(Teton Village, Wyo., August 9, 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 Blann.
“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 Easst 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