Vail to replace Vista Bahn with new gondola
The new gondola, which get the lift "No. 1" designation in honor of Vail's original gondola in that location, will provide a 40 percent improvement in uphill capacity over the existing Vista Bahn lift (Chair 16). The new No. 1 would have the highest uphill capacity of any gondola in North America," according to Vail Resorts.
The new, state-of-the-art gondola -- the first of its kind in North America -- will offer new features such as free Wi-Fi access.
“We could think of no better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vail Mountain than by making a dramatic investment to improve the experience for our guests," said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. "The new gondola will set a standard for how we transport guests up the mountain, significantly reducing wait times at one of the most popular and recognized lifts anywhere in the world.
"It will also offer a protected and comfortable ride, complete with free Wi-Fi access. The new gondola continues a long tradition of Vail's investments to set the leading position in guest service anywhere in the mountain resort industry.”
The new gondola will utilize the existing Vista Bahn lift line and terminate at Mid-Vail near the new fine-dining, sit-down restaurant called "The 10th."
“The new gondola in Vail Village will provide the final touch to Vail's multi-billion-dollar renaissance over the past decade, which has been the result of an incredible partnership between Vail Resorts, the Town of Vail and the entire Vail community,” said Andy Daly, mayor of the Town of Vail. “These investments have ensured Vail's leadership position in the resort industry for many years to come."
The gondola will replace a high-speed quad chairlift that was first installed in 1985 and reintroduce a gondola to Vail Village for the first time since the 1970s. The gondola is proposed for installation in the spring and summer of 2012 and hopefully be operational for opening day of the 2012-2013 ski season, which is Vail's 50th anniversary.
The base lift facility will be similar to the existing equipment but will include gondola cabins instead of chairs. Unlike the Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19) in Lionshead, which is an enclosed base facility, the new gondola will be an open air terminal.
The new gondola is subject to Town of Vail and U.S. Forest Service approval. Additional details on the design and approval of the proposed gondola will be available in the coming months.
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