Tubular conveyor belts installed
November 5, 2010
As the ski resorts race to finish improvements before opening day, Park City’s tubing park has improvements of its own.
Gorgoza Park at the base of Parley’s Summit has two new Sunkid Conveyor belts that will be ready for opening day in late November.
Tom Butz, park manager, said the larger conveyor is 390 feet long and will move more guests in less space than the two rope pulleys combined.
The conveyor will transport people to the middle of the hill where younger guests will ride down. A rope pulley will still be used to take older riders to the top.
The second conveyor is 60 feet long and will be used on a small hill in Fort Frosty. The play area is designed for children too small to ride the regular hill. With the new conveyor, they can now tube down the short, gentle slope. Small children new to skis can also use it as a mini learning hill, he explained.
"It’s a really non-intimidating environment," he said.
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The larger conveyor will also save labor. Hooking riders to the rope pulleys was "back-breaking" work, he said. This will free staff to do more meaningful work maintaining the park.
The larger conveyor takes up less space and will open up more terrain, he explained.
Drivers on Kilby Rd. or Interstate 80 may have noticed earthmovers at the park this fall regrading the hill. Removing the pulleys created a few craters, so the staff took the opportunity to smooth out the entire hill and make it easier to layer with snow and groom.
These improvements are significant because the park is small and staff members need to know how to perform every task. Anything that saves labor makes the operation more efficient, he said.
The miniature snowmobile track has been moved farther up the mountain to make room for the new small conveyor and the relocated Fort Frosty. The children’s play area will still feature a tubing carousel. It was created for families with very small children so everyone could participate, Butz explained. The new conveyor gives them even more options.
Another change coming to the park is how it determines who may ride to the top. Previously, families bought tickets according to children’s ages. Because some parents felt their child was mature enough to go to the top, they told staff the child was older. That made it difficult for staff to intercede if they feared for a rider’s safety.
Beginning Dec. 17, tickets will be sold according to height. Only visitors 42 inches or taller may ride from the top. Ticket prices will also increase by $2 in each category.
This is the park’s 12th season since opening in 2000, Butz said. It is operated by Park City Mountain Resort.
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