Slope instability addressed above gondola station, gondola to open for summer season Thursday, May 25


Thanks in part to the expedited work of the Town of Mountain Village, TMVOA, Telluride Ski & Golf and the team of geotechnical engineers and excavation company, the slope instability on the hillside above gondola station 4 in Village Center has been addressed.

The gondola is cleared to open for the summer this Thursday, May 25 with no remaining concern for slope instability and sloughing.

Over the course of just a couple of days, 1270 cubic yards of dirt were removed from the hillside as a precautionary measure to prevent any soil from sloughing off the bedrock layer underneath and potentially sliding into the gondola station or the path of the gondola operating line. The work was performed to prevent any sliding into the gondola line and the integrity of the gondola station and gondola towers were not threatened by the incident.

Mountain Village Town Manager Paul Wisor expressed his appreciation for all involved to address the hillside instability.

“I am deeply grateful for the hard work of Jim Loebe and Town staff whose swift actions adverted a potentially disastrous outcome that could have impacted the gondola’s summer and winter operations,” Wisor said. “I am also thankful for the hard work of those at TMVOA and TSG, as well as our third-party experts who collaborated so well together to ensure the gondola could open on time.”

The instability was observed Monday, May 15 and geotechnical engineers indicated that the slope instability was due to subsurface soil movement atop bedrock. This instability is the result of warming temperatures, melting snow and rain. The area in question was estimated to be roughly 2,500 square feet with an average depth of 5 feet.

The gondola will operate 6:30 a.m. to midnight daily starting Thursday, May 25. It will be open until 1 a.m. Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 26 for Mountainfilm Festival. The gondola will run until 2 a.m. on weekends starting the weekend of Telluride Bluegrass Festival in mid-June.

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