Company wants to ring AC with gondolas

April 9, 2009 4:00:21 PM PDT
A multi-national company is gambling that hanging gondolas could attract visitors.An eight person gondola is on display at Atlantic City's Garden Pier. Gondola systems builder Doppelmayr CTEC wants to erect an elevated cable car system in the city.

The system, called the chariots of the sky, would ring the city with 15 stops along the boardwalk, Gardener's Basin, and the train station.

Cynthia Rose Cartopass, an agent shopping the project for Doppelmayr, has high hopes of the project.

"We did Mandalay Bay in 8 months on time and on budget, and for US Bancorp to still be there with $350 million to lend our buyer, they believe in this project," Cartopassi said.

Some may be asking: Another idea for Atlantic City? It could be said, Ripley's boardwalk museum could be filled with "believe it or not, pie in the sky" ideas that never came to be.

There was the idea to put a roof on the boardwalk, an idea to light the beaches at night, and an idea to build a people mover from the Atlantic City expressway to the boardwalk, but some believe the gondola idea just might fly.

The idea has the support of environmental groups and city leaders say it's worth investigating.

"I think it's a good, first step in what the city is trying to do to become more energy efficient and to move more people around," Kaleem Shabazz of the Atlantic City Arts Center said.

Doppelmayr CTEC has built over 13,000 gondola systems around the world including on the Alps mighty Matterhorn. Of course, negotiating New Jersey's mountainous permitting process may prove to be a really, big uphill project.

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