Chester Bowl Gets A Helping Hand From Spirit Mountain

"The cold is very hard on machines and that's exactly what the chair lift is," said Sam Luoma, the programs and operations manager for Chester Bowl.

DULUTH, Minn. – The chairlift here at Chester Bowl suffered a mechanical difficulty after more than a week of frigid temperatures, but thankfully, crews at Spirit Mountain came to the rescue.

“The cold is very hard on machines and that’s exactly what the chair lift is,” said Sam Luoma, the programs and operations manager for Chester Bowl.

Just like most machinery, chairlifts aren’t meant to handle extreme subzero temperatures and because of this, the one at Chester Bowl stopped working..

A helping hand from Spirit Mountain brought it back to life.

“Fortunately, their crew was able to come out get us a part, help us install that part, and we were up and running the next day, opposed to being down for several days,” said Luoma.

Rather than being seen as competitors both outdoor recreational areas are big believers in sticking together.

“We promote everything Chester Bowl does. They run a great non-profit organization. They promote outdoor activities for people of all ages. That’s very similar to what Spirit Mountain does,” said Ryan Abel, Spirit Mountains director of mountain operations and maintenance. “We’re there to support them as much as they are here to support us, so it’s a no-brainer.”

Staff at Chester Bowl say without the help, it would have been much more difficult to get the chairlift working again.

“It would’ve been a huge bummer. In reality, it would have taken a lot longer because there aren’t those parts in Duluth, so we would have had to order it. We would have had to wait for it to come in and of course, there’s always issues when you install a new part,” said Luoma.

Thankfully in a matter of hours, the lift was back action as if nothing ever happened.

“You always want to have everything dialed in so that way nobody really knows there was an issue,” said Luoma. “Fortunately, we were able to get it solved, and it’s nice to be open to provide recreation opportunities for the folks behind us.”

Chester Bowl is open Thursday through Monday.

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