VAIL - Vail Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States, said today its new gondola, installed this summer in conjunction with the resort's 50th anniversary celebration, will be named "One."
The lift's numerical designation will also be No. 1.
The name is a tribute to Vail's original gondola - the first in Colorado - and the first lift skiers took at the resort when it opened on Dec. 15, 1962, in the same location as the new gondola. Vail Resorts also said the name is also a symbol of the resort's ongoing commitment to making Vail the top mountain resort in the world.
Of the 111 gondola cabins, 110 were designed with a silver finish and full-length tinted windows while cabin No. 50 has been painted gold as an ongoing reminder that the lift is an integral part of Vail's 50th anniversary celebration. A grand-opening dedication will be held Friday at 8:30 a.m.
"Vail's new gondola, One, is a tremendous step forward for both Vail Resorts and the ski and snowboard industry as well as an incredible investment in the guest experience," said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. "We could not be more excited to officially dedicate and launch it on opening day of such a monumental season for Vail Mountain."
The gondola, constructed by Leitner-Poma of America, is the first of its kind in North America. The 10-passenger cabins feature heated, cushioned seats and Wi-Fi access. It has a speed of 1,200 feet per minute and a ride time of just under eight minutes. It is the fastest gondola of its type in the world, creating a 40 percent increase in uphill capacity over the previous Vista Bahn Express Lift (No. 16), a high-speed quad chairlift constructed in 1985.
More than 70 percent of the lift was manufactured just two hours west of Vail at Leitner-Poma's Grand Junction plant. The cabins and other portions of the gondola were constructed in Europe.
For more information about Vail Mountain, visit vail.com or contact the Mountain Information Center at 970-SKI-VAIL (754-8245).