Red Pine Gondola maintenance response angers skier
Ryan Summerlin January 3, 2014
On Monday, Dec. 30, the Red Pine Gondola at Canyons Resort went out of service and was placed on maintenance hold for an extended period of time. Canyons enacted several plans to get young and beginning skiers down the mountain, but one local skier said the whole operation was handled poorly.
Mariana Baserga, a Park City resident who said she has lived in the area and skied at Canyons for 10 years, was skiing at the resort with her visiting sister and 84-year-old father along with Baserga’s two children, ages seven and four.
Baserga said they were all at the top of the Red Pine Gondola when it went out of service and since her father could not ski down the mountain, he and Baserga’s sister were forced to wait by the Red Pine Lodge until Canyons could shuttle guests down. The Red Pine Gondola had gone out of service at around 3:20 p.m., Baserga said, right after a ski school class had finished.
Canyons Resort Communications Specialist Caitlin Martz provided an official response, stating that the resort enacted several "contingency plans" to get guests down the mountain, such as shuttling guests via sleighs pulled by snow cats and via the Orange Bubble Express.
Baserga said there were kids who were sitting outside on the snow for one to two hours waiting to be shuttled down. She skied down with her two kids before the shuttle came while her sister and father waited at the Red Pine Lodge. When the sleigh arrived, she said people just pushed there way on and the elderly and small children were not given seats first.
"They just let anybody get on first with no control of any kind. I’m not complaining about the fact that ski lifts can break," Baserga said. "There was so much lack of organization when this happened. I could see no leadership."
For those who waited at the Red Pine Lodge, Baserga said there was no offer of free hot chocolate or coffee. For her sister and father, who do not have season passes, she said they were not offered free lift tickets for the inconvenience since they were not stuck in the gondola.
the time Baserga and her children met up with her sister and father at the base of the resort, she said it was 6:30 p.m. She added that everybody was upset and the guests affected were mainly from out of town.
The statement from Canyons Resort provided by Martz stated, "Our apologies to the guests of Canyons Resort that were affected, and we continue [to] hold our guests’ safety as our number one priority."
Baserga said she had sent an e-mail to Vail Resorts about the incident but never received a reply. She said all she wants is an apology from the resort.
"I don’t think that they care. That’s the feeling we’re all getting," Baserga said.
Martz said that guests with concerns or questions can contact Canyons’ Guest Services Department at 435-615-3446.