Tubers who rush down the hill at Kewaunee County’s Winter Park will have a brand new way to get back up again, after an agreement finalized this week between the County Board and the Winter Park Association.

After an 18-0 vote by supervisors, the county plans to purchase a Magic Carpet brand lift to replace the tow rope currently used on the tube hill.

“Currently we use a rope tow line with hooks to bring park users up the tube hill,” said Dave Myers, park director. The process takes three attendants – one each at the top and bottom of the hill, and a third person to monitor activity on the hill and switch out job duties every 30 minutes.

The Magic Carpet Lift is an 18-inch-wide moving walkway operated by a 20-horsepower motor. The association talked with operators of two parks that use the system and heard that the lifts have worked well and without maintenance problems.

The photo shows the Magic Carpet in action at Showdown Ski Area near White Sulpher Springs, Montana.

Two vendors were investigated but the association prefers the features on the Magic Carpet Lift, which at $109,760 is slightly more than $1,000 more expensive. The private association agrees to reimburse the county within five years.

“I think the purchase of this ski hill lift is a wonderful idea,” said Supervisor Kate Shillin. “It’ll be greatly appreciated by the public that’s going to use it.”

Shillin asked if there’s any warranty or guarantee that comes with the purchase. County Board Chairman Robert Weidner said the manufacturer agreed to double its standard one-year warranty at the county’s request.

The County Board applauded Barry Nelson of the Winter Park Association for the work he and his army of volunteers do to keep the popular park operating over the years.

“Everybody’s backed this really well,” Nelson told the board. “It’s kind of a jewel in the county, and it’s a fun place to be.”

The tow rope that was originally at the tube hill will be repurposed for use at the beginner ski hill, another recent addition to the park. The hooks that were used to pull tubes up the hill will be removed and the tow line will be retrofitted with handles.
Myers reported that attendance at Winter Park was just over 7,000 this year despite being open only six weekends and an early closure because of the mild winter.
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