Letter to the editor: I agree Breckenridge should extend gondola hours
I was pleased to see Skip McMahon’s letter to the editor as I have been a proponent of extending the hours of the gondola for several years. I have attended Breckenridge Town Council meetings to suggest operating the gondola past 5 p.m. on the peak days during the holidays and even cited Telluride as the example of what can be done. The response from the council was the town does not operate the gondola as it is owned and operated by Vail Resorts. A figure of $1,000 per hour was stated as the cost to run the gondola, which to me was not unreasonable and certainly within the financial means of Vail Resorts. I suggested putting a sales tax on the summer activities to fund the extended hours of the gondola, and there are other “levers” the company can pull to fund the costs.
I expressed concern that all the development on the base of Peaks 7 and 8, along with newly approved boutique hotel, is adding to the traffic problems on Ski Hill Road and in town. The construction of the parking garage will only encourage visitors staying at the base to drive their cars into town. One commenter suggested the shuttle service operated by Breckenridge Grand Vacations is the answer, but guests don’t want to be stuck in the same traffic on Ski Hill Road. Running the gondola until 10 p.m. is the logical solution. Pressure from the Town Council to Vail Resorts has to take place. Why not test the concept in the 2020-21 season.
The town expresses concern about our visitors experience and how to make it better. Extending the hours of the gondola not only serves the guests but us residents who are trapped up on Ski Hill Road during peak times.
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