The COVID-19 pandemic prematurely closed most ski areas during the 2019-20 season. But it also caused many canceled conferences, trade shows and opportunities for education. So how can ski area employees continue to improve their skills and knowledge without these in-person events?

Fortunately, the National Ski Areas Association and Colorado Mountain College have introduced a new partnership to deliver online educational opportunities for lift mechanics employed at NSAA member resorts across the country. These new online classes are not meant to replace the face-to-face education delivered by a subject-matter expert at an industry conference, but rather to complement them.

NSAA and CMC have created a curriculum of 10 free online learning modules specifically for lift mechanics. These classes will provide basic and essential education related to fundamental aspects of lift maintenance, including electrical, hydraulic and mechanical principles. Two additional classes will be developed for release in the 2020-21 winter season. The classes are offered free of charge to NSAA member employees in order to help increase their lift maintenance knowledge.

The partnership with CMC and NSAA was in the works well before the current pandemic. In 2019, Brian Rosser of CMC and Earl Saline and Mike Lane of NSAA began their collaboration to deliver education pods that will help lift mechanics improve their knowledge.

E-learning modules were chosen because they allow lift mechanics to learn at their own pace and to select topics they need the most, delivered to whatever device the mechanic chooses – a desktop computer, tablet or phone.

To access the series, an attendee must be employed by a ski area that is an NSAA member. Visit to register, and to receive information on how to take these online classes.

NSAA thanks presenting sponsor Leitner-Poma and partnership sponsors Doppelmayr and the Rocky Mountain Lift Association.