Sea to Sky Gondola to reopen next week, months after cables were deliberately cut a 2nd time

A Sea to Sky Gondola car lies on the ground. The attraction says the main cable was deliberately cut for a second time on Sept. 14, 2020. (RCMP handout)

More than eight months after strands of the Sea to Sky Gondola's cables were deliberately cut for a second time, the attraction's operators say it'll reopen next week.

In a notice posted online Tuesday, operators said they plan to reopen the attraction on June 11.

"Needless to say, the past eight months have been extremely challenging for everyone. We would like to thank our fantastic Sea to Sky community and industry partners who, despite their own challenges, have supported us every step of the way," a notice posted on the attraction's website says.

"Squamish, thanks for always sharing the love. The notes of support, food deliveries and kind words have all been immensely appreciated. We can’t wait to welcome you back to enjoy our collective backyard."

In August 2019, lines at the Sea to Sky Gondola were deliberately cut for the first time, sending the attraction's cable cars crashing to the ground. About 75 staff members were laid off as a result of the attraction being forced to close. 

The gondola reopened in February 2020 after more than $5 million in repairs, then temporarily closed due to COVID-19 in March. The attraction reopened with new health and safety measures in May.

But on Sept. 14, the attraction's security team alerted police to yet another act of vandalism. A technical report later confirmed the cables were deliberately severed for a second time. 

Late last year, the clean-up process was completed and a new cable and 25 cabins were ordered. 

Those cabins have arrived and a team is getting ready to install them on the gondola line. "Extensive updates" have also been made to the attraction's security system, the company says.

"Our security architecture is extraordinary in the lift industry and has evolved after extensive consultation with security experts," the attraction's online statement says. "We will not be disclosing all of the details of our security system; however, by design, we will provide a safe experience for everyone."

Due to COVID-19, operators say when the attraction reopens next week, guests will ride in the gondola in their "bubble" and masks will be required in all public spaces.