It may not be the reason why you come here, but once you discover our preferred form of transportation – a gondola – you’ll want to retire those car keys. The gondola, the first and only free public transportation of its kind in the United States, officially opened December 20, 1996, and was originally built to help improve air quality while expanding the ski area. Since then, it has become a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike, giving them a front row seat with Mother Nature at 10,500 feet and access to a copious amount of biking, hiking and skiing trails as well as shops, restaurants and watering holes.
- Operating Dates » November 20, 2015 to April 3, 2016
- Operating Hours » 7 a.m. to midnight
- Station Locations » Town Hall Plaza in Mountain Village, Mountain Village Center (two stations), Oak Street Plaza in Telluride
Without notice the gondola may close temporarily due to weather conditions, a power outage, or something else that is beyond our control. When this occurs, we follow a specific operating procedure, which includes erecting closure signs and running our bus service. This usually transpires when the gondola is down for a prolonged amount of time – usually 30 minutes or more.
Gondola hours are extended at various times throughout the year, usually for a special event or holiday. This information is listed as an event as part of our Online Calendar. Do expect long lines during peak times. As always, we appreciate your patience.
During the months when the gondola is closed, we provide Free Bus Service to and from the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride. If you accidentally leave a personal item in a gondola cabin, you will want to dial 970.729.3435 to speak to a gondola operations supervisor. Our procedure for handling lost items can be accessed via our Lost & Found Web Page.
We will do our best to accommodate passengers who wish to ride alone. To do so, please inform the gondola operator on duty.
- Approximately 2.25 million passengers ride the gondola annually – and safely – and over 26 million riders have been transported since opening day.
- The gondola operates roughly 287 days each year with routine maintenance scheduled during our shoulder season months.
- It takes about 13 minutes to get from the Town of Telluride to the Town of Mountain Village.
- A cabin travels 11 miles per hour at full speed, which means each cabin travels over 52,000 miles per year.
- Approximately 25 percent of our cabins are pet accessible. We also have wheelchair accessible cabins.
- The trip between the two towns is eight miles long whereas the gondola travels three miles between the two towns.
- If we relied on rubber transportation, it would take 18 50-passenger buses to maintain a 900-people per hour capacity. This would translate to more people on the road and more pollutants in the air.
- The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association purchases renewable energy credits from San Miguel Power Association, which funds the development and operation of regional renewable energy resources.
- The cost to build the gondola is $16 million, and revenues to support the operational cost, which exceeds $3.5 million annually and requires over 82,000 man-hours, are realized from a number of sources with the majority of funding from the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association. San Miguel County and the Town of Telluride make a monetary contribution, and the Telluride Ski Resort contributes one percent of lift ticket sales.
If you enjoy your visit so much that you would consider a home in the area, Steve would be happy to show you what is available.