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Keystone - New Gondola 2008/09

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
This from the Keystone website:

New River Run Gondola Coming Winter 2008/09

Keystone Resort has announced plans to install a new state-of-the-art eight-passenger gondola to replace the current six-passenger River Run Gondola for the 2008-2009 ski and snowboard season. A key component of the plan includes moving the bottom terminal of the new River Run Gondola into the River Run Village, significantly enhancing the guest experience for both River Run destination guests as well as day visitors parking at the River Run Village, by making access to the gondola easier.

The upgraded River Run Gondola will follow the same alignment as the existing gondola with the top terminal located in the same location at the summit of Dercum Mountain. A new mid-station will be constructed halfway up Dercum Mountain with loading and unloading in both directions, giving skiers and snowboarders an option to access the upper trails from mid-mountain and to download at the end of their ski day.

The new cabins were designed with passenger comfort in mind with floor-to-ceiling windows providing the best possible view and with room to accommodate skis and snowboards inside the cabin. Additionally, the new gondola will offer level walk-in heated load and unload stations to provide convenient access for wheelchairs, mountain bikes, strollers, sight seers, mountaintop tubing hill guests and night-time dining guests.

With a vertical rise of 2,307 feet and a top-to-bottom average trip time of less than 12 minutes, the new eight-passenger River Run Gondola will transport about 2,400 people per hour, more than twice the current level. Keystone plans to operate the new River Run Gondola winter and summer.

Comment: Anything is an improvement over the 400 yard, 2 bridge schlep from the parking lot (and bus drop-off) to the current Gondola. Whoever designed that horror show never slogged ski gear a country mile through hordes of people. Dumbest "development" ever.

The new gondola should finally provide reason to bypass the run-down Mountain House base area.
post #2 of 27
Most day skiers park in the free Montezuma lot and go straight to the River Run base now. What is missing at the River Run base is a decent lodge for people to put boots on, eat, sit when not skiing, etc. The current Green Light is a joke. They had a perfectly fine base lodge opposite the Green Light and turned it into rentals and ski school several years ago. Whoever had that idea should be fired.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post
Most day skiers park in the free Montezuma lot and go straight to the River Run base now. What is missing at the River Run base is a decent lodge for people to put boots on, eat, sit when not skiing, etc. The current Green Light is a joke. They had a perfectly fine base lodge opposite the Green Light and turned it into rentals and ski school several years ago. Whoever had that idea should be fired.
The distance between the Montezuma lot and the Summit Express, or River Run Gondola, is goofy - about the length of most par 3 golf holes.

Even the tourists staying in the village can't avoid the schlep-fest.

It makes you wonder what the geniuses from Intrawest (who developed this layout) were thinking.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
replace the current
Now if they go and also replace the generic village and all the generic runs, we might have a destination.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
.
It makes you wonder what the geniuses from Intrawest (who developed this layout) were thinking.
They were following standard doctrine. Make them walk through the mall and maybe they'll stop and buy something.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpfeiffer View Post
Now if they go and also replace the generic village and all the generic runs, we might have a destination.
For the most part, I agree. However, Outback has some decent terrain. I've yet to try the $5 cat-ride. Waiting for decent snow.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Keystone - New Gondola 2008/09
In other news: Keystone - Still sucks.


post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
In other news: Keystone - Still sucks.
True. Many of the runs are tame, and the base village is a joke.

But, if you live in Colorado, want to ski, and the rest of summit is wind-scoured, Keystone is it. Breck, A-Basin and Loveland get especially wind-hammered.

On those days, Keystone is the only protected hill, and accessible without a neoprene mask.

If you know were to go (in the 3,300 acres), you can usually find fresh, or runs less traveled.

Night skiing - only at Keystone - is also a decent perk.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
But, if you live in Colorado, want to ski, and the rest of summit is wind-scoured, Keystone is it. Breck, A-Basin and Loveland get especially wind-hammered.

On those days, Keystone is the only protected hill, and accessible without a neoprene mask.
Hmm, a why bother? scenario for me if I lived there.
post #10 of 27
As a local, I need not address the posts above by tourists from (shudder) Virginia and Michigan who know nothing of Keystone's secret powder stashes and cliffs. But I do wonder how, if they move the Keystone gondola base to the River Run plaza, will it be possible to ski all the way down to the gondola base?
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
As a local, I need not address the posts above by tourists from (shudder) Virginia
Well how would you know I never lived in your neck of the woods.

Edit. Not to rock the boat too much here... got to like the A-Basin though.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Keystone is a very good ski area (I'm less enamoured with the "resort").

True, it gets less snow, on average, than Breck, Loveland, A-Basin or Copper. And, there's little "extreme" terrain.

But, Breck, which I also enjoy, is often blasted with bitter wind, as is A-Basin (Zuma has been almost unskiable due to scouring), and Loveland.

Keystone is sheltered, and usually a good bet in chilly January and February.

Hike 15 min up Outback from Santiago, and you can hit excellent powder on snow days. There's plenty of black terrain, and bumps that'll challenge most knees.

Also, the Jibber's lift (can't remember name) to skier's left of Peru, often has nice powder stashes, as does the terrain below, when the yellow fence is open.

Both Outback and "Mountain House" lifts are virtually free of crowds.

"Great" is a relative term. If you place Keystone next to JH, WB or Snowbird, it doesn't win. But, Keystone's size, snow, terrain and weather offer pleasures aplenty - especially if you know where to go.
post #13 of 27

well - who has riddern the new gondola

SO - has anyone ridden the new gondola? What can you tell me?

-gschlact
post #14 of 27
We were there last friday, The new gondola is nice, (after all it's new), they have a mid station that is really maybe 1/5 the way up the run that the gondola is on.
The early season Park was on the same run , so many were using the 1/5 of the way mid station.
The Summit Express chair which runs along side of the gondola is still the fastest way up.
When my kids were young we used to do many days @ Keystone, & we still enjoy going there, as others have said, it's a large enough Mt, that a good time can be had!
post #15 of 27
I went there a couple weeks ago and the gondola was decent but I have never really been a fan of gondolas. What annoyed me was the fact that they were only running the gondola which meant I had to take my skis off every time. I would much rather suffer a little cold than take the slow way up and have to deal with taking on an doff my skis(I know its not that hard but it's still annoying)
post #16 of 27
Out of curiosity, is there a public locker room at Keystone? I hate putting my boots on and gearing up at my car.
post #17 of 27

first ride

Rode it for the first time today. Got in the car only to realize someone had tossed their partially digested breakfast in the floor. It was way to late to try and scramble off. Needless to say it was a miserable introduction.
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 

Misrepresentation

The claims that the new Gondola would provide easier access to public parking and bring the lift "into the village", are a joke.

They extended the loading platform, what, 200 feet?

From the hype last year, it sounded like the new Gondola would be loading feet from the parking lot.

The only parking close to the Gondola charges $25 per day. Otherwise, virtually the same trek as last year.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strato View Post
The claims that the new Gondola would provide easier access to public parking and bring the lift "into the village", are a joke.

They extended the loading platform, what, 200 feet?

From the hype last year, it sounded like the new Gondola would be loading feet from the parking lot.

The only parking close to the Gondola charges $25 per day. Otherwise, virtually the same trek as last year.
What you might be missing is that along with the pay lot, skier drop-off is now located feet from the gondola. This is a huge and welcom change--especially for those of us that have small children.

As to moving the gondola into the village, I think what they meant to say was "moving the gondola line into the village"
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strato View Post
For the most part, I agree. However, Outback has some decent terrain. I've yet to try the $5 cat-ride. Waiting for decent snow.
Save your money. It's a 10-15 minute hike at worst, and the terrain isn't anything special (though there's not much better at keystone).
post #21 of 27
The new Gondola SUX...Yea it fit's 8 people but when you have to bring all your crap into the gondola it's crowded as hell
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
What you might be missing is that along with the pay lot, skier drop-off is now located feet from the gondola. This is a huge and welcom change--especially for those of us that have small children.

As to moving the gondola into the village, I think what they meant to say was "moving the gondola line into the village"
Yes, the new drop-off is an advantage - but it has no turnaround loop. That design will a mess on crowded days, as people reverse to turn around.

Breck got it right with the "Breck Connect" Gondola. A savvy solution to parking and access. The new Riverfront Express Gondola at Beaver Creek is another smart consumer-oriented solution.

Keystone spent gazillions on a new Gondola, yet discarded the opportunity to eliminate a tedious, tiring schlep for their customers.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadpat View Post
Out of curiosity, is there a public locker room at Keystone? I hate putting my boots on and gearing up at my car.
There are lockers in the red shack, next to the ticket window across from the new Gondola.

I don't think the Gondola completely sucks, but yeah, it wasn't planned to well and a larger locker room would be nice.

We hate schleping our gear across that parking lot too, so we have started a system where one person drops everyone off next to the bridge then parks and walks to the lockers. We do the same in the evening. It's not ideal, but better than cramped feet and wearing out boots.

Unless I am missing something, Breck's lots adjacent to the gondola cost $10/ day for parking. Free parking is a shuttle drive, or take your chances on Main Street. We find that more frustrating than Keystone.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sellis View Post
Unless I am missing something, Breck's lots adjacent to the gondola cost $10/ day for parking. Free parking is a shuttle drive, or take your chances on Main Street. We find that more frustrating than Keystone.
I don't know if they've changed things, but last year you could park a short distance from the Breck Connect for free (pay parking was closer, and not too expensive - $10). I found it the simplest access system in Summit or Eagle.

Yeah, schlepping gear across 2 football fields isn't a great way to start your day.
post #25 of 27
The parking along the alley behind Main St. in Breck becomes pay parking in November. The only free parking we have found is on Main St. (3 hours max) or much further out. The Gondola access is nice, but we hate being nickled and dimed, so we do the same thing at Breck that we do at Keystone unless we are fortunate enough to find a free spot.

As the crowds begin to converge on the resorts, we have resigned ourselves to accepting that logistics will become more difficult at all the resorts.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strato View Post
I don't know if they've changed things, but last year you could park a short distance from the Breck Connect for free (pay parking was closer, and not too expensive - $10). I found it the simplest access system in Summit or Eagle.

Yeah, schlepping gear across 2 football fields isn't a great way to start your day.
Parking at Breck has changed. The Gold Rush lot which was free lasgt year is now omployee parking (left side as you enter) and pay (the right side). Only free lot is the "airport" lot which is a long shuttle bus ride. The lot by the gondola closest to town Miners or Tailings, I forget which) is still $5.
post #27 of 27
That's why I have refused to ski at Breck so far this season........I am not paying $10 to ski ANYWHERE!
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