Gondola Leadership Committee Confirms Recommendation for New System
July 2022 Project Update
On June 27, the long-term gondola planning process reached a pivotal milestone as the Leadership Committee advanced a proposed recommendation to replace the aging gondola with a new system.
The Leadership Committee – comprised of representatives from the Town of Mountain Village, Town of Telluride, San Miguel County, Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, San Miguel Authority for Regional Transit and Telluride Ski and Golf – concurred that the benefits of a new system outweigh the costly alternative of making significant upgrades to the current gondola.
In operation for more than 25 years, the existing gondola system is at capacity with approximately 3 million riders annually. It is also nearing the end of its design life with more operating hours than any other comparable system in the world. A new gondola will provide the enhanced system flexibility and capacity necessary to meet increasing ridership demand with lower cost of total ownership over a 20-year operational period.
The Leadership Committee’s unanimous decision to pursue a new system (Option 3) as the Locally Preferred Alternative follows years of planning to assess the gondola’s future after the current operating agreement expires in 2027.
Over the past seven years, since 2015, the Gondola Subcommittee – a group of appointees from each participating entity – has conducted a comprehensive technical analysis and collected community feedback to reach this important milestone. The Subcommittee’s evaluation included a detailed examination of potential options for the future system and the associated capital and operational expenses. A summary of the cost/benefit analysis can be found in the Leadership Committee presentation from June 2022.
The next phase of work will include considering potential funding scenarios, exploring station design concepts, and gathering community input to develop a future system that will continue to serve residents and visitors for years to come. The gondola planning team looks forward to a productive summer and fall as the design of a new gondola takes shape. Visit www.OurGondola.org for more information.