This Idaho Invention Plays Major Role in 2018 Winter Olympics
The 2018 Winter Olympics might be happening over 5,500 miles away from the Gem State, but many of the events in South Korea wouldn't be possible without this Idaho invention!
It's no secret that Idaho has a rich history when it comes to skiing. According to Only In Your State, Sun Valley was the country's first ski resort. When it opened in 1936, Sun Valley Resort's founder wanted to really wow visitors and revolutionize the way skiers got to the top of the mountain. At that time, skiers didn't spend as much time on the mountain because they were already exhausted from having to pull themselves up the slopes with the aid of tow ropes or bars.
The resort's founder was also the chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad and assembled his best engineers to come up with an easier way to get snow bunnies up the hill. One of them proposed creating a new version of a conveyor that moved bananas from loading docks to boats without bruising them. That contraption used a series of wires and hooks to move the bananas. The engineer suggested replacing the hooks with chairs that a skier could sit in to ride the conveyor to the top.
After months of testing and perfecting the perfect speed for the human version of the banana mover, Sun Valley installed the first ever single chair ski-lift. 10 years later they'd make improvements to the system so that it could seat more skiers. The first double chair lift opened at Sun Valley in 1946.
The invention wasn't popular across the nation after its inception since it was costly. Most resorts kept their tow ropes in place to save some money, but the modern day ski lift would eventually take off in the 1960s.
Pretty cool, huh? Without the Idaho created ski lift, skiers and snowboarders like Jessika Jensen, Breezy Johnson and Chase Joey wouldn't be able to do so many runs at the games!