Robert Heron - Sport Builder - 1985

Robert Heron, a Colorado native, first saw the light of day in Canon City, on April 9, 1914. After attending grade school in Colorado and New Mexico, he attended the University of New Mexico and the University of Colorado.   His first engineering job was with the Kennicott Copper Company in 1937, which led to his aerial tramway work, as he designed them for mining operations. From 1943 to 1945, he was employed by Stearns Roger Manufacturing Company, where his mentor and teacher was the famed aerial tramway engineer, Fred C. Carstarphen. Robert designed passenger tramways, primarily for the military, which later served the famed 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale and the system followed them into action during World War II. Following the war, components of his system were used in early chairlifts at Arapahoe Basin and Berthoud Pass.   He organized the Heron Engineering Company in 1945 and was its president until 1969. They won recognition for installing the famous #1 chairlift in Aspen, and the construction for the second section to the Sundeck. He provided the first fixed grip continuous circulating double chair in the world for Berthoud Pass in 1946. His company also provided the first continuous circulating four-passenger gondola for Sugar Bowl in California, and his large cabin reversible systems were built at Royal Gorge and Estes Park, Colorado, and Heavenly Valley, California.   After 1969, he conducted a private consulting practice, specializing in feasibility and safety studies, plus more sophisticated installation and design.   Robert was appointed to the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board in 1965, and served fourteen years. He was a charter member of the American Standards Association Committee, and has participated in every edition of the American National Standard Safety Requirements for Tramways. His contributions have been vast in developing and improving the transport facilities that have advanced the sport tremendously. (Deceased)