Winter Park adds lift to the lifts
September 8, 2008
WINTER PARK, Colo. ” Winter Park Resort is erecting a gondola lift to move skiers from a parking lot to its chairlifts.
The under-construction Village Cabriolet will be an open- air gondola that will travel between the Vintage Hotel’s parking lot at the resort’s main entrance on U.S. Highway 40 to the resort’s new Village development. From there, it is only a short walk to the chairlifts at the resort’s base area.
The Cabriolet lift will be used by hotel guests as well as by the public driving in for a day of skiing. Free parking will be available at the Vintage lot.
“The real concept behind this project is to reduce the bus and shuttle traffic at the resort,” said C.A. Lane, Winter Park’s assistant general manager. “It will also provide a quality entry point for our guests.”
When completed later this fall, the Cabriolet will be 1,416 feet long, with 38 open-air gondolas that can fit eight.
The travel time between the two points will be about 21/2 minutes. Resort officials estimate the gondola lift has the potential to carry 2,800 riders per hour.
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“Taking the ride in the Cabriolet’s gondolas will be really exciting for our guests,” said resort spokeswoman Jennifer deBerge. “Riding down from the Vintage, they’ll be going over the Fraser River and will get to see a great deal of the Village. In the open gondola, they will really feel the breeze and see the view.”
Lane agreed, adding that people traveling on Highway 40 will be able to see the gondolas operating from the road.
“They will want to pull in at the Vintage and see what’s going on,” he said. “It’s going to better connect the Vintage to the mountain and the activities at the base.”
Construction of the $7.6 million project began this spring. The terminal at the Village is nearing completion, and preliminary work on the Vintage’s terminal/lift station has begun.
The Cabriolet is expected to be operational by Winter Park Resort’s opening day on Nov. 16.
The gondola system will also be used during the resort’s summer season to move hikers, mountain bikers and other guests to and from the Village. The gondolas are capable of carrying mountain bikes, wheeled strollers and other equipment.
The lift is manufactured by Lietner Palmer of Grand Junction, while the gondolas are produced by Gangoloff, a Swiss company. The construction of the terminal stations is being handled by Feek Construction of Grand County.