Colorado’s oldest chairlift will be retired next year at age 70

The lift began its long life at Aspen in 1954 and was relocated to Sunlight in 1973

John Meyer
The Denver Post
Skiers scan their passes at the bottom terminal of the Segundo lift at Sunlight Mountain Resort in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on Feb. 25, 2023.
Kelsey Brunner/Special to The Denver Post

ASPEN — Colorado’s oldest operating ski lift began service on Aspen Mountain seven decades ago when that resort was emerging as one of America’s most glamorous. For the past 50 years it has been hauling skiers slowly up the slopes of the modest Sunlight ski area near Glenwood Springs, running at half the speed of today’s advanced lifts.

Called Segundo, it is a relic of ski history engineered by pioneering Colorado lift designer Robert Heron, but the 69-year-old lift’s days are numbered.

Its modern replacement sits in pieces in Sunlight’s maintenance area, having been disassembled and removed from its former home at Arapahoe Basin last summer. Workers will begin pouring concrete foundations for the new lift towers this summer, and construction of the relocated lift will be finished the following summer. Segundo will cease operations in April of 2024, 70 years after it was first installed at Aspen.

“It’s a very safe machine, I just think it’s time that it gets retired,” said assistant general manager Ross Terry. “A lot of that is public perception. They get on this old stuff, some people don’t like it. They don’t feel as secure on it. And no matter how good you maintain a machine, it’s not going to run forever. I’d rather replace it before it retires itself.

“It’s the same age I am,” he added. “I was born in ’54, and so was this chairlift. It’s old enough to collect social security.”

Read the full story on

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.