Wednesday, 09 August 2006
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
(JHMR) officials announced today their intention to enhance the legacy
created over the last 40 years by committing to build a new 100
passenger, state of the art aerial tramway from the base in Teton
Village to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain, a vertical rise of
4,139'. This lift will have the longest continual vertical rise of any
ski lift in North America. It will replace the existing smaller aerial
tram that will cease to operate October 1, 2006.
"I am very proud of our company leading this two and a half year
process to a successful conclusion," stated Jerry Blann, JHMR
President. "This outcome would not have been possible without our
dedicated owners, the Kemmerer Family and our Board of Directors. They
deserve recognition for their commitment to Jackson Hole Mountain
Resort, Teton County and the State of Wyoming."
JHMR has contracted with Doppelmayr/CTEC to construct the new Jackson
Hole Mountain Resort Aerial Tram and anticipates a scheduled opening
December 2008. Preliminary discussions are taking place with the Forest
Service regarding approvals required for the replacement of the tram.
With an increased capacity of 100 passengers per cabin, the uphill
capacity will increase to over 600 passengers an hour, pending Forest
Service approval. Carney Architects, a local Jackson firm, is
developing concepts for bottom and top terminal enclosures.
"We hope with this decision Jackson Hole will remain the truly unique
place it is for all who love the mountains year round, like we do. When
we bought the Resort we knew it needed investment and were prepared for
that, but the tram replacement has taken a lot of deep thinking to
resolve," stated John Kemmerer III, Owner JHMR. "Our family considers
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort an integral part of this incredible
community and we feel privileged to be able to leave such a legacy for
years to come." Kemmerer added.
"The enormity of this project was obvious from the beginning. When we
identified the need to decommission the existing tram we immediately
began researching what could replace such a lift," continued Blann.
"We studied many options and reduced them to a Tram or Bi-Cable
Gondola. We all agreed the iconic nature of our "red box" was something
to be treasured but we kept options open until the final and most
recent decision. Ultimately the final analysis was financial. We are a
small, family owned company with finite resources. This new tram will
cost an estimated $25 million and so far we have had to plan on funding
the entire project privately. In conjunction with the $14 million
already committed to capital improvements this summer there will be a
strain felt on our company resources, but we are steadfast in this
decision thanks to the commitment from our owners. On our 40th
Anniversary the company has reached a pinnacle of investment," stated
"The new tram will ultimately require additional improvements including
a redevelopment of Nick Wilson's Café into a multi-purpose base lodge.
The Kemmerer family's dedication to invest in JHMR core business on
public lands for the enjoyment of this community and visiting guests is
completely unique in the winter recreation industry." Blann added.
"This huge investment by JHMR ownership to build a new tram stands
alone in our industry", stated Michael Berry, President National Ski
Area Association. "The tram at Jackson Hole is iconic. It is recognized
around the world as a lift that accesses some of the most spectacular
terrain in North America. It is beloved by locals and sought after by
destination visitors," added Berry.
While making improvements, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort remains
committed to preserving the Old West. Entering our 40th season the same
old-fashioned hospitality that welcomed yesterday's mavericks and
outlaws, still welcomes today's skiers, snowboarders and
vacationers. With the new Bridger Restaurant, new East Ridge Chair to
the summit and a new 100 passenger tram in the near future, the legend
continues. For more JHMR information please visit jacksonhole40.com.