Northland Properties has announced a CA$30+ million investment to transform the arrival experience at Grouse Mountain. If approved, a modern eight passenger gondola would replace the 1966 jig back affectionately known as the Blue Skyride. The state-of-the-art gondola will provide continuous loading and a more comfortable experience for up to 2,000 guests per hour (1,000 per direction). The lift is planned to cross under the Red Skyride, which today provides the only public access from the parking lot to the mountain. The 100 passenger Garaventa-built tramway will remain in service for additional capacity and redundancy.
Northland, which also owns Revelstoke Mountain Resort, has partnered with Leitner-Poma to supply the gondola. The 27 cabin, 13 tower machine would travel at 5.1 meters per second, achieving a ride time under six minutes. Gondola cabins would be parked when not in use beneath the upper terminal. The estimated CA$30-35 million project also includes a reconfigured drop off area and 193 new parking spaces. Visitors would see reduced wait times and Grouse would be able to operate year round with no maintenance closures.
“Grouse Mountain is proud to be an integral pillar of the North Vancouver community since 1926 and we look forward to upgrading our facilities leading up to our 100-year anniversary,” notes the project website. The public is invited to learn more about the plan via a virtual public meeting taking place now through September 27th. The District of North Vancouver welcomes public comments as it considers approval. If given the green light, construction on the gondola is expected to last 18 months with an opening targeted for December 2023.
Grouse Mountain Resort will once again be Canadian owned by the end of the month. Shanghai-based China Minsheng Investment Group has agreed to sell the resort to Northland Properties, a conglomerate which owns Revelstoke Mountain Resort along with numerous hotels and an NHL franchise. “With our strong family and company roots in Vancouver BC, we are excited with the opportunity to make this acquisition,” said Tom Gaglardi, President and CEO of Northland Properties Corporation. “We look forward to working closely with the existing team and leadership group, as well the community to ensure we maintain and evolve the iconic Grouse Mountain experience for all of our visitors.”
Grouse Mountain operates four Leitner-Poma quad lifts and is accessed exclusively by aerial tramways as there are no public roads to the area. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports replacing the Blue Skyride is a top priority for the new owner. The aerial tramway was built in 1965 and carries only 44 passengers per car when open. Even with the 1976 Red Skyride next door, the tramways often prove inadequate for moving large numbers of people, especially during stormy weather.
It's another popular day at the Mountain so please expect significant wait times both uploading and downloading on the Skyride https://t.co/QY2Wh2S7H9
“We welcome the opportunity to join Canada’s fastest growing hospitality group,” said Michael Cameron, President of Grouse Mountain Resort. “As a leader in the hotel and restaurant industry, Northland Properties has shown tremendous growth and innovation across their diversified group of companies. We look forward to working together, recognizing the accomplishments that the Grouse Mountain Resort and its team have achieved over the years and continuing to build on that success.”
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