|Keystone's Yan Gondola
|In the early 1980's, Keystone was looking to drastically upgrade their lift
system as well as expand the area. In 1983, Yan won the contract to
engineer and install three new lifts at Keystone. During this time period,
Yan was noted as one of the most innovative lift engineers in the USA.
His company, after all, brought bullwheel loading chairlifts to Colorado
during the 1970's.
Prior to 1984, Lift Engineering (Yan) had not constructed any gondolas.
The Keystone Project was considered a prototype. The project was
scheduled to be completed by early November but construction fell well
behind. After the lift began service, the area's maintenance department
noticed many non-critical operation glitches with the new lift.
After the failure of the Teller lift in 1985, Keystone's management
decided to close the gondola halfway through the season. The resort cited
the lift was unreliable and a liability to operate. Workers noticed unusual
wearing of the detachable grips, which worried outside engineers. The
final decision was to remove the entire system the following summer and
replace it with a Von Roll gondola.
The decision to remove the lift upset Lift Engineering as the firm lost
800,000 dollars on the project because of development costs.
|One of the gondola
cabins at the
Museum waiting to
|The opening day of the Keystone
|The original Keystone gondola, one of
only two Yan gondolas built in the world.
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