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Gondola tower collapses at Whistler, B.C., resort

Published: 12/16/08 Topics: Comments:

Gondola tower collapses at Whistler, B.C., resort


WHISTLER, British Columbia -- More than 50 people were evacuated from about 30 ski gondolas after a tower supporting the cables partially collapsed Tuesday at Canada's Whistler resort.

Police said there were no serious injuries at the resort, which is to host the alpine events of the 2010 winter Olympic games. But health officials said five people had been taken to a hospital after the mid-afternoon accident.

While a crane was brought in to support the leaning tower, fire crews worked quickly to evacuate three cars that were most in danger.

One of the gondola cars hit a bus shelter, while two more were left dangling before the broken tower. In all, it took more than three hours for fire crews and the mountain's ski patrol to evacuate 53 people, Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort said. The gondola section involved is about 30 feet above the ground.

Doug Forseth, resort senior vice president, cited structural failure on a tower on Blackcomb Mountain's Excalibur gondola. An investigation into the cause of the accident will begin Wednesday, he said. "We have representatives of Dopelmayr, the lift manufacturer, coming tomorrow," Forseth said. "We will start to look at this failure in daylight and start to look at the possibilities of what might have caused this."

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Steve Wright said the passengers who were rescued were in good spirits and were met by emergency health services. Wright said frigid temperatures were not a concern because the people were wearing protective ski clothing and were in a sheltered environment.

Amber Turnau, a spokeswoman for Whistler Blackcomb, said the tower that collapsed is on the lower half of the lift. She said Tower 4, the one that went down, is not far from the gondola's start. Graeme Bell said his gondola car hit the ground. "It was pretty freaky. We heard the noise of the tower collapsing and then the cabin started shaking and down it went," Bell told CTV television. "It hit the ground. It busted one of the windows and we jumped out."

Bell said those around him were complaining of sore backs and one man had a bloody head.

All of the Olympic Games events will take place on Whistler mountain, not Blackcomb where the accident occurred. It's not the first ski lift accident at the resort.

A Dec. 23, 1995, accident on the Quicksilver ski lift killed two men and injured nine other people.

The high-speed lift was ferrying skiers to the top of a run when one chair slipped on a cable and slammed into another, setting off a cascade that sent four chairs crashing into the bush and rocks below.

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Blog #: 0437 – 12/16/08

We're excited to welcome our new Park City, Utah home!

Published: 12/02/08 Topics: Comments:

We're excited to announce our latest property in the portfolio, Park City Utah It's a stunning townhouse in the center of it all -and only 36 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport- there's so much to do Read more

Barack Obama Endorses Vacation Rentals

By William May
Published: 11/24/08 Topics: Comments:

The next President of the United States has effectively endorsed the entire concept of Vacation Rentals by renting a private home in Kailua on the North Shore of Oahu, a Hawaiian Island. He is staying there for a week with his wife Michelle and two daughters. He is staying at a secluded beach re Read more

Top Tricks of the Trade to Save on Your Next Flight

Published: 11/07/08 Topics: Comments:

With the tightening economy, airfare feels more painful than ever, you can avoid paying more than absolutely necessary with these seven tips... 1. Buying really far in advance usually doesn't mat Read more

Vacation Homes – Saving You Money On Your Next Vacation

Published: 10/12/08 Topics: Comments:

You’re finally ready to go on that much deserved vacation. You’ve found the perfect destination, picked the activities and got time off. Now you’re ready to spend countless hours researching every hotel in a 25 mile radius. Looking at the usual Read more

Lights, Camera and Action in Mazama

Published: 10/01/08 Topics: Comments:

The lights, camera and action were trained on several locations in the Methow Valley for the filming of psychological thriller, The Absent. Producer/director/writer Sage Bannick assembled a cast and crew of 120 people from the Mazama area (including a dozen local teens wandering the halls of the high Read more

Leavenworth Oktoberfest is just around the corner

Published: 09/17/08 Topics: Comments:

With the leaves slowly changing from green to spectacular shades of red and yellow, it makes us think about Oktoberfest in Leavenworth. Sure, we could be thinking about hot apple cider, soup and dreaming about the warm summer days a Read more

Travel Statistics

Published: 07/23/08 Topics: Comments:

According to the Travel Industry Association (TIA), the non-profit trade group that represents the U.S. travel industry, Americans are expected to take more than 327 million leisure trips during June, July and August this year. That’s equivalent to 109 million trips a month, 3,554,348 trips per day and a skoosh over one trip Read more

Top 9 Washington Coast Attractions

Published: 06/30/08 Topics: Comments:

Every day our members discover new and exciting places on their getaways. We want to thank Bob K. and his family for sharing their favorite places along the coast! Top 9 beachside attractive Read more

Summer time at the beach

Published: 06/30/08 Topics: Comments:

The North Beach area of the Washington Coast is about the beach!! There’s so much to do - hiking, beachcombing, sunbathing, having a campfire, watching the sea birds and flying a kite Read more

Pacific Beach Calendar of Events

Published: 06/30/08 Topics: Comments:

If you're looking for upcoming activities at Pacific Beach, look no farther - and of course we have one of the finest homes in Pacific Beach as your home base for all of the upcoming events. Here's what's coming u Read more

Latest Fuel Cost Report

Published: 06/14/08 Topics: Comments:

There's an interesting gas price study out by the EPA that I read in the June 16th BusinessWeek. While it's getting more painful to fill the tank lately, the EPA says that the price we're paying now as compared to June 2007 isn't much more. The report compared the cost of driving round trip to destinations this year, vs Read more

New Whistler property added to the portfolio

Published: 06/14/08 Topics: Comments:

We're excited to announce the latest property in the portfolio; a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Whistler's Village North. It's a great homebase for all the incredible activities that only Whistler can offer. Look for it on the club properties page. We l Read more

Top 10 summer hikes in Mazama

Published: 06/06/08 Topics: Comments:

We've had a few people ask us recently what the best hikes in Mazama are during the summer. We've put together our favorite list and included some tips that you've shared with us too. Let us know your favorite hike and we'll add it to the list! By far, our favorite hike is Cutthroat lake. The reward at the end is amazing Read more

Summer travel

Published: 05/28/08 Topics: Comments:

There's a really informative Wall Street Journal article about the latest airline restrictions and fees that go into affect this summer - notably new luggage charges for your First checked bag on various airlines. There's some good tips in there Read more

A few cost saving travel tips

Published: 05/27/08 Topics: Comments:

We've had a few people ask us how they can save some money when they're planning their summer vacations. Like a lot of people, the company car is an SUV, so we feel the pain when we fill it up and it makes us think differently about driving all around town. So when it comes to getting away from the hectic daily routine, is the ridiculous cost of gas going to change the way people vacation? H Read more

The Care & Feeding of Xenophobia.

By William May
Published: 01/20/08 Topics: Comments:

The adverse reactions to Vacation Rentals continue. For example on January 1st, 2008 the island of Maui in Hawaii just outlawed 1,100 rentals. And now the island of Kauai is going to followed suit. Interestingly, the reasons for vacation rental prohibitions or restrictions in each jurisdiction are Read more

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