Earlier this year, Eaglecrest Ski Area announced its intention to purchase an old gondola at the Galsterberg ski resort in Austria. With it being owned by the city of Juneau, the purchase had to be approved by the Juneau Assembly members, which happened back in April. The main challenge now is shipping it to Alaska.
KTOO reports that the latest bureaucratic hurdle Eaglecrest had to get through involves higher than expected shipping costs. The shipping contract with Lynden Logistics will cost $845,000, which is more than the expected $400,000 that was originally estimated. The Juneau Assembly ended up approving an additional $500,000 of funding to help get the gondola to Eaglecrest. The next logistical step is finding the financing to install the lift. Goldbelt, Inc. has offered to finance the costs for constructing the lift for Eaglecrest when the parts arrive from Austria.
The pulse gondola was installed in 1989 and was built by Doppelmayr. A pulse gondola is “a ski lift with enclosed individual cabins that stay permanently fixed to the haul rope cable, configured in groups (pods) of 2 or 4.” The fixed-grip gondola will have a ride time of nearly seven minutes, and can transport six hundred people per hour. The lift will be used for summer and winter guests. The shipping process will begin in Austria on May 20th. Some photos of the new gondola are below.