Eagle Chair to be replaced at Falls Creek

Skipress

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It's official!. We are replacing the Eagle Chair just in time for season 2018

Falls Creek’s 2018 ski season is off to a flying start following news that the proposed $9 million upgrade to the resort’s popular Eagle chairlift has been approved.

Owned by global attraction operator, Merlin Entertainments Group, Falls Creek Ski Lifts has announced that the planned chairlift redevelopment has received permit approval from the Victorian State Government and is on track to launch by Winter 2018.

The brand new Leitner-Poma designed chairlift will replace the original Eagle Chair, located in the Village Bowl precinct at Falls Creek. The upgrade will reveal a high-speed, detachable quad (four-person) model that features automatic, self-locking safety bars to provide enhanced security.
The new and improved chairlift will transport even more skiers and provide efficient and safer travel to the top of the alpine resort – with a capacity of 2,400 skiers per hour covering a distance of 5.1m per second.
“As Victoria’s largest Alpine resort, Falls Creek is delighted to demonstrate our commitment to the local community and the wider Victorian ski industry by delivering this significant investment. Following this year’s successful season, snow lovers now have even more to look forward to in 2018 with a faster, safer and more comfortable chairlift, ensuring, even more, time can be spent on the slopes,” said Falls Creek Ski Lifts’ General Manager, Sharon Raguse.
The existing chairlift seats will be rehomed – a selection will be available to purchase by Falls Creek guests and lodge owners at a public auction during the final week of the 2017 season with proceeds donated to the Falls Creek Museum. The remainder will be converted to bench seating and public art within the resort.
The original Eagle Chair was installed in 1979 and is one of Falls Creek’s most popular chairlifts, providing a spectacular scenic view on the way to the mountaintop. Construction work for the upgrade is expected to begin by November 2017 and is due to be completed by May 2018.

Merlin Entertainments’ Divisional Director – Australia and New Zealand, Rob Smith, noted, “The news of this significant upgrade at Falls Creek in 2018, following last year’s expansion at Hotham, signals Merlin Entertainments’ continued support and passion for enhancing the local alpine industry.
"We are very proud to operate two of Victoria’smost popular ski fields and we are committed to continually setting the bar to deliver an exceptional experience for visitors."

For further information, visit www.fallscreek.com.au / www.merlinentertainments.biz












All the hard work has paid off and in record time, we have 100% approval to go ahead with the replacement of the Eagle Chair with a new high speed quad – please see attached the press release which has gone out





It’s going to be an exciting summer as we upgrade this lift, but before the season ends we’ll be having an event on Saturday 7th to say goodbye to Eagle after 30+ years!











Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, thank you, let’s get excited!











Kind regards,







Sophie Webber


Senior Marketing Manager Falls Creek Ski Lifts Pty.Ltd
 

Claude Cat

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Im a little surprised they didn't do something with Gully too, that would take a bunch of pressure off Halleys in the morning load
I wouldn't have thought Gully would carry much load apart from first thing in the morning?
At least Halley's and (less so) Eagle have constant usage during the day. Even then, Eagle is hardly super busy other first thing in the morning or after the lunch break.
 

Chaeron

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Does anyone know what stage the proposed Windy Corner redevelopment is at? Are they still going ahead with it ( especially given the recent Dinner Plain mixed-use facility proposal which is similar in nature)
 

Ziggy

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I took it to be a thought bubble at the time.
It appeared on the FC Resort Master Plan 2016, which describes itself as a 'living document'.
 
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Chaeron

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Maybe the combination of the summer mountain biking successes, the cashflows from the Falls Creek Cross Country rebranding, and the Dinner Plain Village green will see the Nordic Bowl redevelopment on the back-burner - at least till another AFL club comes to do altitude training.
 

Ziggy

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Thought it was older than that but anyway.
Spend money to extend its life or spend more for a lift for the next 30-40 years.
 
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Hully

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Maybe Eagle has reached the end of its life.
10-15 years ago. This problem was inherited by Merlin.... they have a lot to spend making up for lift infrastructure neglect by previous owners for years. Drovers was last significant lift install, been other learner carpets etc but no lifts.
 
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Chaeron

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Capital investment off the back of solid visitor numbers suggests that Merlin believes there's life in the alpine resort game for some time yet - ironically climate change in the short term might mean slightly warmer winters which turns out to mean a drier winter which then means less snow melt...
 

Ziggy

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Yeah, perhaps. The last long-term climate data I saw for our alps showed a trend to spring warmth coming earlier, not reduced precip.
 
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Chaeron

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My post is a case of wishful thinking driving analysis... anything to believe we can manage with our marginal OZ snow conditions.
 

Hully

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Thought it was older than that but anyway.
Spend money to extend its life or spend more for a lift for the next 30-40 years.
It got a new electrical drive installed a few years back which I think will go into Gully to keep it limping along.
I'm not anti replacing it.... long overdue.
 
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Chowder11

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Great result IMO. That old chair was so slow and super uncomfortable. Now getting out of the village bowl is no way near as painful as it used to be.

Also Eagle is not just an access chair only, you can lap the Y's and the skiers right side of the summit on a nice snow day. Few nice runs through the trees to the skiers right of the chair also.
 

skifree

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It interesting how a chair change can change area use.

The newish (2 years in?) quad (fixed grip, doppy buggers) at Guthega had dramatically changed people's perception and use of the area.
 

Ziggy

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More green runs around Eagle would be useful.
Getting rid of the Village bowl poma was dumb. The tube slide gets little use. There's nothing around there for beginners and kids under parents' eyes.
Yes, increasing snow play options there is happening and more has been sketched out and that's a plus.
 

Ian D

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Detachable IMO is because it moves a lot of beginners early in the morning, it will be safer for all those families wanting to use it to access the top of the mountain and move over to ski school area. Family friendly, that is why it is detachable.

Original plan was the one lift from gully all the way to the top with a mid station in the bowl and replace both chairs. That has obviously been dumped.
 

Ziggy

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If they could improve the rate of Gully then the pair might become a useful alternative distributor to Halleys.
 
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Angleski

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It interesting how a chair change can change area use.

The newish (2 years in?) quad (fixed grip, doppy buggers) at Guthega had dramatically changed people's perception and use of the area.
I was thinking through this and wonder if will it see more people skiing around the Y's. I generally ski down the Y's on my way across to the summit/inter area. Would I ski the Y's more with a fast Eagle chair - maybe.
 
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CarveMan

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Detachable IMO is because it moves a lot of beginners early in the morning,
Just FYI detachables don't move any more people than the equivalent fixed grips, there's only so many people you can scoop up per hour, the benefit of detachables is once you're on, the ride is quicker and also load is much easier.

But to alleviate queues you need more seats per chair - Buller is turning BB1 Quad into a six pack which increases its theoretical capacity by 50%.
 

Ian D

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Just FYI detachables don't move any more people than the equivalent fixed grips, there's only so many people you can scoop up per hour, the benefit of detachables is once you're on, the ride is quicker and also load is much easier.

Isn't that what I said? Certainly it is what I meant with the comment:

it will be safer for all those families wanting to use it to access the top of the mountain and move over to ski school area. Family friendly, that is why it is detachable.
 

skifree

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Detachables stop less often due to load & unload fails, therefore move more people faster.
 

MarkV

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Just FYI detachables don't move any more people than the equivalent fixed grips, there's only so many people you can scoop up per hour, the benefit of detachables is once you're on, the ride is quicker and also load is much easier.

But to alleviate queues you need more seats per chair - Buller is turning BB1 Quad into a six pack which increases its theoretical capacity by 50%.

Theoretically they don't move more people, but in reality they stop less because they are easier to get onto, and during busy times it's easier to get full chairs moving up the mountain. They also don't need to be slowed down for small children.
 
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gettingtooold

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Good to see some infrastructure being improved but what does it really achieve?. It will move more learners and intermediates from the Bowl area at peak times I guess, but for day trippers still stuck on the Gully chair it will not make one difference. Hopefully it will maybe bring some focus back to the village bowl area which has been neglected for years.
 

skifree

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If they could or did build some basic cut and fill basic tunnels like at Hotham is the pitch and terrain quality ?

And if so would it be black or a real strong groomed blue run ?

Just drop an open ended container in.

Worked at Perisher, yeah I know the example is plonked on a flat bit or terrain & covered in snow but the principle is the same.
 

Ziggy

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Whatever the design, it'd be a lot of work. Trees would have to come out and I don't know what the planning restrictions on that are. And then you've got to find a way around the tube slide. The trail between the tube slide top and the water tanks was closed to skiers this year (I mean really closed); pity, it was a neat alternative to the home trail.

Maybe the Maze could be opened up a bit with some grooming work. Certainly the aqueduct crossing is a pain for those of us with longer skis.
 

Hully

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New trails are very unlikely to be cut, regardless of hoe simple and obvious they seem. The new lift is staying on the same alignment instead of the preferred alignment because the permits/approvals for vegetation removal etc were just going to be too hard. Permits/approvals to cut a new ski trail would be the same.
 
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Hunter

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Putting aside all impediments is the pitch and fall line there ?

If so what run would it resemble ?
 

Ziggy

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Sure. In fact when the cover is good enough there's no shortage of folk going under the rope at the McKay road and skiing or boarding under the lift.
 
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snowgum

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New trails are very unlikely to be cut, regardless of hoe simple and obvious they seem. The new lift is staying on the same alignment instead of the preferred alignment because the permits/approvals for vegetation removal etc were just going to be too hard. Permits/approvals to cut a new ski trail would be the same.


Hi Hully.

How does the permit (clearing) system work differently in the village then? New apartments seem to spring up each year - usually much bigger than the previous building and presumably with a net loss of snow gums / heath, etc...?

FWIW: a bit of a mild greedy/tree lover and dislike needless loss but there's usually a bit of give and take or a ski field and village couldn't exist. So how does this work (or not) on the ski runs? Is at an alpine vs sub-alpine definition? Just curious - cheers.

PS: I note Thredbo have been successful and quite proactive in revegetating the middle of their Crackenback super trail - presumably to improve snow retention? So snowgums can be regrown (slowly) up to 1600m or so.
 

Stratus

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Just FYI detachables don't move any more people than the equivalent fixed grips,

I don't understand this blanket statement.

Although the time detached at the turnstalls is fixed, surely the person throughput increases as the overall line length of the chairlift increases?

Say the chair is detached for 20 seconds and the top and bottom, the remaining time spent on the line is distance x speed. When the distance is enough, an overall lap of the chair exceeds that of a fixed grip system.
 

CarveMan

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Once you’re on a detachable, you get to the top quicker, but the theoretical capacity of a chairlift is determined by how many people they can scoop up per hour, line speed has nothing to do with it.

As has been pointed out in reality detachables stop less, but if you want to shift more people you need more seats, or as I’ve seen in Europe 2 loading loops in the bottom station, holy hell does that move people.

Have a look at the gap between the chairs on a detachable, they’re quite spread apart compared to a fixed grip. A double loader increases that density.
 
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Jellybeans

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I don't understand this blanket statement.

Surely the person throughput of a detachable increases as the overall line lenght of the chairlift increases? Given the time detached at the turnstalls is fixed..
But the chairs on a detachable are further apart than on a fixed grip chair. This is to stop the chairs bunching up in the detachable station. So they carry a similar amount of people. The only way to increase capacity of a chair is to add more seats to each chair (six or eight pack).
 

CarveMan

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Thinking about it more, a fixed grip lift has more people hanging in the air, and a high speed lift deposits them at the top of the slope earlier, so in a theoretical closed loop where everyone is skiing the same run, a high speed quad means the time you would have been spending sitting on a fixed grip is likely to be spent waiting line.

Of course it doesn’t work out that way but it’s good for thought. Is it better to have people hanging in the air, on the runs, or in lift lines?

However on a quiet day with little to no lines, you’re going to ski more with detachables.
 

Stratus

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I'm not totally convinced. I understand that a short detachable probably wouldn't move any more people than a fixed. But once you begin increasing the line length then it would make sense that the detachable would easily carry more.

Chairs per meter x chair capacity x (line distance + turn-stall distance) = system capacity. Increases with line distance.

(Turn-stall distance (fixed) / turn-stall speed (fixed)) + (Line distance (variable) / line speed (fixed)) = Trip time. Increases with line distance.
 
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