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New Years Day Fire Conks Kirkwood Chairs

New Years Day Fire Conks Kirkwood Chairs

[ Tue, 2010-01-05 15:22 ]
Kirkwood skiers
A power plant serving California's Kirkwood Mountain Resort is destroyed by fire; lifts out for almost a full weekend


Kirkwood Mountain Resort hasn't had the best start to the new year. On New Year's Day, the Mountain Utilities power plant caught fire, cutting out all power to the mountain and burning for more than six hours. Needless to say, lifts were stopped and a sweet day of skiing was called off. By early the next morning, alternative generators were in place and ready to rock, but a series of electrical shorts -- a result of the fire -- kept KMR in the dark. Despite there being no lifts running, the resort reported several hundred skiers stuck around to go tubing, cross-country-ski, and take advantage of free snowcat rides and meals. Mountain Utilities worked through that day and night to fix the shorts, and by early Sunday morning all lifts were powered up and running...until a new set of shorts conked out Kirkwood's newer and more sophisticated lifts. Two, more basic chairs were able to keep cranking, but with minimal hill access another sweet day was shot; it wasn't until Sunday afternoon that all operations were returned to normal. Bad luck, guys. But hey, chalk up a winner for Kirkwood's managers, who were obviously sorry for the rotten day: Every out-of-luck ticket buyer was given two additional lift tickets, good anytime, and pass holders were given food and bevvie vouchers good anywhere at the resort.