All those fans of the old Strawberry lift who were hoping to buy a piece of history from Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort are going to have to wait a bit longer.
The beloved Strawberry triple chair has been sold to a B.C. enterprise, where it will carry on as a complete lift.
When the Strawberry triple was replaced by the Strawberry Express high speed quad in 2010, there was a flood of interest from local Sunshine skiers and riders who were hoping to acquire one of the chairs. Many people remember riding the lift as kids, when they were developing their skills on the gentle green runs off the top of the chair.
In fact, the chair, built by Hall Ski Lift Co., was one of the oldest operating at the resort in the heart of Banff National Park, faithfully serving customers since 1974.
The sale means the lift will be re-used at another facility, rather than having to be scrapped.
Sunshine received permission from Parks Canada to replace the triple chair in 2010 because of its age, maintenance issues and unsuitability for beginner skiers. A fixed-gripped lift, it could not slow down for boarding or dismounting, unlike modern detachable equipment.
“It was our beginner lift, but it was the hardest to load,” said Rod Chisholm, Vice-President Mountain Operations and Maintenance.
The Strawberry Express high-speed quad drew rave reviews last winter. The lift was relocated to Sunshine after doing short service in the 2010 Olympic Games at Whistler Blackcomb.
“The Strawberry Express high-speed quad ensures our lift system is one of the most modern in Canada,” said John Scurfield, Senior Vice-President Sales, Marketing and Resort Operations. Sunshine has invested more than $60 million in infrastructure upgrades in the past few years.