Vail celebrated its 50th anniversary during the 2012-2013 season with a new, state-of-the art gondola in Vail Village.
The new Gondola One, commemorates Vail’s original gondola in that location. The cabins carry 10 passengers and each feature heated, cushioned seats and free Wi-Fi access for guests (network name: One Wi-Fi). With a speed of 1,200 feet per minute, the gondola is the fastest of its type in the world, creating a 40 percent increase in uphill capacity. One has a ride time of 7.5 minutes to Mid-Vail. More than 70 percent of the lift was manufactured in the United States at Leitner-Poma’s Grand Junction plant. The cabins and other portions were constructed in Europe.
For photos and videos of the construction of Gondola One, the new gondola, see the Official Vail Blog Gondola Updates page!
Frequently Asked Questions about Vail's new gondola
What makes this gondola one-of-a-kind/fastest single-cable, 10-passenger gondola in the world?
Gondola One is the fastest single-cable, 10-passenger gondola (or gondola of its type) in the world. There are other 10-seat gondolas with heated seats. None of them have Wi-Fi or are designed to travel at 1,200 feet per minute.
How is ride time calculated?
Design speed x the length of the lift.
Where is the lift being manufactured?
More than 70 percent of the lift was constructed in the United States at Leitner-Poma of America’s Grand Junction plant. The cabins and portions were constructed in Europe.
Why isn’t the new gondola running beyond Mid-Vail to PHQ?
We did not use Gondola One to replace the Mountaintop Express Lift #4) because:
1) The alignment to both provide access to Mid-Vail and to put a turn station in a location to provide the access that the Mountaintop Express Lift #4) currently provides doesn’t work
2) Our guests would not want to have to take skis/boards off every time they rode the length of the Mountaintop Express Lift (#4). A gondola makes great sense in replacing the Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) because Vail guests don’t typically cycle (make laps) on it
3) There would not be enough capacity available when cabins arrived at Mid-Vail to accommodate those who wanted to ride from there to the top.
Therefore, the significant incremental cost associated with installing the gondola to Mid-Vail with a turn station and then to the top, plus replacing the Mountaintop Express Lift (#4) for the 2013-2014 season didn’t make sense.
It is true that Gondola One adds more volume at the Mid-Vail area during the morning hours as skiers access the mountain, but Vail has also replaced the Mountaintop Express Lift (#4), adding uphill capacity from Mid-Vail. Guests also have more than one option at Mid-Vail – they can ride the Wildwood Express Lift (#3), go to the Northwoods Express Lift (#11) or the Highline Express Lift (#10) or the Avanti Express Lift #2), or all the way down to the base again.
Who was the manufacturer of the gondola?
Leitner-Poma of America.
Will the new gondola operate for foot passengers during the day? At night? In the summer?
Yes, Gondola One operates for foot passengers during the daytime and at night and is scheduled to operate during the summer months.
What will happen to the Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) or where will it go once it’s removed?
The majority of the Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) was recycled and some components were kept at Vail Mountain as well as at some of the Vail Resorts’ other mountains as spare inventory.