Steamboat Springs Working in grease and getting dirty every day is why Frank Case, a master mechanic for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., enjoys his job.
During a weeklong ski area maintenance industry convention in Grand Junction, Case was recognized for being an outstanding mechanic. His elbow grease, so to speak, paid off with the Tim Crouse Memorial Award for being the Ski Area Vehicle Maintenance Institute's Technician of the Year. Case is the first Steamboat recipient in the history of the award.
"Being Technician of the Year is really a big thing down in Grand Junction," Case said. "It recognizes me for all of the hard work that I've put into being a mechanic."
Case was nominated by his fellow shop employees to represent Steamboat at the convention. He was chosen from a group of mechanics representing ski areas in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
Case, who has lived in Steamboat all his life, has been a professional mechanic for six years and has worked for ski corp. for two. He became interested in the trade while hanging out at his father's mechanic shop as a young boy, and has worked on engines of all types for much of his life.
"I like to tear things up and put them back together so they can run," Case said.
Case maintains 22 Snowcats and multiple pieces of large snow-moving equipment that are used to keep Mount Werner in shape. Case does the behind-the-scenes work that ensures the snowmaking and snow-smoothing machinery run properly, so skiers can enjoy optimal skiing conditions each day. He also maintains the snowmobiles that are used by the ski patrol to bring injured people off the mountain.
"Everything has to run every time with minimum down time," said Byron Radcliff, the parts manager for ski corp.
Case thinks that he was nominated to represent Steamboat because of the hard work he put into fixing broken machinery when it came into the shop during the winter nights.
Case received a plaque recognizing him as the Technician of the Year and other prizes. His name also joined others on a plaque in Grand Junction that honors all of the individuals who have received the award.
Larissa Keever is an intern at the Steamboat Pilot/Steamboat Today.