Ropeways from the House of Leitner have long been noted for quality and long service life in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, where thirteen ropeways built as pre-owned installations in the 1980s and 90s are still doing reliable service, ten of the them in the Czech Republic alone. In the course of the years, however, more and more ski areas in these countries have recognized the need to offer the skiing and snowboarding public new and more comfortable facilities.
The first new lift built by Leitner Ropeways in Poland, in 2006, was the Harenda fixed-grip quad chairlift in Zakopane in the High Tatras. With a line length of 553 m, this all-year installation serves a family ski area in winter, and in summer is used by mountain bikers as well as tourists.
In the fast-developing Białka Tatrzańska Ski Area in the northeastern foothills of the High Tatras, a 6-seater chairlift with blue canopies, heated seats and the Leitner Direct Drive was built in time for the 2011/2012 winter season. This ropeway serves a wide and enjoyable family trail and is very popular with visitors. With thirteen hours of operation per day (including night skiing), it carries as many as 30,000 passengers on really busy days. The Białka Tatrzańska Ski Area is one of the biggest in Poland and caters mainly for domestic visitors.
In the Silesian Beskids, a double chairlift built by a local company in 1993 in the Szczyrk Ski Area was replaced by a modern detachable quad chairlift with yellow canopies and CPS rope position monitoring in 2013.
The ropeways built by Leitner Ropeways in Poland to date also include three fixed-grip quad chairlifts, namely Kaniówka in Białka Tatrzańska, Klepki in Wisła and Skolnity, also in Wisła.
In the Czech Republic, the first modern ropeway supplied by Leitner Ropeways was built in 2010 for the redevelopment of the Červená Voda Ski Park on the slopes of Buková Hora (see ISR 2/2011, p. 24). The chairs have comfortable padded and heated seats with Kid Stop for the safe transportation of children. In the final project phase in 2011, they were also fitted with canopies.
That was followed in 2012 by a 907 m long fixed-grip quad chairlift with conveyor loading and Unifix drive in Malá Morávka, where it serves the Kopřivná family trail in the Jeseníky Mountains.
A showcase project handled by Leitner Ropeways in the Czech Republic is a tourist gondola lift serving the country’s highest mountain, the 1603 meter high Sněžka, which was built in 2012 – 2013 and opened on 20 December 2013 (first stage) and 22 February 2014 (second stage). The gondola, which leads from the car park on the edge of Pec pod Sněžkou to the top station just below the summit, with a mid-station at Růžová Hora, had to comply with strict environmental protection orders for Krkonoše National Park (Giant Mountains).
In 2012 – 2013, a new ski area was built on Plešivec Mountain in Abertamy in the Ore Mountains on the Czech-German border. At the beginning of 2014, three quad chairlifts opened there, two of them identical detachable installations and a fixed-grip chairlift with conveyor loading and Unifix drive. The snowmaking system for the area was supplied by Demac-Lenko and the groomers by Prinoth. That project illustrates the fact that the Leitner group is the only address for one-step shopping for all the technologies required for ski area development.
For the 2015/2016 winter season, a new 6-seater chairlift by the name of Hofmanky, with blue canopies, heated seats and the Leitner Direct Drive, is to be delivered to the Černá Hora Ski Resort in the Giant Mountains to serve a new ski trail and a free-ride trail to the left of the existing gondola lift. This will be the first six-pack with canopies in the Czech Republic.
In Slovakia the first modern Leitner installation was the Tatranská Lomnica – Buková Hora chairlift in the High Tatras. (The observant reader will have noted that the name Buková Hora, meaning Beech Mountain, is a common name in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia.) With what is still a unique 8-seater chairlift with blue canopies and the Kidstop seat guard for children, Tatry Mountain Resorts (TMR) – the country’s biggest ski area investor and operator – provides access to an easy trail for children and beginners in the lower part of the ski area.
Following the success of the 8-seater chairlift in the High Tatras, at the end of 2013 the same investor opened the 6-seater Lúčky – Vyhliadka (Priečno) chairlift with blue canopies and the Leitner Direct Drive in another of its ski areas, namely Jasná in the Low Tatras, as a repeat-ride and additional feeder installation from the car parks in Lúčky.
Chairlifts with blue canopies must be very popular in Slovakia, because they are also to be found on the third modern chairlift built by Leitner Ropeways, namely the 6-pack operated by Tatrawest in Roháče - Spálená in the Western Tatras (Roháče). The lower terminal houses the Leitner Direct Drive and automatic parking for all 92 chairs in the final stage of development (with 69 chairs currently in use in the first stage). The chairlift also has heated seats and the CPS rope monitoring system.