Sea to Sky Gondola releases timeline for reopening attraction

Aug 16 2019, 10:11 am

A timeline has been announced for the reopening of Squamish’s Sea to Sky Gondola.

According to an update provided by operators, the popular tourist attraction is hoping to reopen in spring 2020. An exact date, however, is still being determined.

“The orders have been placed and we are currently estimating that we will be reopening early next spring,” reads an update on the website Friday.

“This is longer than any of us had hoped but we have to live with the reality of the situation and move forward responsibly.”

The opening date is dependent on when operators will be able to get a replacement cable and new cabins, all of which will be coming from Europe. The gondola intends to reopen with a new haul rope and a new line of 30 cabins.

“While some of our current cabins appear to be undamaged, we want your confidence in us to be as strong as it was before so complete replacement is our way of holding true to the trust you have placed in us,” operators said in an email sent to passholders.

Operators, for the safety of others, also ask that members of the public stay away from the Sea to Sky Gondola trails.

“We appreciate the overwhelming support form the Squamish community and the industry as a whole during this time.”

What does it mean for passholders

The attraction says because of the extensive closure deadline, it will honour passes as if they were frozen on the date of the collapse — and restart the first day it reopens.

“On opening day, your pass will have the exact amount of time you had left on it as of August 10,” operators say.

Passholders will not lose any days on their passes, it says.

Tourism and community partners are offering discounts at other attractions for Sea to Sky Gondola passholders, including the Grouse Mountain gondola.

Here’s a look at the list of benefits being offered:

Sea to Sky passholder benefits

Sea to Sky Gondola collapses

On Saturday, August 10, around 4:30 am, a “loud bang” was heard in the vicinity of the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Gondola operators discovered soon afterwards that the gondola line and cabins had come crashing to the ground. The gondola system was stationary and not in operation at the time.

On Saturday afternoon, police said they believe evidence at the scene indicates the incident may have been an act of sabotage.

“We believe the cables were cut and there was a deliberate act of vandalism,” said Insp. Kara Triance with Squamish RCMP during a press conference. “This is a crime scene and has been closed by police.”

As the investigation continues, hikers and campers in the area at the time with any information are being asked to come forward.

Cost of repairs expected to be “into the millions”

Officials say that the cost of repairing the attraction and returning it to a fully operational state is expected to reach “into the millions.”

In an earlier statement, operators of the gondola say that along with a new main cable — or haul rope — being required for the gondola, an estimated 18 to 20 out of the 30 gondola cabins will need to be replaced as well.