Winds force tram to stop |

Winds force tram to stop

Post Independent Writer

By Greg Masse

Post Independent Staff

Gale-force gusts on Tuesday forced the longest tram shutdown at Glenwood Springs Adventure Park since it began service just over a year ago.

Wind gusts as high as 70 mph buffeted the tram towers and the exposed Exclamation Point restaurant, park co-owner Steve Beckley said

“It’s been windy all day long,” Beckley said. “It’s been an unusual day.”

For the safety of passengers, the park shuts down the tram when winds hit 50 mph, Beckley said. When the winds reach that velocity, tram operators “clear the line,” running the tram just long enough to empty the four gondolas of their passengers.

Beckley said the tram has shut down around two dozen times since opening, but usually the winds subside relatively quickly and the tram is again started up.

Although the tram was at a standstill, the caverns were still open for business. Beckley said buses were used to bring up some school kids from Paonia who came over McClure Pass to explore the park’s extensive caves.

Meanwhile, branches were snapped off some trees around Glenwood Springs, but area authorities said there were no reports of serious wind damage.

By 4:30 p.m., the cold front had moved through the area and winds subsided, National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Frisbie said.

“The winds were ahead of the front, but once the front came in, there were scattered showers and the temperatures dropped. But it’s basically done,” he said of the wind.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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