Sunday River Chairlift Collapses
The State of Maine Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety is investigating the Spruce Peak top terminal footing failure.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016,

The State of Maine, MountainGuard insurance, and Sunday River lift employees are investigating the failure of a top terminal footing over the weekend, the resort announced this evening.

The Spruce Peak Triple top terminal footing became detached from the ground and tipped over, dropping some chairs to the ground and severely damaging the summit ramp and lift operator's building.

At present, Sunday River does not know if it will repair or replace the chairlift this year. The Boyne-operated resort is owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties, which has been attempting to exit the ski business. CNL installed a new quad chairlift and refurbished a second chairlift after two of its Borvig chairlifts had incidents at Sugarloaf in recent years.

The Spruce Peak Triple was installed at Sunday River in 1986, when Les Otten was rapidly expanding the ski area. The 4,205 foot long by 1,205 vertical foot Borvig is the only lift that reaches the top of the Spruce Peak complex. A loading carpet was installed in 2014, allowing the lift to operate at slightly faster speeds.

The Spruce Peak incident is the latest in a series of failures of aging Borvig chairlifts. Suicide Six in Vermont is replacing its Borvig double after the lift was shuttered in consecutive seasons due to issues discovered in special inspections, the most recent one prompted by a cross arm failure at Timberline Resort in West Virginia. Sugarloaf replaced its King Pine base terminal in 2015 after the quad's rollback mechanism failed, resulting in 7 injuries. In December of 2010, multiple people were injured at Sugarloaf when the Spillway East Double deroped.

Borvig manufactured fixed grip lifts from the the 1960s through the early 1990s. Over two dozen lifts with Borvig components remain in operation in five New England states.

Spruce Peak top terminal, July 2016
Spruce Peak top terminal, July 2016

Spruce Peak top terminal, July 2016
Spruce Peak top terminal, July 2016

Spruce Peak base terminal, March 2016
Spruce Peak base terminal, March 2016

Spruce Peak top terminal, March 2016
Spruce Peak top terminal, March 2016

  • Spruce Peak Triple - New England Ski Lift Database External link

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