Jackson Hole Aerial Tram
Jackson Hole Aerial Tram is located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and has become an iconic symbol of the town. Located at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, it takes people to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. The first tram started operation on July 31, 1966, while the second tram started operation on December 20, 2008. The current tram is 12,463 feet (3,799 m) in length. Starting at an elevation of 6,311 feet (1,924 m), it takes passengers up to an elevation of 10,450 feet (3,190 m) in approximately nine minutes. It can hold up to 100 people plus an operator. The original tram carried 62 skiers and 1 conductor .
The original tram took a total of 26 months to build, from May 1964-July 1966. Its maiden voyage was on July 31, 1966. It had a length of 12,600 feet (3,800 m) with a total of five towers. It carried 62 skiers and 1conductor in winter and 45 passengers and 1 conductor in summer to the top in 10.5 minutes. Two thirds of the money funded for it came from federal money. $1 million of a $1.6 million grant came from a government program called Area Redevelopment Administration which proposed to loan funds to seasonally depressed communities. After 40 years of service, the Kemmerer family (the owners of the resort) decided to retire the tram in September 2005. An inspection revealed that the tram would last for a couple more years, but the family thought it best to decommission it before any safety hazards raised. Designs for the new tram were released and approved in early 2007 with demolition and construction beginning in April of that year, the first day of the summer season. The Austrian company Doppelmayr created the five steel towers, terminals and mechanics. In March 2008 the company shipped everything to Houston, Texas in 50 sea containers. From there, all the components traveled on train or road to Jackson Hole, Wy. Construction was completed on time in December 2008. The original $20 million they thought it was going to take to make the new tram later became $31 million which was completely funded by the resort.
Launch of the New Tram
The launch of the new tram happened on December 19, 2008. 20,000 people came to show their support that night. The tram slowly made its way down the cables towards the new lower terminal when it stopped over the crowd. The crowd cheered as the wrap covering it dropped. There were fireworks and music as someone dressed as Santa zipped down from the car.
In winter, skiers take the tram to the top of the mountain where they are able to ski Rendezvous Mountain as well as out of bounds locations. Many also eat at Corbet's Cabin. You pay for your ticket in your ski pass.
In summer, tourists as well as locals take the tram in order to look at the views, where on a clear day you are able to see Jackson Hole, the Snake River Valley, Grand Teton National Park, and the summit of the Grand Tetons. Many go for sightseeing, paragliding, as well as hiking. In the early season which is from May 28 to June 17 an adult ticket costs $23. In the Peak and late season which is from June 18 to October 2, adult tickets cost $43. .
- Whaley, Lauren M. "December Tram Diaries - Big Red is Back!" TramFormation. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, 2007. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
- "Technical Specs." TramFormation. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, 2007. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
- "New Aerial Tram." Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
- "After 40 Years of Service, JHMR Aerial Tram Will Be Retired End of Summer ‘06." TramFormation. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, 2007. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
- "Aerial Tram Information." Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.