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New Gondola at Whistler

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Today's Globe and Mail is reporting that Intrawest wants to build a gondola system at Whistler across the valley valley to connect Whistler & Blackcomb Mountain. The gondola would be 415 metres above ground level.

THe storey is posted at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...tory/Business/
post #2 of 9
There was talk about this over the summer. Assuming they do it, I think they are looking at the success of a similar project in Kitzbuhel that operated last season. Not for those with acrophobia:

“World’s Most Spectacular Gondola” will link two ski areas in Kitzbühel
July 1, 2004
Construction of a remarkable new giant gondola lift linking two ski areas by world famous Kitzbuhel in Austria is well underway and looks like being the major engineering achievement of the 2004-5 season. Kitzbuhel’s lift company have dubbed the new lift “the most spectacular gondola in the world.”

The Doppelmayr built lift will make the link between the Hahnenkamm/Pengelstein and Jochberg/Resterhohe sectors a reality, decades after it was first envisaged. Recent advances in ropeway technology have made it possible to link the two areas across the Saukasergraben valley in a single span, using triple cables to support giant gondola cabins.

The new lift will make long standing dreams of making the areas “Ski Safari” skiable in both directions a reality at last and greatly increase the full lift-linked terrain in the area.

The combination of length (3610m - more than two miles), span (maximum 2,507 m - more than a mile and a half) and clearance above the ground (up to 400 meters or 1300 feet) make the project unique in the world to date.

The 24 gondola cabins will take 11 minutes to make the journey and have a combined capacity of 3200 skiers per hour. Work began on 26th September last year, three days after the building permit was granted, opening is planned for this December (2004).
post #3 of 9
Intrawest would be better served by investing that $50 million into on-mountain improvements. Maybe replace the Harmmony or 7th Heaven Express chairs with a 6 pack or take the Fitzsimmons chair and extend it up to Whiskey jack with a mid-station at the present end location. (That would help relieve congestion at the Whistler Gondola.) I know they've spent money on snow making but it's tough to make snow when it's +2 C outside. Even look at expanding higher elevation boundary limits to add more terrain and trails. (Assuming Canadian Forestry Dept. goes along with it.)
post #4 of 9
Originally Posted by Jamesj
There was talk about this over the summer.
Such as: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=29657
Okay, I suppose September isn't "summer," except in a skiing sense.
post #5 of 9
I hope it has seats. I hate standing up in that phone booth they and Stratton have now. That is the worst idea/excuse for a gondola I have ever seen, 69 lift towers, on your feet.
post #6 of 9
I don't get it. Why go from the top of one mountain to the top of the next? Why not just get on the correct lift in the first place? Or ski down and then take a lift?
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by Ghost
Why not just get on the correct lift in the first place?
Maybe they just need an audio system. "The lift you are boarding will take you to the Whistler Roundhouse with a stop at Whistler mid-station where transfers are available to the Olympic Chair and Garbonzo Express. If a mountain with Whistler in its name is not your final destination, please exit and take the slightly different looking gondola behind you. Thanks for helping us save $C49.9 million."
post #8 of 9
I think the whole idea was dreamed up by the same marketing genius who brought us "new coke."

Is the reason that less people are going to Whistler really the lack of a gondola connecting the two peaks? Or might it be the high cost and a couple of mediocre snow years?

How do you bring more skiers to a resort? Add terrain!

How do you bring more tourists to a resort? Add a gondola!
post #9 of 9
les arcs and la plagne in france are connected in that way too. even that high above ground.
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