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Telluride Gondola Turns 20

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When I first moved to Telluride in the summer of 1994, I lived in town but worked in Mountain Village. Back then, there was no gondola to provide a beautiful and easy commute to work. Getting to work was an adventure. I rode my bike down the River Trail to the base of Boomerang and hiked straight uphill for a mile. Biking and hiking were not a bad way to start the day except for the fact that this adventurous commute took place at 5 a.m. in sheer darkness so that I could arrive for my morning shift in room service at the Peaks Hotel.  Every morning as I hiked up the trail I kept my fingers crossed that I would not encounter any wildlife, especially bears (which did happen once but that is another story). 

Flash forward two decades and today a commute from Telluride to the Mountain Village involves hopping on the free gondola. The gondola celebrates 20 years in operation this winter and offers what many consider to be 13 of the best free minutes you can spend in Telluride.  The gondola serves as an emissions-reducing public transportation system (transporting nearly 2.5 million riders per year) as well as a ski lift, standing as one of the most prominent and beloved amenities of the region.

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In honor of the Gondola’s 20th anniversary, a red commemorative cabin has been added to the line of cabins and there will be a host of special events celebrating the gondola. We are also running a #Gondola20 Photo/Video Contest. Submit a fun gondola photo or video for your chance to win an outfit by Toad & Co and a $100 gift card to the Telluride Ski Resort (gift card can be used for a lift ticket!).  Enter the contest here.

Read more about the gondola here.

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