Vail Mountain has installed a new gondola to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The new gondola, which will be open to the public on opening day this year—November 16—will be dubbed“One” in honor of the resort’s first lift. Here’st he release:
VAIL, Colo. — Nov. 9, 2012 — Vail Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States, announced today its new, state-of-the-art gondola, installed this summer in conjunction with the resort’s 50th anniversary celebration will be named “One.” The lift’s numerical designation will also be #1. The name is a tribute to Vail’s original gondola – the first in Colorado – and the first lift skiers took at the resort when it opened on Dec. 15, 1962 in the same location as the new gondola. The name is also a symbol of the resort’s ongoing commitment to making Vail the top mountain resort in the world.
One-hundred ten of the gondola’s 111 cabins were designed with a silver finish and full-length tinted windows while cabin #50 has been painted gold as an ongoing reminder that the lift is an integral part of Vail’s 50th anniversary celebration. A grand opening dedication will be held Friday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 a.m.
“Vail’s new gondola, One, is a tremendous step forward for both Vail Resorts and the ski and snowboard industry as well as an incredible investment in the guest experience,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “We could not be more excited to officially dedicate and launch it on opening day of such a monumental season for Vail Mountain.”
The gondola, constructed by Leitner-Poma of America, is the first of its kind in North America. The 10-passenger cabins feature heated, cushioned seats and Wi-Fi access. It has a speed of 1,200 feet per minute and a ride time of just under eight minutes. It is the fastest gondola of its type in the world, creating a 40 percent increase in uphill capacity over the previous Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16), a high-speed quad chairlift constructed in 1985.
More than 70 percent of the lift was manufactured just two hours west of Vail at Leitner-Poma’s Grand Junction plant. The cabins and other portions of the gondola were constructed in Europe.
For more information about Vail Mountain, visit Vail.com or contact the Mountain Information Center at (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).
About Vail Mountain
Quickly approaching its 50th anniversary on Dec. 15, 2012 and coveted as the largest ski resort in the United States with more than 5,000 acres of skiable terrain and seven legendary Back Bowls spanning seven miles, Vail is an extraordinary winter vacation destination. Under blue skies more than 300 days each year and with more groomed terrain than anywhere on the planet, families reconnect and celebrate here from year to year and generation to generation. The vacation experience is world class, from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School to the events, activities and festivals, the shops and spas, abundant culinary experiences and luxurious accommodations. Coupled with the vision inherent in the spirit of Vail’s founders, and a modern day commitment to excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail can still credibly lay claim to being a resort like nothing on earth. www.Vail.com.
Photo: Vail’s new, state-of-the-art gondola cabin. Credit: Vail Resorts.