So, You Bought A Centennial Lift Chair...

So, You Bought A Centennial Lift Chair...

Buying a lift chair is the easy part of the process. Here's how we finally got our Centennial Chair hung up on the front porch.

2 min read

I was floating the South Fork of the Snake River with my Dad when the phone rang. Normally, I wouldn’t answer, but I noticed it was my wife.


“Rodney, Brundage is going to sell off their old Centennial Lift Chairs. Want to buy one?”

“Uh,” I hesitated, “if you want one, go ahead.”

“I want one,” she said. “We can hang it on the front porch.”

And we were off.

She hung up. My Dad yelled, “Fish on!”

And I forgot about the conversation––caught up in the moment, watching my Dad wrestle in a nice rainbow.

A few days later, I pulled into the driveway and saw the random parts of a lift chair in my front yard. As I unpacked from the fishing trip, my mind started to work through how to hang this heavy chair from the front porch. It would turn out to be the first of many “thinking” sessions.

I started by replacing the current snowboard swing, hung by chains, with the new chair. It was too heavy––almost 250 pounds––and there was really no good way to connect the chains to the chair, not to mention it didn’t look good.

I talked with one of my ski patrol friends, who mentioned I should look at the old lift chair installed at Brown Park. Good advice.

So, I walked down to the park and took some pictures of the bracket the park staff had sourced to hold the chair. It seemed like a good design.

Walking home, I tried to figure out who could build such a bracket for me. I started with local welding shops. They were all too busy with bigger jobs to take on such a small project. Then, I Googled it. I found a company in Colorado specializing in reclaiming and hanging old lift chairs. I rung them up, had a very enlightening conversation about the problems posed by my chair, and found out they had a six-month waiting list to even get started on the project.

I didn’t think my neighbors would like the chair sitting in my front yard for six months, so I let the noodle work over the problem again. Like all problems, this one ended up solving itself. While at a Halloween party, I ran into Gary, who, as I learned, was a passionate amateur welder. He was also retired and looking for a project. It was the perfect fit.

While Gary worked on finalizing his design, I got to work painting the chair gold. Our family grew up skiing Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, NY. When the resort celebrated its 50th anniversary, the team there painted all 50-chairs gold. Our kids spent their youth timing their lift runs to ride the 50-chair. Our chair, according to my girls, was going to be the best of Brundage and Holiday Valley––so it was painted gold and numbered 50.

Once the chair was painted, Gary and his sidekick, Rod, came over to hang it up. The end result was spectacular––and the journey was fun, too. We bought the chair in the fall and had it installed by the end of January, which means we beat the six months quoted to us by the company in Colorado––by a month.

Not too shabby.

Till next week…

Rodney J. Auth