". This incident is an immediate stand down on that lift until the investigation is complete. In my state if that had happened (VT is likely the same) the inspector does not even have the authority on their own to declare the lift safe. The report is reviewed by the full board in emergency session prior to declaring the lift operational again.
 
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Newpylong

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Dec 20, 2005
Messages
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Location
Upper Valley, NH
Eh, no one can defend the decision or indecision on that one... not even the most faithful. Either we don't know the entire story or at they're down two operators and a reputation hit.

Cue Deepthroat...
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
35
Points
6
The red Chair has been on life support for 30 years. After hanging unmaintained during bankruptcy for most of the 90s it went on to be patched for the next 20 years by previous owners. These things have a lifespan even when well maintained and I would say 50 years in that case is when a lift needs to be replaced.

how many 50 year plus lifts are still in operation in the country ? I bet I could count them on one hand.

the old black lift never should have been run after they hung the defective yan chairs on it in the 80s. Not only did yan go bankrupt because of their defective grips but those triples were far to heavy for those frail towers And needed to be spaced farther apart because of it.

none of that was the responsibility of the current ownership but when they decided to take control they should have made sure they were well capitalized to come in and install either Brand new lifts or quality reinstalls instead they hobbled along barely running the black lift and dealing with constant breakdowns of the red lift.

and now look where they are...

the new black lift should have had Dopplemeyer on sit for the reinstall and none of the engineering issues would have occurred but better yet they should have just found an extra 2million and installed a new fixed grip Poma as killington did at north ridge and be done with it. By the time that bargain basement 1million dollar used lift is done I bet the final costs will be in line with a brand new install.

The red lift is done. As “iconic“ as they say it might be and as much as they try to say that old lifts add to the “charm“ of “ the road less travelled“ as well as their thin argument that the old slow lifts drop less people on the trails the fact is that these lifts are one accident away from the mountain going belly up.

bring in Dopplemeyer to finish the black and in the process rip out the red lift and install a new fixed grip quad and be done with it. While still maintaining “the old school” cred that is seemingly so important to their identity.

there is a TON of money out there and I’m sure they could find willing investors that would bank on a Magic Mountain that had reliable lifts and infrastructure to be a viable investment for years to come. As it stand right now magic is one lift failure from insolvency.

I love the place with all my heart and I wish it all the best but until they get the lift situation in order I’ll be staying far away.
 

cdskier

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Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
5,327
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Location
NJ
The red Chair has been on life support for 30 years. After hanging unmaintained during bankruptcy for most of the 90s it went on to be patched for the next 20 years by previous owners. These things have a lifespan even when well maintained and I would say 50 years in that case is when a lift needs to be replaced.

how many 50 year plus lifts are still in operation in the country ? I bet I could count them on one hand.
You'd lose that bet. There's over a dozen in VT alone that are 50+ years at this point.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
35
Points
6
I’m not sure what the number is but I’d bet the majority of them are well maintained. And I’m sure everyone of the owners of those lifts are losing sleep and are planninning a replacement imminently.

these things were not designed to run for 50-75 years. They are under constant strain and stress as well as the harsh elements.

skiing is extremely important to me but not worth risking my or my loved one life for.
 

NYDB

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Jan 13, 2016
Messages
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Strong Island, NY /Golden Triangle VT
mmqbing this it's easy to say year 1 they should have ripped out black and put in a replacement. But I guess that wasn't in the capital budget. I think they wasted 100+k on black before they decided to replace. They have to be losing a ton of $ this week. In addition to the money they are losing with black sitting there not working and all the additional work needing to be done on it.

it's only 2 million for a new fixed grip quad? that's 200k for a group of 10 investors who are purported to be well capitalized. It would seem like it should have been part of the initial plan maybe. But that's easy to say now.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
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I think 3-4 million. Guarantee after all is said and done black will have cost 2-3. And what they’ll have is a 30 plus year old lift that will need replacement in 15years. It would have been worth it and they wouldn’t have found themselves in this position.

listen i could have bought magic and many others could have as well. But it’s having SUBSTANTIAL cash on hand and SUBSTANTIAL lines of credit to deal with the inevitable situations that will arise.

the original buyer from Pennsylvania out of bankruptcy bought the place at auction for 300k but he didn’t have a pot to piss in for anything else the next 10 years. And the rest of subsequent owners LLCS etc weren’t in much better shape.

i had high hopes that the new group had substantial assets to hit the ground running. And by that I mean 50 million minimum either in cash or lines of credit. It’s clear they don’t.
 

slatham

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Sep 17, 2012
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2,134
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Location
LI/Bromley
I believe the new Valley House FGQ at Sugarbush was $3mm. With Black costing $900k I believe, thats a long way from $3mm. As I understand it, Doppelmayr and the other big, global lift companies will not do installs of older, non brand lifts. Bit of a pickle.

As far as old lifts, there are 3 within sight of Magic that are older or circa same vintage......

I think the real issue IMHO and not being there, is operator error. When the lifts surges, you slow it down and offload.

And if it were to take $50mm to buy and upgrade Magic, then its NELSAP. No return on that level of investment IMHO.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
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1 million plus install, helicopters,reengineering and everything else. Bet the final tally will be close to 2 million and you’re left with an old lift. Would have been worth it.

I have heard that they will oversee a reinstall if it’s in conjunction with a replacement/ new lift elsewhere on site.

I meant 50 million in assets and access to loans. They needed initially 15 -20 million for all lift replacements and upgrade to snowmaking and other infrastructure in one fell swoop and the rest in case of emergency or expansions etc. 50 million is not a lot of money when it comes to buying, upgrading and running a major facility such as a ski mountain.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
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And btw I’ve been on older lifts in the area that were properly maintained. And even then I never felt totally safe.

I don’t go on them any longer. There is no reason to when most lifts of a Certain age have been replaced by now.
 
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