Credit to Author: Harrison Mooney| Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2020 23:38:24 +0000
More than six months after an act of vandalism forced the closure of the Sea to Sky Gondola, the Squamish lift is set to reopen.
Fittingly, the romantic ride into the Coast Mountains will return on Valentine’s Day, its operators announced Friday.
The gondola’s rope was deliberately cut early on Aug. 10, causing most of the 30 gondola cars attached to the cable to crash to the ground. No one was hurt as it happened just hours before the popular attraction was set to open to hundreds of visitors.
The operators of the Sea to Sky Gondola have been hard at work since then to get the popular lift running again. A new, 4.4 km main haul rope arrived from Switzerland at the end of October. Thirty new cabins have been installed, as has a state-of-the-art security system to prevent any repeat acts of vandalism.
“The fact that the main haul cable was completely severed was, and still is, shocking, and the investigation with the RCMP is ongoing. However, we want our guests to know they can travel to the summit on the Sea to Sky Gondola with complete confidence,” said Kirby Brown, the Sea to Sky Gondola general manager, who stressed that the repaired ride is safe.
“Our protocols would never allow the line to run if there was any damage to the cable and the security measures installed since the incident will ensure the gondola is secure and protected from any other criminal activity.”
Last summer, operators speculated that the lift would reopen in the spring of 2020. But final safety inspections and certification by Technical Safety B.C. are planned for the first week of February, comfortably ahead of schedule.
On Feb. 14, following a small ceremony attended by Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott and other regional dignitaries, the Sea to Sky Gondola will officially reopen.
“We are opening earlier than anticipated and the task has been huge,” said Brown. “Our community stood by the gondola and showed us overwhelming support, confidence, and love through the last six months, and for that, we are so grateful.”
In celebration of the reopening, lift tickets will be 50 per cent off through the Family Day Long Weekend.
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