Bell lift to rest, for now |

Bell lift to rest, for now

Ask not for whom the Bell rolls – the Bell Mountain chairlift that is.

The Aspen Skiing Co. won’t crank up the double chair on Aspen Mountain until spring, according to Skico vice president of mountain operations Mike Kaplan.

The move is unrelated to cost-cutting steps the company is taking to offset this season’s slow start, he said. Skico officials had previously decided the meager use of the lift during the heart of winter didn’t warrant cranking it up until warmer weather arrives, Kaplan said.

He recalled how two Skico executives who were skiing together placed a bet last season about the number of riders the Bell lift attracted by the end of one particular day. One official said five or more, the other guessed fewer. The lift operators told them not a single rider had visited them to that point.

“On a bright sunny day it’s nice,” said Kaplan. “But even on a partly cloudy day there are almost no riders.”

When it’s windy or cold, most skiers head down to the relatively cozy comfort of the Silver Queen Gondola rather than endure the slow ride up the Bell chair. However, the lift figures into some skiers’ routines for hitting the bumps of Bell.

The Skico has also stopped operating the short Little Nell lift at the bottom of the mountain for the time being.

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