Granby Ranch installing new electric lift drive, hoping to open Quick Draw Express by the weekend

Lift closed Wednesday, Thursday ski officials say
Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 25, 2017

GRANBY, Colo. – Ski Granby Ranch will be installing a new electric lift drive on the Quick Draw Express Lift, hoping to have the lift back up and running by this weekend.

On Wednesday evening, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agency issued an amended agreement for the ski resort.

It states Granby Ranch can go ahead and reopen the Quick Draw Express Lift once it passes a Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board (CPTSB) inspection. That inspection will be scheduled once the ski area has made "necessary alterations required to reopen under terms of the amended agreement." 

Once it reopens, the ski area will have the following conditions in place: 

  1. The operator will continue to leave the lift disconnected from the electrical drive and will continue to operate the lift with the diesel prime mover only.
  2. Operator will mechanically modify the lift to stabilize and remove dynamics from the lift -- the lift cannot reopen until it passes dynamic acceptance testing and inspection by the board. 
  3. Operator will increase surveillance and inspection of the lift
  4. Mechanics will visually inspect the top terminal, power the lift, supervise the operational pre-operation checks and ride the entire line in both directions
  5. Ski patrol and operators will ride the up-side line together as part of every check
  6. The rate capacity of the diesel motor is 900 feet per minute. Operator will operate the lift at speeds within operational capacity and below state-approved maximums: up to 600 feet per minute for two days after reopening; up to but not more than 700 feet per minute beginning on the third day after reopening the lift and continuing thereafter
  7. Ground inspections and ride checks will be conducted each day during regular lift operations at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The new agreement comes nearly a month after a Texas mother lost her life when she fell 25 feet onto hard-packed snow. Her two daughters, 9- and 12-years-old, were injured but survived the fall.

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board blamed the incident on a “rare dynamic event” within the lift’s primary electric drive.

The board has yet to complete its investigation into the incident.

Leitner-Poma of America, the lift’s original manufacturer, will install the new electric drive, according to Granby Ranch officials.

The ski area said on Jan. 20 that an independent contractor was hired to make modifications to the lift before the current ski season, and that "the issue that likely caused the incident was the independent contractor's modification to the lift's electrical drive/control system."

After the incident, Granby Ranch operated the lift on diesel power but closed it again on Jan. 18 after what Granby Ranch called, "unusual/irregular conditions in the performance of the diesel prime mover system."

The ski area is working with the board to have the lift re-approved for diesel operation while the electric drive is installed, and officials hope to have the lift re-start on diesel power by this coming weekend.

“The ski area has targeted the week of January 30th to renew operation of the lift on electric power,” Granby Ranch officials said in a press release. “Once installed, the lift will be off-line for up to 48 hours while it is inspected and tested by the Tramway Board.”

The Quick Draw Express will not be in operation on Wednesday and Thursday of this week while officials perform testing on the lift, officials said on Facebook.

The Conquest, Milestone and Kicking Horse lifts remain in operation.


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