Wednesday, January 10, 2007

BreckConnect Gondola: Friend or Foe?

With the opening of the BreckConnect, the newest addition to Breckenridge Ski Resort, locals are starting to question why exactly it was built in the first place. Lauded as a way to make Breckenridge seem a bit more luxurious and a way to connect the town to the mountain, now that the gondola is up and running it doesn't seem to completely fit the bill.

The gondola was supposed to improve skiers' expeirences by cutting out having to take a bus from the parking lots up to Peak 8 and the new Peak 7. However, with parking around the gondola running at $10 a space, those looking to save money must take a bus to get to the gondola from parking lots located out on Airport Road or from around the county. While the gondola will save approximately 20,000 gallons of gas by cutting down on some of the bussing, it hardly cuts busses out of the picture for most of the resort's 1.6 million visitors

The gondola was also supposed to improve movement of people from the town to the mountain, thus exposing more visitors to the local stores and restaurants. However, given that the gondola drops people off not in the middle of town but closer to the northern edge of town, most locals don't see how the town will benefit. The gondola is outside the main shopping and dining area of town and many locals figure people will just take a bus to get back to their car and head out of town.

The fact that the gondola is appearing each day to be more of a benefit to Vail Resorts Real Estate Development than to the town of Breckenridge, its not surprising that some are angered over the $6.7 million the town chipped in to build this transport system. Only time will tell if the benefits of the gondola are all that Vail Resorts presented them to be.

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Coldwell Banker said...

Beaver Creek has a new gondola as well which runs from the Westin Riverfront up to the landing at Bachelor Gulch. This will definitely increase property values around avon.

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