Granby Ranch plans to replace faulty drive on Quickdraw Express |

Granby Ranch plans to replace faulty drive on Quickdraw Express

Lance Maggart

Granby Ranch has announced plans to reopen the Quickdraw Express chairlift as early as this weekend.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25 the Grand County ski resort issued a press release stating the lift, “is targeted to re-open full-time on electric drive the week of January 30th and diesel powered operation by this weekend.”

The Quickdraw Express at Granby Ranch has been shut down since Wednesday Jan. 18 following a directive from the Colorado Passenger Tramways Safety Board (CPTSB) that closed the lift, “due to unusual/irregular conditions in the performance of the diesel prime mover system.” The Quickdraw was originally shut down on Dec. 29, 2016 following a fatal accident involving Texan Kelly Huber and her two daughters.

That morning Huber and her daughters were riding up the Quickdraw on chair number 58 when issues within the lift’s electrical drive/control system caused a “rare dynamic event” according to the CPTSB. Huber and her girls were ejected from the lift after the chair they were on struck lift support tower number 5. Huber died as a result of the fall and the two girls were injured.

On Jan. 9 the CPTSB authorized Granby Ranch to resume operation of the Quickdraw under a Non-Disciplinary Interim Operation Agreement. From Jan. 10 to Jan. 18 the Quickdraw was operated using the diesel prime mover system. On Jan. 18 the CPTSB issued a directive to Granby Ranch that the lift should be closed, “until deemed safe for public operation.”

Lee Rasizer, a spokesman for the CPTSB, stated, “The lift will remain closed in order for Ski Granby Ranch to make necessary alternations and pass a full CPTSB inspection of its diesel prime mover system.”

Officials from Granby Ranch stated their goal is to have the lift up and running this weekend under diesel power and to install a new electric drive, to replace the one that was operating on Dec. 29, so operations can resume the week of Jan. 30. “The ski area is working with the Tramway Board to have the lift re-approved for diesel operation while the electric drive is installed,” states the press release from the Ranch.

Granby Ranch is working with Leitner-Poma of America, the lift’s original manufacturer, to replace the electric drive. Once the new electric drive is installed the Quickdraw will go off-line for up to 48-hours while it is inspected and tested by the CPTSB. The release from Granby Ranch states, “The Tramway Board will make a determination of the exact date that permanent electric lift operation will commence.”

The CPTSB is still investigating the fatal accident on Dec. 29 and has plans to release a final report after the conclusion of the investigation. Rasizer stated the investigation would, “likely take several months to complete.” He went on to add, “The CPTSB cannot comment on a likely cause of the accident during an open investigation.”

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