Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., was awarded the Bob LeSage Award by the Rocky Mountain Lift Association (RMLA) for contributions and unselfish devotion to the ski lift industry during its 2014 annual conference. Allen joins a distinguished list of recipients – a regular ‘who’s who’ of the industry – to be honored with the Bob LeSage Award, the highest lift honor in the ski and snowboard industry. 

“Doug’s dedication to the industry is apparent in everything he does, and I couldn’t think of a more deserving individual for this award,” said Chris Diamond, president and chief operating officer at the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. “His passion for safety has been recognized by his peers in the ski industry, and we applaud him for his record of success here in Steamboat.”

Each year, the RMLA singles out an individual who has made significant contributions and shows an unselfish devotion to the ski lift industry for this annual award. With his recognition this year, Allen joins Steamboat lift mechanic, Mark Emery, who was recognized in 2011, as the only two individuals from Steamboat Ski Resort to achieve this honor.

“I am humbled to join such a distinguished group of individuals singled out for this honor,” commented Allen. “Over my four decades in the industry, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the best in the business and this award was made possible due to a wonderful team of people I work with every day who share an incredible passion to be the best.” 

During the past four decades Allen has had a very diverse career in the lift maintenance and operations sector of the ski industry. He started his career as a lift operator in Copper Mountain, then over the next 14 years filled numerous lift operations and maintenance positions. In 1986, Allen moved to Steamboat, serving as lift manager until 1990, when he was made director of mountain operations. In 2003, he was promoted to vice president of mountain operations for the resort.

Allen has made significant contributions to the ski lift world and his devotion to the ski industry has been widely recognized. In 1990, the Governor of Colorado appointed Doug to the CPTSB where he contributed to the advancement of the regulations for aerial tramways, surface lifts and tows. In 1996, he became chairman of the technical committee. A 25+ year member of the ANSI B77 Committee, he has been a prominent figure in the development, refinement and implementation of lift standards including clearance issues, electronic innovations, ropeway systems and safety standards. He has represented the ski industry in code development and currently holds an elected position to the National Tramway Standards Board and continues to serve on the National Ski Areas Association Public Lands Committee.

In addition to his lift expertise, Allen was instrumental in the revision to the 2004 Steamboat Ski Area Master Plan, the development of the current 2011 Master Plan. His efforts have helped re-energize the base area, including the recent opening of night skiing and riding at the resort utilizing the high-speed, six-passenger Christie Peak Express chairlift with its unique angled mid-station.  

The RMLA is a professional and educational association founded in 1971 to meet the needs of the growing ski industry in Colorado. The organization was established as the Rocky Mountain Lift Maintenance Association, dedicated to sharing information and problem solving ideas among lift maintenance personnel. In 1976, the name was changed to Rocky Mountain Lift Association (RMLA) to recognize the vital roles played by all lift Operations and Maintenance personnel.