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Answer Girl: What goes up must come down except, apparently, in Wyoming

Answer Girl: What goes up must come down except, apparently, in Wyoming

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Hey Answer Girl -

How many escalators are there in Casper? In Wyoming?

- A Concerned Party

Rumors that there are no working escalators in the whole Cowboy State are untrue. Of course Wyoming has escalators! Or, at least, Wyoming has one escalator.

I expected to find a few more, I'll admit, but a comprehensive search of the state turned up only one moving staircase. The First Interstate Bank building on Wolcott Street in downtown Casper indeed has a working escalator. Actually, it has two escalators - one going up, one going down.

And Casper's lone escalator system may be the only one in the state. Contacting building maintenance and inspection officials and escalator safety officials turned up no other systems.

In Cheyenne, a Frontier Mall representative confirmed that while mall rules discourage playing on escalators, mall security doesn't have a lot of trouble enforcing that rule. The mall has no escalators.

And there used to be more escalators in Wyoming than there are now. Apparently, the state is headed back toward its rustic roots.

A mall-style building on Broadway Street in Jackson used to have an escalator, but it was removed when the upstairs stores disappeared and became offices instead. According to Kate Foster of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, the escalator was replaced by "a cute little coffee shop called JoJo's." Nice trade, I'd say.

An escalator in the Casper/Natrona County International Airport was removed during a remodel in about 2003 or 2004, when it was no longer necessary to transport passengers to the building's second level for boarding planes.

Airport Manager Glenn Januska said that when the larger aircraft went away, the escalator was going to space that wasn't being utilized. Because it was old and upkeep was expensive and it led to a mostly unused area, the airport decided not to keep the escalator.

And so it was that the First Interstate Bank building in downtown Casper has the only functional escalator(s) I could find in the entire state.

Or does it? I'm going to partially leave this question up to you. Do you know of escalators currently in use in the Cowboy State that I've missed? Perhaps your local malls, bigger hotels, or any building more than one story tall in your town has an escalator that's not widely known about.

I'd ask you to send pictures, but those wouldn't be very helpful, since they don't show motion. And an escalator that doesn't move is less of an escalator and more of… well… a staircase.

For a fun but somewhat useless fact, those escalator things that go straight instead of up or down (often found in larger airports, like in Denver) are usually called "moving walkways," but can also be called "moving pavement," "moving sidewalks," "walkalators," "travelators," or - my personal favorite - "slidewalks."

Contact reporter Megan Lee at (307) 266-0589 or megan.lee@trib.com

Ask Answer Girl

Answer Girl tackles your questions about Casper, the universe and everything else. Submit your questions by email to megan.lee@trib.com, or call Megan Lee at 266-0589. You can also write to Answer Girl, Box 80, 170 Star Lane, Casper, WY 82602.

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