Originally Posted by paul jones
That hype about the tram is a marketing tool. They aren't going to close the tram without a solid solution to replace it. If they can't get a plan in place they can always go another season with the tram, it's plenty safe and they know it. The lift ticket price is proof of that. Everyone is talking about going to JH before the tram is gone. Best marketing scheme I've seen in a while.
What were the prices last year?
You may turn out to be right and I'll be wrong. My own belief is that as of September 26 of 2006, that tram will no longer be operating for the lift-ticket-paying public.
They'll likely still run it for ski patrol and allow others to ride on some kind of special basis, but I think it's been decided that the current tram will be decommissioned as a public ski lift as of the end of next summer.
I also think it's likely that some kind of financing package will be put together to put up a new tram. That may include some public money (in the form or loans, bonds, or perhaps even an equity investment) and some private money. I'm hearing rumors that the idea of a tram from the top of the Bridger Gondola to the top of Rendezvous Mountain is looking more and more attractive.
In any case, any *new* tram would take a minimum of two and probably three years to install. I truly believe there will be at least two seasons (2006/2007 and 2007/2008) when there will be no publicly-available tram to the top of the mountain. The upside is that Corbet's Couloir will be fun to ski again for a couple of winters.
As for the $70 lift ticket, is that so out of line with top-end destination ski resorts in the West? We have one h*ll of a ski area here. No offense to Rio and others, but the quality of a ski area is not judged by area alone. Size matters, of course, but so do a lot of other things.