Most industries experienced a crisis at the start of the pandemic, including chair lift manufacturers. But as the skiers and snowboarders returned to the resorts, the request for chairlifts came back too.
There are two major chair lift manufacturers in the United States: Doppelmayr USA, based in Salt Lake City, and Leitner-Poma of America, based in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Daren Cole is President and CEO of the latter. The company struggled in 2020.
“Pretty much once the pandemic hit, I think it was March 19, we saw a pretty sharp downturn in business,” he said.
Customers delayed projects. New orders have slowed down. But now, he said, Leitner-Poma of America has a record number of orders to fill as ski resorts open, expand and improve their facilities.
“We have pretty much a complete dossier for the summer of 2022,” he said.
He said plans ranged from major expansions at large resorts like Vail to smaller independent operations across the country.
Leitner even envisions growth in the urban sector, with a hybrid cable car / autonomous vehicle which can go from a cable to a cruise on the ground.
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