There’s a lot of work ahead, but Chris Beckett is confident the Governor’s Express chair lift at Marble Mountain can be repaired and ready for the upcoming ski season.
Marble Mountain’s 100-chair lift, the Governor’s Express, was badly damaged over the weekend, but Chris Beckett, general manager of the resort, said he is confident it will be operational again by the winter. — Photo by Diane Crocker/The Western Star
The 100-chair lift was badly damaged on Friday after a lift shack at the top of the mountain caught fire. A cable supporting the chair lift snapped during the fire and the lift collapsed to the ground. The top terminal for the lift, lift shack, cable and chairs were damaged.
Beckett, general manager of Marble Mountain Resort, was at the downhill ski resort on Saturday to survey the damage. The area around the lift was roped off to keep the many curious onlookers out and security guards were stationed at the base. But even from a safe distance, the cable that normally supports the chairs could be seen sagging and chairs sitting on the ground.
“We’re pushing to get it ready for the winter season,” Beckett said later in the afternoon. “We’re going to work as hard as we can to get that thing ready for opening day.”
With five months to go, no unforeseen challenges and the availability of parts, Beckett said completing the repairs should be possible with the process already started.
Marble has been in touch with the lift manufacturers who are sourcing parts. And more will be known this week when the manufacturers visit the hill.
Once a complete assessment of the damage is made, the resort will know more on what the cost to repair the lift will be.
Marble Mountain has insurance and has been in touch with investigators. And with a portion of its operating funds coming from the provincial government, Beckett has also spoken with the premier.
The assumption right now is that the fire was caused by a lightning strike. But with no one around to verify it, Beckett said, that will have to be determined by the investigation.
Reports that it was a lightning strike resulted in some questions on social media on whether or not the resort had any lightning prevention equipment in place.
Beckett said there is lightning prevention on all the resort’s lifts and the investigation needs to be done to determine what happened.
“All we know is there’s been a fire,” Beckett said.
The Western Star