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World’s largest aerial lift companies invest in Chilliwack gondola project

Doppelmayr and Poma offer $28 million in financing for proposed project near Mt. Cheam
The Sea to Sky gondola in Squamish. (Flickr)

The two largest aerial lift companies in the world are on board to not just provide equipment but invest in a proposed sightseeing gondola east of Chilliwack.

Proponents of the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project (CSGP) said that they have been working with Doppelmayr and Leitner Poma over the last three years on the project.

Both companies have offered a financing proposal for the gondola to cover the approximate cost of $28 million, according to a recent CSGP press release.

“This is unprecedented in North America for any project that would use these companies as potential equipment providers,” CSGP president Jayson Faulkner said. “It is a resounding endorsement about the world-class nature of our project that these two companies, competing for the contract, have both offered us financing terms which have never been done before, anywhere in the world.”

The CSGP project is currently in a “beauty contest” with the proponents of the proposed Bridal Veil Mountain Resort that would cover an overlapping area. The provincial government is assessing both projects.

READ MORE: Sightseeing gondola vs. ski resort: Chilliwack’s competing mountain proposals

The CSGP and the lift companies have been working together on the engineering and the costing of the lift in recent years. Both lift companies together represent over 80 per cent of all lift construction in the world for sightseeing gondolas and ski lifts. Both have taken the significant step of endorsing the CSGP in open letters to the community and the government of B.C.

“This is the only project in North America for which we are currently offering financing and is a testament to our belief that this project is of significant value to the community and has long term sustainability and viability,” Leitner Poma North America president Daren Cole said.

Doppelmayr Canada president Brent Carmichael said his company has be been working with the CSGP proponents and they are so enthusiastic about the potential that they’ve offered financing terms.

“This is one of only a handful of projects in North America that we have done that for which is a testament to our belief that this project is of significant value to the community,” Carmichael said.

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View north of the Fraser River from the approximate location of where the summit lodge of the Cascade Skyline will be located. (Submitted)
Project rendering of the building at the planned summit of the Cascade Skyline gondola project proposed for a location east of Chilliwack. (Submitted)