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Magazine tells story of failed Moab gondola

Published August 15, 2012 10:02 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

More than once I've driven into or out of Moab with a friend of mine from the Midwest who has asked:

"Is that a gondola?"

Yes, I answer. The follow up question is something to the effect of "Is it working?"

No. And a new article from Pique Newsmagazine explains why.

Reporter John French, with help from Moab Times-Independent editor Lisa Church, explains the history of the gondola that was meant to transport hikers, mountain bikers and a dinner crowd 230 meters up a red rock mountain.

From the article:

The original proponent of the failed Moab project, William "Rick" Jewett, installed the sightseeing lift in 2001 but it never moved any paying customers. The project proponents and county officials became embroiled in legal disputes that led to the demise of the project.To this day the lift infrastructure sits at the north end of Moab as a blunt reminder of the failed venture from more than a decade ago.

I think a working gondola in that spot would be neat, but a hanging gondola is an eyesore. Would you favor someone restarting the project or tearing down the gondola?

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @UtahHikes