Tram Retirement Impacts Analyzed

Teton Village, WY – A consultant says that when Jackson Hole Mountain Resort retires its aerial tram next summer it will damage the local economy to the tune of $18.5 Million a year. Because of potential safety concerns, the resort is retiring the tram. An analysis prepared by BBC Research and Consulting estimates visitation will drop between 10-20%. Resort Communications Director Anna Olson says the tram gives Jackson Hole part of its mystique. She says the loss of the tram will affect skiers' vacation decisions. Olson admits that those who use the tram are small in number. But she says the tram is of what visitors are buying in Jackson and that it goes hand-in-hand with the quality of the skiing. The resort wants to replace the tram and is planning to ask state lawmakers for financial help. The estimated cost of a new tram is 25 million dollars. Governor Freudenthal has already said he does not believe funding for a new tram is a high priority.