The Town of Mountain Village, the entity that owns and operates the iconic Telluride Mountain Village Gondola, is reminding the community and our visitors that masks are required for anyone over the age of 2 entering the terminals and riding the gondola.
On January 29, 2021, the Center for Disease Control issued an order requiring that face masks be worn by all people while on public transportation to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. This rule applies to all passengers regardless of vaccination status.
The gondola, which connects Telluride and Mountain Village, is considered public transportation as it was a required public benefit when Mountain Village was founded. The gondola receives federal and state funding through the Federal Transportation Authority and Colorado Department of Transportation for capital improvements and operations and therefore falls under federal public transportation rules.
“Since the state lifted its mask requirements, it has proven to be more and more challenging to educate and inform riders as the summer has progressed,” said Mountain Village Transportation Director Jim Loebe. “On behalf of the entire gondola staff and the Town, we want to thank passengers who continue to comply with this mandate.”
Gondola operators are doing their best to educate and inform riders of this rule but have run into verbal altercations and have been treated with disrespect when asking some riders to mask up.
Mountain Village is respectfully requesting the community’s help in spreading the word to help increase compliance with this federal requirement. New signage at each gondola station has been placed (or is being installed soon), new job positions have been advertised for additional staff to help inform and educate the public when they are in line outside the gondola terminals. Additionally, Mountain Village Police Department officers will increase their presence at gondola stations to back up operators.
The Town continues to purchase masks to hand out to the public who need a mask, and since opening for the summer season in May, more than 70,000 masks have been distributed at stations and on buses.
The federal public transportation mask mandate also applies to all buses run by the Town of Mountain Village, runs through January 18, 2022. The federal mandate began February 1, 2021, with an original expiration date of May 11, 2021. That date was extended first to September 13, 2021, before being extended a second time.
Gondola capacity is back to 100 percent and riders will be loaded with others, especially during peak hours. If someone does not wear a mask while boarding a gondola, please tell an operator that you do not feel comfortable riding with unmasked individuals and operators will separate parties.
“Our gondola operators have had a tough year and a half enforcing mask requirements, and they are doing the best that they can to ensure riders wear masks,” said Mountain Village Public Information Officer Kathrine Warren. “Please comply with this rule to help keep the gondola running at full capacity and please be kind to our operators and others around you and mask up.”
To submit any questions/comments, the public is encouraged to visit: townofmountainvillage.com/contact-us.