Celebrate the gondola's 25th anniversary March 12, 2022!

Winter 2021-22 marks an important milestone for the most unique public transportation system of its kind in North America.

The Telluride Mountain Village Gondola officially opened on November 19, 1996, and the community is celebrating the gondola’s 25th anniversary season with a party at the Telluride Conference Center on Saturday, March 12, 2022. The event starts at 6 p.m.

“We are so excited to celebrate such a monumental milestone for both Mountain Village and the region as a whole,” said TMVOA’s CEO and President Anton Benitez.

The celebration will include appetizers, a champagne toast, the unveiling of the latest gondola cabin photo booth, and a custom cake with its own gondola system by Peace of Cake. The event will also include live music from Gravity’s Child, Telluride’s newest mid-to-late-90s tribute band comprised of Sean Mahoney, Leah Heidenreich, Meghan Knowles and Claybrook Penn.

“We’re also excited to premiere a short video about the gondola and its importance to our community and hear a poem from former San Miguel County Poet Laureate Daiva Chesonis who was on the original crew that built the gondola,” Benitez said.

The gondola opened one year after Mountain Village was incorporated to provide free transportation between Mountain Village and Telluride while reducing the area’s carbon footprint.

With roughly 3 million passenger rides each year, the gondola offers an effective mode of transportation that reduces carbon emissions resulting in cleaner air for the region. It also adds to the guest experience, giving visitors ease of access to both towns without needing a vehicle, making the destination one of the most pedestrian-friendly mountain resorts in the country. As of December 31, 2021, the gondola has seen more than 55.1 million passengers total since opening a quarter of a decade ago.

The gondola gives riders access to hiking and biking trails in the summer and ski terrain in the winter. The gondola tops out at 10,500 feet above sea level and gains 960 feet from Mountain Village to San Sophia Station, and then plunges 1,750 vertical feet down into the Town of Telluride. The entire two-mile journey takes about 13 minutes. The gondola runs daily from 7:30 a.m. to midnight during summer and winter (with extended weekend hours), and it is ranked as the number one thing to do in Telluride and Mountain Village on TripAdvisor.

“There truly is nothing like the gondola and we are excited to celebrate its silver anniversary,” said Mountain Village Public Information Officer Kathrine Warren.

The gondola is owned and operated by the Town of Mountain Village and the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association primarily funds operations, maintenance and capital improvements. The Town of Telluride makes a monetary contribution and the Telluride Ski Resort contributes one percent of lift ticket sales.

At the end of 2027, the operating agreement that addresses the financing and operation of the gondola expires, and the region’s local governments and entities are working together to plan the gondola’s future.

Representatives from GBSM, the firm hired to facilitate the gondola planning process, will be at the celebration distributing information and gathering survey input from the community, and everyone who fills out the survey will be entered to win a raffle for a $100 gift card or a free lift ticket to the Telluride Ski Resort.

Please visit ourgondola.org to take the survey and to learn more on the planning process and please visit townofmountainvillage.com/gondola for more information on the gondola itself.

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