News Roundup: Photos

  • Bear Valley seeks a name for its new six-pack.
  • While we wait for D-Line to come to North America, check out this one going up in Austria.
  • Fly day photos from Pats Peak show major Skytrac upgrades to Ascutney’s old Snowdance triple.
  • I was asked by ANSI to link to the new B77.1-2017 Standard for Passenger Ropeways, which replaces the 2011 version.
  • See how Sun Valley swaps a haul rope.
  • Connecticut’s Woodbury Ski Area, with one 1976 Hall double, is for sale.
  • As NSAA weighs its future again, industry leaders chime in anonymously on aging lifts and more.
  • Proposed Steamboat budget includes $3.78 million to replace the Burrows chairlift at Howelsen Hill with a fixed-grip quad in 2019.
  • Powder and others spread headlines that Colorado resorts are adding more roller coasters than chairlifts this season.  However they missed Copper Mountain’s new high-speed quad and counted Vail Resorts’ four new detachables separately from Colorado Ski Country USA.  The state as a whole is actually adding its most new lifts since 2013 (six) and fewer mountain coasters (four.)
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Does Your State Have a Tramway Safety Board?

As we saw last week in West Virginia, it usually doesn’t take long after a lift-related accident for someone to bring up the issue of regulation.  Operation of ski lifts and tramways in the United States follows the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B77.1 Standard for Passenger Ropeways.  ANSI is a non-profit organization that oversees the creation of standards for everything from nut and bolt shapes to paper sizes and computer programming language.  States adopt ANSI standards which become the laws of the land.  The idea is whether you ride a chairlift in Alaska or gondola in Florida, everything from the lift’s line speed to the signage in the load area is spelled out by the same document.  You can download your very own copy here for $175.  Update 9/11/2017: There’s a new standard available here, now $200.

tramwayboardmap
By my count, 21 states have some sort of tramway oversight agency as shown in green.

The ANSI standard is updated about every five years and some states are faster than others at adopting the latest version.  Each state also decides whether to back the B77 standard with licensing and inspections. Without question, the most robust oversight agency in the country is the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board, which oversees Colorado’s 275 aerial lifts and countless surface tows.  Colorado is the only state to go so far as to conduct unannounced inspections on every lift every year.  CPTSB has three full-time staff members and eight contract inspectors.  Only a handful of states directly employ lift inspector(s.) Some states hire contract inspectors like Colorado does but many simply require an annual fee and inspection by somebody certified, usually an insurance inspector.  The bottom of this post has a table of each state’s requirements as best I could find.

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