There’s nothing like a gondola ride on a sunny day to take in the sights. In 1986 this was the world’s first eight-passenger gondola, a concept springing from a design team including SCJ’s own Jim Fletcher, PE. Jim works in our Colorado office for SCJ’s Engineering Specialties Group (ESG).
This gondola is located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Jim was the Project Manager, in charge of concept design, preliminary engineering, cabin storage design, building modification and gondola system procurement specifications. His team designed the tower and terminal foundations as well.
The Steamboat Gondola enjoys year-round use for recreation and tourism activities, including transportation of people and supplies for concerts, weddings, hikes, biking, skiing and more.
With nearly 30 years of service, this is one of the longest running systems in the world. Steamboat’s maintenance staff and the system manufacturer, Dopplemayr, are responsible for the system’s unprecedented service life.
But after 75,000 hours of use (the equivalent of driving 2.5 million miles in your car), Steamboat is looking forward to modernizing the system with all new cabins, drive equipment and rope. These updates will provide even greater capacity and comfort, allowing guests to spend more time on the mountain and less time in line.
SCJ/ESG is now doing preliminary work for the new system, analyzing the terminal foundations to see if they need modifications before a new gondola is installed.
Maybe a gondola or aerial tram would be a good transportation alternative for your next project? For more information on cable propelled transit, contact the ESG team.