Hillside Tram/Elevator

msu_fanSeptember 22, 2012

My wife and I are contemplating a move and purchase of a lakeside home in northern Michigan. The home has a gorgeous lake view but with that comes a 85' vertical difference between lake level and home level and a very steep bank with more than 100 stairsteps to the lake.

We need the exercise but at some point it could become a real problem. I'm getting rough quotes over the phone from all over the country of between $50k-$90k for a hillside tram system (holds up to four people or 800lbs) which seems a bit excessive. Does anyone have any experience with such a system?

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So how much do you think it should cost? I'd expect 75K-85K to be about middle of the road for a small basic setup. There is a reason that generally only robber barons who own their own mountain put them in.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:55PM
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I am finding that $60-70k is about the going rate for a setup in Michigan. Other states are 25% lower. Apparently the Elevator Commission in Michigan wants to make sure that if there is a 7.0 earthquake (in MI of all places) that the system would still function.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:58PM
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A simple chair lift system for one flight of stairs inside a house is 3-4K and a platform lift for a straight lift is the about the same. This kind of stuff is expensive, and outside it needs a great deal of stabilization down the bank.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 12:14PM
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There are quite a few of these on the lake properties of Lake Washington where uber-rich Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks folks live in Seattle and its surburbs. They are very expensive to install. They are also expensive to maintain. They have to be serviced regularly and maintained for safety. There was a death from one of these failing a few years back in our neck of woods. It made the front page news of course. You have to allow for a healthy maintenance budget as well as the installation cost.

Even if you install these, you will have trouble having work done on your house or have large things installed and delievered, (piano, large appliances, dry wall sheets etc) for example. Where we live, many of these homes get their work done from a barge from the water side. Again, the expensive of owning your home has skyrocketed relative to another house....

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:17AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Maybe a tow rope or a t bar????

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:34PM
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My name is Shane I have a buddy that does just that.. Call me if you would like more info on them! 6165518115. Or email me at nickels.shane@yahoo.com. They're out of Newaygo.. They build high bank trams and is the only company on the West side of Michigan that does that.. they are awesome guys. if anyone else you know is looking into something like that, I would def refer them to these guys!

This post was edited by SNickels01 on Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 11:33

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Maybe a switchback path and a golf cart vehicle or atv? It might be easier/cheaper to engineer the path and use a more mainstream vehicle with cheaper parts and maintenance. For example, get the traction surface and grading perfect. I am totally guessing here, but it's a thought you could look into.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:42AM
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The tram is expensive yes but not as expensive as some people may think. They are also a lot safer then a path for an ATV lol it also looks a lot better. The company that builds them is Seawalls and Docks by Dean and they have a High Bank Trams section of their business. Awesome people tell them Shane Nickels (Me) told you to call them about the Tram. I have their number too.. (616) 437-1789. Bill Dean is the owner of the business and that's his personal number.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Gee Shane I'm not to sure Dean would be too happy about you posting his personal telephone # on the WorldWideWeb.

We have many applications for these type of transportation systems here in Ontario, they are not cheap, nor are the properties. Kurt and Goldie have a chair lift on their property here in the Muskokas. So does Justin Beiber, a pretty exclusive neighborhood.

We have a very steep hill at a local golf club, they have a rope assist lift. Hold on to the rope and it helps you along, thousands less but you have to walk up that hill nevertheless. Not much help transporting items.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Lol he doesn't care his personal telephone number is the main business number so anyone who calls, talks to him directly. And that's Ontario not Michigan.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 11:31AM
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I have seen some trams on Lake Michigan from another company that is well known. American Incline Elevator. Does this seawall company have any installed that can be ridden on?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:35AM
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Yes, American Incline Elevators is on the East side of the state. High Bank Trams is out of Newaygo and yes they do have Trams around west michigan that you can check out! They do awesome work! Check their Facebook out as well! www.facebook.com/HighBankTrams Just finished one up on Lake Michigan this past week!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:53AM
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If anyone needs a tram and your sick of walking up those stairs give High Bank Trams a call! I guarantee they are cheaper than anyone around. They've beat out any other tram company's for bids, including American Incline.. they are a family owned company and won't let you down! Call them!! (616) 437-1789

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 9:11AM
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