Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, B.C., spent $3 million upgrading its lifts this summer. One includes the additional child safety devices, and the resort may be the first to outfit a lift with them in North America.
The concern for child safety prompted the resort to install special V-shaped plastic child restraints on its new Greenway lift bars. "The device reduces the distance between the body and the bar," William Mbaho, Public Relations and Communications Manager, explained to Onthesnow.com. "Adults can raise it up and adjust it, so you don't have to squeeze in to the thing. As far as we know, we're the first in North America to install the kidstops."
The patented kidstop lift technology developed by Leitner addresses the all-too-common problem of small children sliding under the restraining bar and off the chair. The plastic apron eats up the space through which the child usually slides. "It's very cool," added Mbaho. "This is the utmost in child safety for parents. We're trying to do our best by keeping up to date with technology."
The Greenway Chair, which replaced a rope tow in the resort's beginner and learning terrain, will see oodles of kids this winter. In fact, the ski and snowboard school is looking at a 30 percent increase in lesson visitation for this winter based on school bookings.
The new Peak Chair, servicing intermediate and advanced terrain, will give skier's more direct access to the summit instead of circling through Blueberry Bowl. Both chairs should alleviate complaints from growing wait times. "Sometimes the congestion was daunting," said Mbaho. "Both lifts should ease circulation around the mountain."
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