Wheelchair Accessibility at Gorgoza Park: Update
On our family trip to Park City Mountain Resort last December, we headed up to Gorgoza Park to do some family sledding. Ever since its inception, Gorgoza Park has been able to accommodate disabled persons in its tubing operation. Using the tube as a transportation device, disabled persons could ride up the tows and down the tubing lanes with aid from an assistant.
But as my son Carter rolled in to the ticket office in his wheelchair, it was obvious there was a snafu. They had recently updated their lift system with a better lift system. Better for most, that is. Sadly this new system could no longer accommodate wheelchair users!
We were shocked, sad and frustrated and to Gorgoza’s credit they solved the problem for us by transporting Carter up the hill each time towed by a snowmobile.
One of the reasons that I love representing Park City Mountain Resort was how responsive they were to what happened with us. Because they work so closely with the National Ability Center, in Park City and have such an inclusive attitude, they went to work right away to make sure no other family would have the same experience.
Replacing the lower tows with a conveyor posed some challenges for Gorgoza Park to be able to accommodate disabled persons. Typical conveyor procedures has the tuber standing on the conveyor as they drag their tube behind them. To be able to have disabled tubers use the conveyor, they created a device that allows the person to stay seated in their tube as they ride up the conveyor. Using recycled wood and rubber mats, they built a small platform that rides on the conveyor belt as the tube rests on the top of it. Basically, the device acts as a buffer so the tube does not drag on the conveyor sides as it rides up.
At the loading area, the conveyor is stopped and the device is placed on the belt. Two people can then lift the rider and tube onto the device. The conveyor is then re-started, and the process is reversed at the unloading area.
They call the device the “ATD” which stands for Adaptive Tubing Device. We call it wonderful!
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