On September 9th, a Vancouver icon will begin work on its most important project in decades. North Shore News reports that Grouse Mountain is starting construction on a new high-speed gondola in September, and aims to open the new lift in the Spring of 2024. The new gondola will allow eight people to fit in each cabin, have a total of twenty-seven cabins, thirteen lift towers, carry one thousand passengers an hour, and have a ride time of five and a half minutes. The gondola will shorten the lines from their base area, as the red tram departs every fifteen minutes from the base, and there’s no way to drive up to the part of the mountain where the lifts are.
Construction will begin on September 9th, with the focus on construction this fall being the clearing of trees that aligns with their conservation easement. The tower foundations and plateau stations will be built between January and August of next year, and the construction of the lift towers and lines is scheduled for the fall of 2023. Construction will continue into the winter, with its grand opening planned for the spring of 2024. The second phase of the project will add 193 more parking spots, and expand their base area facilities with more retail and office spaces.
The new gondola will replace the Blue Skyride, which was installed back in 1966. The blue tram is no longer used for visitors, as they only use it for carrying freight and bringing resort employees down. The addition of the gondola will bring the mountain back to its original base area lift capacity when both skyrides were operating, which was 1900 passengers per hour. No plans have been made yet on what they will do with the blue tram, as Grouse Mountain appreciates the historical value of the lift. The iconic Red Skyride, which opened in 1976, will remain open for the foreseeable future.
Michael Cameron, President of Grouse Mountain, said the following about the new gondola:
“We are thrilled to be embarking on this transformational project as we approach the 100th anniversary of the first official ski season at the Resort. Since the world’s first double chairlift was built at the Resort in 1949, Grouse Mountain has had a rich history of investing in modern recreational technology. The installation of the new gondola is the latest development to further enhance our four-season operations to welcome both the local and global community.”
Image Credits: Grouse Mountain,