Doppelmayr USA

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Doppelmayr USA, Inc
HeadquartersSalt Lake City, Utah
Key people
Mark Bee, President
The former Doppelmayr CTEC logo as seen on a lift.

Doppelmayr USA, Inc is an aerial lift manufacturer based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a subsidiary of the worldwide Doppelmayr Garaventa Group. The United States company was formed in 2002 after the merger of Garaventa of Goldau, Switzerland, and Doppelmayr of Wolfurt, Austria.[1] Between 2002 and 2010, the company was named Doppelmayr CTEC. From 2011 the company has operated using the Doppelmayr brand name, in common with most other Doppelmayr Garaventa Group subsidiaries. Its only competitor is Leitner-Poma of America.

CTEC before merger[edit]

A CTEC chairlift at Big Sky, Montana.

CTEC, which stands for Cable Transportation Engineering Company, was the successor to Thiokol, a company which built 41 ski lifts between 1971 and 1977.[2] By 1977, Thiokol had decided to stop producing ski lifts and sold their designs to two employees, Jan Leonard and Mark Ballantyne.[3]

CTEC's first lift produced as an independent manufacturer was at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Pennsylvania, in 1978.[4] Leonard oversaw engineering at the company's Salt Lake City facility while manufacturing was performed in Sacramento, California, where Ballantyne worked.[3] CTEC slowly grew to become one of three major lift manufacturers in North America along with European-owned Doppelmayr USA and Poma of America. In 1989, CTEC partnered with Von Roll to build its first detachable chairlift at Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah.[5]

From 1990 onwards, CTEC used detachable grips built by the Swiss company Garaventa. In 1992, CTEC and Garaventa merged and the new company was named Garaventa CTEC. Prior to the merger, Garaventa had built only a few lifts in North America, including Aerial Trams at Snowbird, Utah, and Squaw Valley Ski Resort, California. The combined company utilized the designs and manufacturing facilities of CTEC since Garaventa never had much of a presence in North America besides supplying parts to CTEC. CTEC's growing reputation combined with the European ownership and parts supply of Garaventa allowed it to win contracts for large lifts such as the Gold Coast Funitel at Squaw Valley, Placer County, California, gondolas at Telluride Ski Resort and Vail Ski Resort, and Steamboat Springs Ski Resort in Colorado, and Deer Valley, Utah.[6] In 1999, Ballantyne left the company to form a window and door distribution company but Leonard remained president.

Doppelmayr USA before merger[edit]

Doppelmayr was a world-renowned Austrian ropeway manufacturer that began exporting surface lifts to North America in the 1950s under the name "Alpine Lift." The first Doppelmayr chairlift in North America was installed at Marmot Basin, Alberta, in 1968.[7] Doppelmayr's first North American manufacturing facility in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, opened in 1978.

Unlike its competitors, Doppelmayr used exclusively European designs in North America. The company built the world's first detachable high speed quad chairlift in 1981 at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado.[8] As detachable lifts became increasingly popular, Doppelmayr's market share and reputation increased.

In 1996, Doppelmayr's European holding company purchased the ropeway department of Von Roll, a Swiss manufacturer which had been making lifts in North America since the mid-1980s. More importantly, Von Roll owned Hall Ski-Lift, an American company that produced more than 400 lifts from 1960 to 1985. Doppelmayr now controlled all the spare parts sales for Doppelmayr, Von Roll, and Hall brand lifts.

Merger of Doppelmayr and Garaventa CTEC[edit]

A Doppelmayr CTEC Uni-GS model Detachable Chairlift at Big Sky, Montana, built in 2005.
The Mountaintop Express lift at Vail Ski Resort, Colorado, a typical Doppelmayr Uni-G model high speed six pack, built in 2013

In 2002, Garaventa of Switzerland merged with Doppelmayr of Austria, forming the world's largest aerial lift manufacturer. The new company would be known as the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group in Europe and Doppelmayr CTEC in North America.[9] Consolidation resulted in the closure of CTEC's Sacramento manufacturing facility and Doppelmayr's Golden, Colorado, office. Functions were consolidated into an expanded Salt Lake City headquarters.

Starting in 2003, Doppelmayr CTEC produced a new line of products that combined the best designs of Doppelmayr and CTEC. The Uni-GS detachable chairlift terminal design was specifically designed for the North American market and incorporated elements of Garaventa CTEC's Stealth line and Doppelmayr's Uni line. Many of CTEC's fixed grip designs were kept. Today, manufacturing of fixed grip chairlift terminals and all tower tubes and chairs is done at Doppelmayr CTEC's Salt Lake City factory, while all line equipment and detachable terminals are made in the Quebec plant.[10] Jan Leonard, president of Garaventa CTEC became president of the new company, and Doppelmayr USA's Mark Bee became Executive VP.

After the merger[edit]

In 2003, the company installed its first UNI-GS detachable chairlift, the Panorama Quad, at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, New Hampshire.[11]

In 2003, the company was selected to design, fabricate, install and maintain the Portland Aerial Tram at a cost of $57 million.[12]

In 2005, the company purchased Partek, a small chairlift manufacturer based in Pine Island, New York. Also included in the purchase were Partek's rights to Borvig lifts.[13]

Jan Leonard stepped down as president of the company in October 2007 to start a new company, Skytrac Lifts. He was replaced by VP Mark Bee.[14]

In 2007 and 2008, Doppelmayr CTEC constructed two notable lifts at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia. The new tram at Jackson Hole cost $31 million and replaced the iconic original Jackson Hole Tram.[15] Whistler-Blackcomb's Peak 2 Peak Gondola is the largest lift of its kind in the world, breaking multiple world records and costing CDN $52 million.[16]

On January 1, 2011, the company dropped CTEC from its name to become Doppelmayr USA. Subsequently, chairlifts built since 2011 have utilized the Doppelmayr logo used prior to the 2002 merger.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-04-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "North American Chairlift Installation Survey". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "CTEC Inc". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ "1978 Chairlift Installations - North America". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  5. ^ "1989 Chairlift Installations - North America". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Lift Construction Survey - North America". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Canada". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  8. ^ "1982 Chairlift Installations - North America". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  9. ^ Blevins, Jason (23 August 2001). "Merger Leaves World with Just Two Major Ski-Lift Manufacturers". The Denver Post.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Portland Aerial Tram History". Archived from the original on 22 July 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  13. ^ "And Then There Were Two". Ski Area Management. 25 January 2005. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Doppelmayr CTEC President Jan Leonard, Moving on". Ski Area Management. 2 October 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  15. ^ Olsson, Helen (29 January 2009). "Sleek New Rides Up the Slopes". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  16. ^ Williams, Shay (10 December 2008). "Whistler Blackcomb Peak 2 Peak Gondola to Launch Friday, December 12". Retrieved 16 June 2018.

External links[edit]