Famous Estes Park Tramway to reopen under new owner in May

Courtesy of Estes Park Aerial Tramway
Passengers ride the Estes Park Aerial Tramway during the 2022 season.

The famous fire-engine red tram cabins that have traveled up Prospect Mountain from Estes Park for nearly 70 years will reopen this summer after being purchased last year. 

The new owner, private tourism firm Gondola Ventures LLC, said the aerial tramway has operated continuously since 1955, except in 2020, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It paused operations in 2023, the year of the sale to the new owners. 

The iconic tramway will reopen to the public May 25, 2024.

Right now, the new owners are making upgrades to the property including improvements to the interior of the cafe and gift shop at the mountain’s summit. They’re also repaving the parking lot, signage and accessibility improvements. A new online ticketing system will help manage timed entries. 

"We're excited to breathe new life into the Estes Park Aerial Tramway," said Adrian Liddell, long time General Manager of the Estes Park Tramway, in a statement. “Our goal is to blend the tramway’s storied past with modern enhancements.”

Courtesy of Estes Park Aerial Tramway
A photo from inside the Estes Park Aerial Tramway on opening day of the 2022 season.

The Estes Park Aerial Tramway was designed by the Colorado ski lift engineer Robert Heron. He was known for designing Lift 1 in Aspen and the state’s first double-chair lift at Berthoud Pass. He is an inductee of the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame for his contribution to lift designing. 

Heron’s family operated the scenic tramway until last year. 

“GVC is excited to add the Estes Park Aerial Tramway to its portfolio and we’re honored the Heron Family agreed to let us take on the Tramway’s historic legacy. The Estes Park Tramway is one of the best examples of an iconic system in the U.S.,” said Perry Shea, CEO and co-founder of Gondola Ventures, in a statement.

Gondola Ventures is also the firm behind a new cable car system under development at Argo Mill in Idaho Springs.