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Red Chair closed Saturday

Minor vibration at Tower 2 inspected, lift reopened Sunday



For the second time this winter, Whistler Blackcomb operators temporarily shut down the Big Red Express after worries over the lift's safety.

Around 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, someone noticed a slight vibration at the top of Tower 2 on the Whistler Mountain lift, according to David Brownlie, president and chief operating officer for Whistler Blackcomb.

"As a precautionary measure, we shut down the lift, and we transferred the people off the line," explained Browlie. "We took all the precautionary measures we thought were necessary."

After an investigation with maintenance crews and the B.C. Safety Authority, Whistler Blackcomb officials decided it was safe to open the lift back up the following day, Sunday, Jan. 17. Brownlie added the crews "double and triple checked" everything.

"Guest safety and employee safety is our number one priority, and we want to make sure if there is something identified that we take the appropriate steps to make sure everyone is safe," said Brownlie.

He didn't clarify what was causing the vibration, but said "there are a number of things we continue to work through and monitor.

"It is a very, very minor vibration at full speed and full load."

Whistler Blackcomb operators also shut down Big Red Express for a day in December when a support compression sheave train came loose and fell from Tower 31. The lift was back in operation the next day.