What do you think of this project?


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The_Cat

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I also wonder if there could be a better chance of a hotel being built near the station (e.g., perhaps a boutique hotel in Old Strathcona). There are three major hotels (Westin, Chateau Lacombe and Fairmont Hotel MacDonald) in close proximity to the Gondola.
 

PrairieSkyGondola

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Well if you’re talking about adding lighting. Maybe some type of LED coloured lighting to make it look more attractive and to stand out more. I think especially during the winter some type of coloured lighting would look amazing with the skyline backdrop.
Nice idea indeed. When we start the formal engagement process we will be asking feedback for the design or stations and cabins, public realm improvements, activation and the like. So getting comments about lighting would be great.
 

PrairieSkyGondola

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@PrairieSkyGondola not too many Edmontonians are going to be on board with this project if the fee structure is close to what's being shared in social media right now - see below. At what stage will you be able to share a ridership fee with the public?

The gondola in Edmonton will cost a user:
$10.25 a ride for commuters
$50 for international tourists



Thanks for the feedback & we're continuing to listen. A lot has changed since those initial 2020 conversations and no final decision has been made. Today we had a meeting with WIX, which will be operating ARC, and they reminded us that the advantage of using an ARC card is that, as long as customers tap off within the 90-minute travel window, the fare will count toward a daily or monthly cap. This means that if you have reached your cap, you get to travel for free. This is designed for those commuters that would be regularly using the gondola on their way to work for example. So, the fare isn't the same for a frequent commuter compared to the occasional user. In any case, let us be clear: We live here and as part of the community we too want it to be accessible to families, seniors, youth, cyclists, etc. We really appreciate your feedback as it informs our project as it moves forward.
 

PrairieSkyGondola

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I just think you have to be competitive with an Uber/taxi fare if you want people to use this as active transportation. If the price of an Uber for 2 people is around the same price, I think most people are simply going to use that option.

I'm of the impression that this gondola will mostly be used as a tourist experience (as well as a local tourist experience with locals going on it once a year). It will likely also be successful on warm summer evenings on the weekend as people head out to restaurants on downtown/Whyte, and give it a go. In mediocre/poor weather, I really question how many users will continue to use the gondolas. This is also one of the reasons that I am highly skeptical of this business to be able to run profitably without government subsidies (which I am actually on board with for a "reasonable" amount).

Again, I have not conducted studies on consumer demand for this, so I hope my opinion is just that, and wrong. I'd really like for this to succeed as I think it adds a lot to the Edmonton tourist experience, and adds some nice character to the city.
Thanks Jason and something we are trying to convey is that our business case has a diversified revenue portfolio and was reviewed by Steer Group, an unquestioned world leader in transportation infrastructure, in the fall last year. This review included a full bottom-up ridership and revenue projection by Steer, which was the basis for a full business case produced by leaders in PWC’s infrastructure group. This was a comprehensive expert review of the feasibility of our project and we can assure you that we wouldn't have invested more than $1M of purely private sector money on assessing its viability for nothing. We have been methodical, we have had many leading professionals review our business case, and adapted the project to Edmonton's realities. We are also fully de-risking the City. All these details will be made public in our real estate and infrastructure agreements sometime in mid-July before we go to Executive Committee on Aug 10 (and City Council on Aug 15).
 

PrairieSkyGondola

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I think of the possibility of business growth in Strathcona and Downtown. There isn't a lot of activity in Rice Howard Way or Jasper Avenue around ATB Place. I also think that there would be more activity east of Gateway/Whyte Avenue.
That's exactly part of our plan. Connectivity is a big part of our project. Connecting missing links and connecting main streets creates vibrancy, visibility and opportunity. One of our favourite spots Downtown is the promenade on Macdonald Drive. It's such a beautiful and unique view with lovely mature trees and benches, yet we barely see anyone hang out there. It's only 1 block from Jasper and across from the historic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, yet because it's so hard to get to, it's forgotten. Same with the River Valley. It is our pride and joy, yet many only truly experienced it during the pandemic. In reality, if you don't live walking distance from the river valley, if you have mobility issues, if you need access to washrooms or have kids, it's not that easy to get to the river. We look at it, but we don't get to be in it. This is what happens when things are disconnected, in theory they may be the best places ever but if it's not easy to get to them, they lose appeal. We aim to remedy this, and the City is extremely excited about the potential our gondola has to be the catalyst for vibrancy in so many of their city plans. We are actually about to post a blog about this very soon!
 

IanO

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Neat little diagram.
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PrairieSkyGondola

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REMINDER that tomorrow on Sat, June 25 you can visit us and ask questions as our blue tent will be downtown at the Al Fresco on 104 which is every Saturday for the whole Summer. For those who don't know, it's a wonderful open-air celebration filled with extended patios, live music, art classes, fitness workouts, dog-friendly programming, market vendors, dance lessons and shopping, all in one place.

Here are our other dates:

Al Fresco on 4th
104 Street between Jasper and 102 Ave
June 25, July 16, July 23 and August 13
11am - 3pm

Old Strathcona Farmers Market
10310 83 Ave, one block north of Whyte Ave
July 2, July 30 and August 6
9am - 3pm

See you there!
 

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