PALM SPRINGS – Just shy of 3,000 people visited the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway on Monday, April 1 as the international tourist destination welcomed its first tourists since the Valentine’s Day storm that shuttered the popular attraction.
Some 2,855 visitors began queuing up early to take the breathtaking, 10-minute ride up the mountain on the world’s largest rotating tram car.
“Yesterday’s numbers did not break any records,” Public Relations Manager Cara Youngman told Uken Report. “However, we were busier than a typical Monday due to spring break weeks being upon us.”
While the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was on track for record attendance in fiscal year 2018-19, it is estimated that nearly 100,000 visitors were displaced due to the 46-day closure (based upon the prior year’s attendance numbers).
On average, 3,500 people per day visit during the holidays and as many as 1,500 to 2,000 on regular weekdays and weekends. The Tramway was closed during two popular holidays — Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day. The tourist attraction, a favorite among locals, was closed Thanksgiving Day due to a wildfire along Tramway Road.
The long-awaited and highly anticipated opening of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway came after it has been closed for 46 days. A repair totaled an estimated $4 million and, of course, there was lost ticket revenues.
In addition to a section of the road being washed-out over a drainage culvert, a second section of road was also replaced due to subsidence from rain run-off.
Additional repairs included restoration of power to Mountain Station, minor repairs to the Mountain Station roof, repair of the Valley Station fire suppression system, repair of the Valley Station freshwater system, repair of the Valley Station wastewater system, minor damage to the Valley Station façade, and removal of rocks and debris from streams, parking lots and roadways.
Although the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway received a lot of attention for the devastating damage, the unanimous decision of the Mount San Jacinto Winter Park Authority to pay employees during the shutdown was also roundly applauded both publicly and privately.
Aerial Tramway staff members who were not able to work during the closure were fully compensated.
“It’s been a long six weeks for everyone, but … we are delighted to finally welcome back Tram visitors,” said Tramway General Manager Nancy Nichols adds. “On behalf of the entire Tramway staff, we are thrilled to be back open for business and truly appreciate the community’s support throughout our closure.”
The Tramway has now returned to its regular schedule with the first tram up Monday through Friday at 10 a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 8 a.m. Tickets are now available at the Tram’s Valley Station starting 30 minutes before opening and will be available online beginning April 8.
For more information about the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, call 888.515.TRAM or 760.325.1391, or visit it by clicking here.
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway