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Chapter 5 Management and Operations

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-39-5-2760

ISBN: 978-1-910158-39-5

Published: September 2015

Component type: chapter

Published in: Winter Sport Tourism

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-39-5-2687



The network of lifts at a ski resort can be arranged in several patterns depending on the size and topography of the area. A common pattern is where several lifts run outwardly from a common base area to top stations along surrounding peaks and ridges. Lifts might also run inwardly from several base stations to a common summit area. Ski areas located along the face of a long ridge may simply have numerous lifts running roughly parallel, and high-traffic areas may have two or more lifts in parallel for increased capacity. A small percentage of ski areas have lifts which cross one another, usually with an aerial lift crossing above a surface lift, and some have lifts connecting two mountains; the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola connecting Whistler and Blackomb mountains is a good example of such a lift. Needless to say, operating ski lifts is an important element of ski area opera- tions. In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 3,500 lifts, the vast majority being traditional double, triple and quad chair lifts (both fixed and detachable), as well as gondolas, surface lifts, rope tows and aerial tramways. Ski areas tend to adhere to rigorous and exacting inspections procedures for their lifts, and they tend to have an excellent safety record (NSAA, 2012). Ski area employees conduct their own individual inspection to their lifts on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. This maintenance regime is conducted pursuant to state agencies, lift manufacturer requirements, federal regulations, national safety standards and other inspection entities. It is not unusual for a ski area to close a lift due to adverse weather conditions and the decision to close lifts is usually determined by a select group of ski area managers, which may include the general manager, ski patrol director, the risk manager, and/or the manager of the lifts department.

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  • Dr. Simon Hudson, University of South Carolina (Author)
  • Louise Hudson, Freelance researcher, and writer (Author)

For the source title:

  • Dr. Simon Hudson, University of South Carolina (Author)
  • Louise Hudson, Freelance researcher, and writer (Author)

Cite as

Hudson & Hudson, 2015

Hudson, D.S. & Hudson, L. (2015) "Chapter 5 Management and Operations" In: Hudson, D.S. & Hudson, L. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-39-5-2760


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Published in Winter Sport Tourism

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