Jay Peak Resort Opens Tram for the Summer

June 26, 2016 (Jay, VT)- Jay Peak Resort opened its aerial tram Saturday for seven-days-a-week summer operations. The iconic attraction began spinning yesterday at 10 a.m. and will run from 10-5 p.m. through Thursday. It will begin staying open until sunset starting Friday, July 1. 

The resort recently completed a multi-day inspection of the tram. Jay Peak, in cooperation with the state, flew in an aerial tramway specialist and worked with state inspectors to examine the tram and its operating systems. Inspectors conducted a successful load test designed to ensure that all of the conveyance’s electrical, hauling and braking systems functioned normally under strenuous conditions. After passing the load test, resort personnel successfully completed and passed an evacuation drill. The team also inspected the tram’s towers and its bolting structures. All were found to be operating normally. 

On the last day of the inspection, inspectors found a hairline crack to one of the components of one of the tram carriages. That part was removed and replaced this past week. State officials certified the tram as operational on Friday.   

“The inspection process went really smoothly,” remarked Steve Wright, Jay Peak’s General Manager. “Our Lift Maintenance team’s efforts, along with the rigor and responsiveness of the state’s inspectors, allowed the process to move efficiently and get the tram open in June, which historically has been our goal. Plus, it was nice to have the tram open when the Porsche Club of America was staying at the resort." 

The resort recently signed a $5 million contract with the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group to conduct custom upgrades to the tram. The Austrian-based company will begin fabricating the enhancements shortly as the improvements are all customized and will take approximately 12 months to complete. Installation of the upgrades will begin in the spring of 2017.  

The opening of the Jay Peak tram acts as a capstone to one of the busiest summer weeks in the resort’s 59-year history. The Porsche Club of America’s annual Porsche Parade began June 17 and ended today. The 10-day event saw close to 2,000 Porsche owners and attendees from around the country compete in a Porsche car show called the Concourse d’Elegance held on the resort’s golf course, and an autocross race held at the Northeast Kingdom International Airport in Coventry. The week’s schedule also included daily seminars and parades of Porsche vehicles, a race of remote-controlled Porsche cars, a 5K run around the back nine holes of the resort’s golf course, and nightly banquets. 

“Our members have high expectations of Porsche Parade, our week long crown jewel event,” said Vu Nguyen, the Porsche Club of America’s Executive Director. “Even with close to 2,000 attendees the Jay Peak Resort staff didn't even flinch. The combination of breathtaking views, curvy roads and service with a smile made for an unforgettable event.” 

The Parade represents the largest piece of single-group business in the resort’s history. Jay Peak signed the agreement with the Porsche Club of America in August of 2013 to host its annual major event, and spent a large part of the last four months preparing for the festival. The ice was removed from the resort’s ice arena so that the facility could be used for PCA headquarters and nightly parties. A 12,000-square foot tent was constructed in the Stateside area to host banquets and technical seminars. And resort officials worked with members of Vermont’s Agency of Transportation and Casella Construction so that the PCA could run its Autocross Race at the Northeast Kingdom International Airport.  

“When you add a piece of conference business like the Porsche Parade to the busiest summer wedding season on record and throw in 3-4 concert events all designed at driving lodging compression, you get the best of all possible jump starts on a very hopeful fiscal year,” said Wright. 

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