Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Steamboat Gets Lift Operator Training on PWD

This afternoon we spent some time at the Christy Sixpack under still-snowing skies with eight Lift Operations and Maintenance Supervisors in an adaptive equipment training session. After a twenty minute discussion on equipment types, disability awareness, maze and loading preferences, and legalities for adaptive riders, the crew took turns back-loading (pull-back) Craig and his Revolution Pro Comp onto the sixpack, giving Craig several turns down Preview after two weeks off the slopes.

This training is the final stage of an all-department awareness and update training on handling customers with disabilities. We are very proud of to have this opportunity with Steamboat's employees to make our ski area the best it can be for all our visitors and their special needs. Other ski areas go through similar training for their lift operators, and our goal as always is to make Steamboat #1.

Future plans are to have a repeat training session with more staff as well as today's staff who was eager to try the equipment themselves. Due to lack of outriggers, we were not able to put today's participants in the monoski and biski, but many expressed interest to do so, and we'll keep you posted on that when it happens!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Myrtle Beach Revisited

For many of you who read this regularly, you'll remember that Andy was in Myrtle Beach in October of 2007, researching the area for a few magazines and visiting her "sister" Heather. This holiday season Andy got to return to the area with Craig and her parents in tow, testing out the hotel, restaurants, golf, and tourist hot spots the true way, with the wheelchair.

Glad to report that most things did pass Craig's test. The few obstacles we ran into were minor, and despite some cloudy weather, we got to enjoy Myrtle Beach free of rain, crowds, and major barriers.

We stayed at the Island Vista Resort again, and it passed with mostly flying colors. Don't park on level 2 however, as there are 4 steps down into the hallway from there. Park in the designated access spots in front of the hotel or on level 3. The other hotel obstacle was the kitchen... when Heather and I stayed at this hotel, we occupied the 3 bedroom suite as media guests of the hotel through one of their advertised press trips that newly opening hotels offer. This time however the four of us stayed in a 2 bedroom and the refrigerator wasn't accessible. If Craig rolled into the kitchen, he couldn't open the fridge more than a few inches, making it impossible to get anything out of. A side-by-side fridge would fix this problem. Other than that, the pool and hot tubs were very accessible, but the beach wasn't. Again, steps down to the beach could be solved with a ramp, but Myrtle Beach's beaches are a test in themselves. With dune-like erosion that MB is constantly dealing with, most of the access walkways to the beach are also inhibited with steps. Unfortunate but true, you will likely need help to the beach if you come here to soak in the ocean. Luckily for us the ocean was frigid and not tempting enough for Craig to brave the soft sand.

We golfed at Myrtlewood and although they stated over the phone that their adaptive cart was solorider, it was either a very early model or not a solorider as the seat didn't raise up, just swiveled out. This isn't the best option for taller paraplegics who need to get above their legs to swing, but it's doable. Craig mustered the best score of the day despite the lack of desired equipment. He also managed to break a rental club. OOPS. Blame it on the swivel.

Other highlights: MagiQuest and nearby Dragon Lair mini golf passed the test with full access, as did the downtown arcade skeeball and all.

We were even able to rent a vehicle at the small Charleston Airport with handcontrols through Thrifty for a dirt cheap weekly rate of $180. Tip on rental cars, book early; like MONTHS in advance to get cheap rates in holiday destinations.

Happy Holidays to you all!