The prestigious Bob E. Lesage Award
is given to individuals that have worked tirelessly within the ropeway industry for their entire life. And Grant Ellis
has done exactly that! Grant began his career in the industry at Keystone in 1982. His passion was skiing and he worked in the conference services department in positions that would allow him the most opportunity to be on the slopes. As the years passed and his desire to ski waned, he made the decision to go to school at Colorado Aerotech. It is here where he received his airframe and power plant license in the early 90's. Grant then decided to return to the mountains and accepted a position with the Keystone lift maintenance department and dove head first into learning everything about the ski lifts he he worked on. Grant always made sure he didn't just know how to do a maintenance task but instead he learned how every component worked and how it worked in conjunction with all the other components of the lift. As Grant's knowledge grew, he began to teach others and made sure when he was training someone that they had a complete understanding of the subject matter before moving on. Grant taught many classes over the years at RML and put together numerous training sessions for Vail Resorts and travelled to many resorts to present them. Grant was on the RMLA Board for 10 years and held the president and chairman positions. He was also on the technical committee for CPTSB for more than a decade until his retirement for the industry in December of 2021.
The Contribution to the Industry
award recipient was Larry Smith.
Retired from the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board, Larry has been instrumental in our industry and a true staple within DORA for many years. Known as the tramway guy, a golfer and a car guy, Larry has contributed in the building of many lifts across the state. It is said that Larry knows every lift in Colorado like the back of his hand.
This past season numerous individuals were nominated for the Maintenance and Operations Persons of the Year awards and RMLA had a difficult time making their decisions. The Maintenance Person of the Year is recognized by individual resorts as stellar, by all experts. We’d like to recognize Steve Durham with Big Sky Resort as the 2022 recipient. Steve is known as an incredibly talented, hardworking and dedicated mechanic. He has been in the business for 40 years and still enjoys coming to work every single day. In fact, his managers say he will often call on days he is off to check on the team's progress on projects. This past year, Steve played a crucial part in planning and executing the replacement of the rescue rope on Big Sky's Lone Peak Tram. The Operations Person of the Year was presented to Mike Aljanich with Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. Mike has been with Steamboat for 30 years and is a consistent promoter of their Service Excellence programs which helps them achieve a high level of guest service. Mike has a hands-on approach to sharing his knowledge and experiences with other supervisors and employees and is always willing to take on any unique situation that may arise. Mike has help shape Steamboat's LO department, actively participates in developing their operational plans and teaching proper training techniques to new supervisors.
Congratulations to all of the award winners and thank you for your support and service to the ski industry!