May 17, 2006
Teton Village, WY (Jackson Hole Press Release)—Following recent USFS approval, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will construct the East Ridge Chair this summer. This double chairlift will take skiers and snowboarders to the summit of the Resort this winter and until such time as a replacement for the Tram is installed. The ride will be approximately 5 minutes and rise 600 vertical feet from the top of the Sublette Chairlift to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. The new East Ridge Chair, manufactured by Doppelmayer CTEC, will be capable of being moved and utilized elsewhere on the mountain in the future pending Forest Service approval.
Next winter skiers and riders will be able to access the JHMR Summit, Corbet's Couloir and backcountry gates via the Bridger Gondola and a series of chairlifts including the new East Ridge. The Bridger Gondola and Thunder Chair will both have increased capacity with 18 more cabins and 16 more chairs added respectively. From the base, the Gondola will now offer an uphill capacity of 2400 skiers per hour (vs. 1800 currently), this increase alone will be double the uphill capacity per hour of the tram.
JHMR Tram replacement plans continue on track for a summer 2006 decision. Recent discussions will have RFP's being sent to two lift manufacturers. Lifts being bid are either a replacement Aerial Tramway or a bi-cable Gondola. From research it appears (subject to financing either public or private) that construction could be limited to just two summer seasons with an opening in winter 2008/09.
"JHMR's Board of Directors and Management continue to spend an extensive amount of time, energy and resources towards tram replacement strategies. The commitment is stronger than ever despite the obvious impact the Tram replacement will have on increasing debt on our company. We know the importance of this lift to our community and look forward to a Tram replacement decision this summer. We would like to thank all the community members who have provided feedback on this topic." Stated JHMR President Jerry Blann.