SQUAMISH (NEWS 1130) – The Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish is re-opening ahead of schedule on Friday, just over six months after its cable was intentionally cut.
“We are opening earlier than anticipated and the task has been huge,” Sea to Sky Gondola General Manager Kirby Brown told NEWS 1130 last month.
An investigation released by Technical Safety BC in September found that the cable was intentionally cut last August, but the RCMP has yet to arrest anyone in the case.
Police believe at least one vandal climbed a gondola tower in the middle of the night before severing a haul rope, sending more than 20 cars crashing to the ground.
Since then, the operator has been working to replace the damaged components while also increasing security to prevent further vandalism.
A new haul rope and 30 new cabins arrived from Switzerland in October and have now been installed. The company initially expected to restart operations this spring, but were able to move the date up and open in time for Valentine’s Day.
Brown said the sooner-than-expected reopening is happening thanks to “love.”
“Our industry and our community has just been incredibly kind with us,” he said, adding manufacturers have also been a huge help. “They scrambled and put us in the front of the queues and got us what we needed far sooner than we could have hoped for.”
A 9:15 a.m., the Sea to Sky Gondola hosted an opening ceremony and kick off Valentine’s Day celebrations with a “heartfelt welcome from our team, suppliers, musicians and vendors,” according to its website. There will be food, drinks, live music and a mural painting throughout the day.
Tickets will be 50 per cent off on Friday and there will be a free bus between downtown Squamish and the base of the gondola all Family Day weekend.
With files from Martin MacMahon, Hana Mae Nassar, Amanda Wawryk, Monika Gul, Kurtis Doering