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January 2021

Idea Files :: January 2021

Resorts have crafted a variety of DIY solutions to Covid challenges, such as the mobile signage and temporary walls we describe here. Plus, we present our pick for the Best Idea of 2020, reaching back to pre-pandemic times.
Written by Sam Geise | 0 comment


jan21 idea files 01With their protruding springs and rollers, detachable grips need a fair amount of clearance as they enter the lift terminal. If this opening is left uncovered at night, snow and ice can invade the terminal, making more work for lift techs as they prep the lift to open in the morning. Some detachable terminals come with doors that can be lowered to cover the space. But a detachable quad at Seven Springs, Pa., had none, so the crew built their own. The plywood door travels up and down along channel steel guides on either side of the opening. A rope connected to the top of the plywood is looped through a pulley so the crew can easily raise and lower the door. Total cost: less than $200. Design note: Director of mountain ops Joel Rerko says they’ll likely replace the plywood door with plate steel in the future, for greater durability.


jan21 idewa files 02In this message-heavy Covid season, resorts have deployed a small army of staff to remind visitors to wear masks and socially distance. Mt. Rose, Nev., has augmented these troops with a mobile digital sign, nicknamed the Moon Rover. It was crafted by the vehicle maintenance department. After buying 60 feet of 4”x 4” square tubing, says vehicle maintenance manager Aaron Fulton, "We built the sign frame and crossmembers, then mated them to two 8’6” 4”x 10” rectangular tubes—which doubles as a forklift point. The rest is made out of old Lenko man-saver jacks, ATV tires, and axles. We put the jacks on the four corners to make the carriage adjustable for different surfaces, then added two tire-holding brakes. We transformed the man saver steering pivots into a parallel pivot steering system to simultaneously turn the front casters. We finished it with a Pintle type hitch, painted the whole vehicle black, and installed the LED sign."


jan21 idea files03
jan21 idea files 04Reducing capacity indoors to promote social distancing involves removing tables. Where do you store them, though? Winterplace, W.Va., answered that question and found a way to encourage social distancing at the same time, using the tables as the supports for temporary walls. "Stacking the dining room tables between the room supports promotes distancing and saves storage area and labor," says GM Terry Pfeiffer. "And they are easy to put back on the floor if conditions change." Covering the tables with tarps gives the "walls" a smoother and solid appearance, and effectively provides separation between groups. The idea was the brainchild of Doug Renalds, ski services manager.