BreckConnect Gondola turns one |

BreckConnect Gondola turns one

Lory Pounder
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Mark Fox, AP//Summit DailyThe BreckConnect Gondola opened about a year ago and officials say it is getting cars of the roads around Breckenridge.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” The BreckConnect Gondola had its first birthday Monday on New Year’s Eve.

And while it seemed there were a few stumbling blocks as it took its first season runs, kinks have been worked out and the gondola is doing just what the resort and town of Breckenridge hoped it would, officials said.

It is taking more vehicles off the road to Peak 8 and connecting Main Street to the mountain, they added.

“Overall, the operation side went well,” said Breckenridge Town Manager Tim Gagen.

The gondola is a 10-minute ride from the Breckenridge Transportation Center to the Peak 8 terminal, with two mid-stations at Shock Hill and the Peak 7 base area. It has 121 cabins and a capacity of 3,000 people per hour.

The resort does not have an exact count of how often it was used last season, but “it’s definitely been utilized as much as we thought it would,” said Nicky DeFord, senior communications manager for Breckenridge Ski Resort said.

In the future, representatives from the ski resort may approach the town about running the gondola more often, partly because of the development going on at Peaks 7 and 8.

The primary reason it doesn’t run at night now is for the protection of a wetlands area called Cucumber Gulch, DeFord said.

The town staff expects the ski area will come to them at some point to talk about getting approvals to run the gondola at night or in the summer. The original agreement for it is to be able to run an hour before the ski resort opens and an hour after it closes, Gagen said.

DeFord agreed that while running the gondola more frequently is not something they need now, it is something that will come up in the future.

“We want to continue to build our relationship with the Town and to do things like this,” she said, adding that such a great partnership between a ski resort and Town is unusual.

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