Bell Mountain chair returned to Aspen Skiing Co.
The case of the missing Bell chair is closed.
It took less than 24 hours for the people behind the theft to return the chair to the Aspen Skiing Co. after it asked for it back, no questions asked.
An unidentified man called the Aspen Mountain administration office on Thursday morning, reporting that he knew where the chair was and he would drop it off at the base of Lift 1A, according to Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle.
“It’s there,” he said. “The drama is over.”
The lift, which was installed in 1985, cannot operate without all 225 chairs.
If the chair hadn’t been returned, there was a good chance that Skico wouldn’t have been able to fire up the lift.
The Bell chair is considered a crucial link to access the mountain when it is a low-snow year, or there are issues with the Silver Queen Gondola. The last two ski season openings relied on the lift.
A lift maintenance worker noticed the chair gone after a couple of days of it sitting near the upper terminal on top of Bell Mountain. It had been removed from the line so a work chair could be installed for routine maintenance on the lift.