May 1999

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  • Bob Heron, 1914-1999
    The editor and three ropeway engineers reflect on the legacy left by Bob Heron, a lift designer who worked on ropeway trams for the army in WWII, Aspen and other areas.

  • Buddy Pass, Part Deux
    Buddy passes continue to draw skiers across Colorado. This report reviews the 99-00 offerings.

  • Multiple headlines
    Miller Freeman Buys NSGA Sports Expo; Mountain Sports & Living Closes Down; Whitetail Finds Buyer; Alta Wins Ciurt Case; Golden Eagle Awards; Two Fires on Two Coasts; Berthoud Pass Sold; Wachusett Upgrades; Stoneham Undergoes Major Expansion; Pine Mountain Closes; Private Investor Wants to Upgrade Laurel Mountain; New ANSI B77 Standard; John Guresh Dies; People and Supplier movements, changes.

  • Bogus Basin Update-One Year Later
    Bogus Basin, Idaho's GM reflects on the apparent smart move to sell $199 season passes. Capacity increased by 50-60 percent without causing the overcrowding detractors thought would result. Increased revenue is only the most obvious outcome of a "most unusual season."

  • Talking, Not Fighting
    This article showcases a conference in Vail where hard-line environmentalists and ski areas sat down to talk about collaboration in an effort to stay out of court. The meeting was one of several that eventually took place in an effort to hammer out details on how best the two groups could work together on resource management.

  • Talking, Not Fighting editorial
    This editorial urges the reader to turn to page 71 for John Fry's article about the industry sitting down at the table with anti-growth forces to discuss future developments and quality of life issues.

  • Power Deregulation: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?
    This article examines the possibility of an empty promise of lower rates as the power industry begins the deregulation process. Jecker looks at what might be a can of worms with lower electricity rates only a temporary side effect.

  • Thoughts on Lift Safety
    This editorial urges keeping the public trust in lift safety by not economizing on staffing or training in the operation of ever-more complex lifts.

  • The King of the Cable Car
    This article takes a look at the creator of San Francisco's cable cars. A.S. Hallidie (born as Andrew H. Smith in London) also built wire cable suspension bridges and manufactured and invented wire ropes for mining. The piece follows his history from the Gold Rush to success in San Francisco.

  • A Very Special Issue
    Introduction of the NSAA Convention issue that ties together the annual show and the Eighth Annual OITAF Congress. David also announces his pullback from fulltime editorial and publishing duties.

  • A Salute to the Chairlift
    David's article looks back at North America's chairlift history from the first rope tows installed in Quebec to the eight-place lifts of the modern era. It is accompanied by a sidebar listing the dates and locations of a baker's dozen of the world's first installed chairlifts.

  • A New Crop of SAMMY Winners
    This is the announcement of the year's SAMMY winners with brief bios for Tom Fortune (Stevens Pass), David Barry (Copper Mountain), Chris Gunnarson (Snow Summit) and Rory Strunk (RSN).

  • Sun Valley Singles: History Made
    This is the story of how James Michael Curran (1903-1968) came to build the first chairlift at Sun Valley in 1936. He was a bridge engineer working for Averell Harriman and the Union Pacific Railroad at the time Harriman decided to develop the first winter destination resort in the U.S. Sidebars give us a peak at Curran's personal history, the technical details on the lift's engineering and a connection with Mt. Eyak, Alaska, the home of a 1939 Sun Valley single using steel-laticcework towers.

  • Cover
    The Cover honors the first single chairlift with a telegram from W. A. Harriman.

  • Grooming Vehicles 1999
    This a roundup on the grooming vehicles offered by suppliers for the 1999-2000 season. A comprehensive table lists vehicles, prices and key details.

  • Project Paradise
    This article describes the logistics of building Doppelmayr's Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas project. A twin-train funicular along an elevated, double-track guideway.

  • 1997-1998 Economic Analysis
    Weather and real estate played major roles in ski area performance. A table compares the profitability of resorts by size and shows key factors in their profitability by region.

  • A Successful Design
    This is a description of the Lodge at Sunspot project at Winter Park: a new, expensive on-mountain lodge. The article is a veritable "how-to" on building a large structure in a remote spot on time and on budget.

  • Heading for the Hills
    This is a look at traffic concerns along three major thoroughfares in Colorado, Utah and California and what some interested parties are doing to try and ease congestion that already threatens future profitability. Short-term solutions as well as long-term fixes like an elevated, fixed, light-rail system are considered.

  • Hosting Mountain Bike Races
    Mountain Bike races are a natural fit for ski areas. Facilities and terrain are similar. Here's a look at how some areas have made the events a great promotion for raising public awareness of summer activities and increasing sunner-season profits.

  • What's New in the Lift Evacuation Manual
    This article discusses the 4th edition of the Lift Evacuation Manual, a combined effort of the NSAA and National Ski Patrol.

  • Binding Indemnification Programs
    This article outlines how a rental shop should go about joining a manufacturer's indemnification program to hedge against the possibility of future lawsuits. It explains compliance with programs is easy and outlines the steps necessary for a shop to join a program that handles claims in case of trouble.

  • The First Rope Tow
    A new book by Louise Arbique and Marc Blais titled "Mont Tremblant" raises questions about the earlier claims that the first rope tows appeared in Shawbridge, Quebec in 1932 and in Switzerland close behind it. According to the book, the first was installed at Sainte-Agathe in 1920 by Moise Paquette.

  • Winterizing Mount Washington
    A description of the winterizing of the stately Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire so it can take in winter visitors to coincide with a recent acquisition of nearby Bretton Woods Ski Area..

  • OITAF Congress and OITAF-NACS: The Early Years
    This is a history of the journey that brought the OITAF International Congress to the U.S. It's a peak inside the story of how the American contingent of the International Organization for Transportation by Rope started organizing.

  • OITAF Papers: A Preview
    This report previews, in brief encapsulizations, the papers to be presented at the 8th International Congress for the Transportation by Rope in San Francisco in May.

  • Trends in Ski Resort Transportation-Two Views
    This is a look at significant trends and advances in lift transportation that should spell the cutting edge of the technology over the next five years. The two views, from Doppelmayr and Leitner, show that consumer comfort is the engine that drives change in the field.

  • Facts, Figures and Rules of Thumb
    Nils provides mathematical formulas to make the calculations needed for some lift projects easier. He provides estimates for calculating motor HP, wire rope grade, maximum sheave loads, brake testing torque wrench extensions and torque for service brakes.

  • Seth Says: E-Commerce is Coming
    The article explores the proliferation of retailers on the Internet and what that will mean for retail sales in skiing and snowboarding.

  • Letters
    Jeff Theobald on snowboard benches, Cliff Wordall on the new marketing initiative,corrections re: March 1999 Idea Files piece on lifting frames and March 1999 article on "The Scoop on Guns."

  • Idea Files
    Tower ascending cable system from Snow Valley, Calif.; Emergency brake system developed at Wilmot Ski Area, Wis.; Recycled ski-tip coat rack at Toggenburg, N.Y.

  • Blue Pages
    Breathalyzer testing in Davos; Paying the Piper--snowboard injuries in SoCal could bring wet-blanket solutions; Shift in lift drive market as Sabina people move to Eurotherm; Katherine Peckett Holman dies at 92 in N.H.; Overtime pay issue chills California; Report on under-performing ski area stocks; Pelican Butte revisited; Canadian lynx starve to death; Mt. Baker, Wash. closes in on snowfall record; NSGA numbers show skiing down.

  • Challenging Season
    This North American roundup tells the story of the good, bad and ugly 1998-99 ski season. The report discusses skier visit tallies across the continent.