Jackson Hole wants new Tram

30th November 2005, by Chris Gill

Officials at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort have unveiled three possible replacements for the legendary 40 year old Tram, which is to be retired at the end of 2006.

According to local reports, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort wants to find a suitable replacement for the old lift currently serving Rendezvous Mountain - and would prefer another Tram. Outside funding is essential and the resort is currently exploring how to raise the money for the new lift, now an estimated $25 million.  “We’re striving for Tram replacement,” said spokeswoman Anna Olson, “We’re going for gold”.

But three replacement options are being considered:  A six-seat gondola system to follow the same route; a shorter 45-passenger Tram from the top of the Bridger gondola to the summit of Rendezvous; or the preferred 80-passenger Tram, running along the existing route with an enclosed top station and new restaurant.

Concerns are that a new gondola would have to withstand the high winds which frequently batter the mountain and might be more prone to closure. The option for a smaller Tram is said to be complicated and time-consuming; it would require further environmental studies and the alteration of existing plans.

In the meantime, the resort plans to install a temporary drag lift for 2006/07, running just south of the East Ridge Traverse and accessed via the top of the Sublette chairlift.

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