Skip to main content

Viability of Edmonton urban gondola confirmed by third-party study, says company


A feasibility study confirms a gondola over Edmonton's river valley "makes a ton of sense," says the man behind the project.

According to Prairie Sky Gondola's CEO and president, the analysis was recently completed by Steer Group and confirms his team's case that their urban gondola is a good business decision.

"To make hundreds of pages of analysis to a succinct point, they said this project makes a ton of sense in Edmonton and the private sector should be excited about this opportunity," Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson told CTV News Edmonton in an interview on Wednesday.

The report hasn't been released publicly.

In 2020, Prairie Sky estimated a gondola would conduct more than 1.7 million trips per year.

"I remember at that time, a lot of people in the community, elected officials and otherwise, said, 'I don't believe that number. How'd you come up with that? It doesn't make sense to me,'" Hansen-Carlson recalled.

"Part of the process of due diligence on a project of this significance is retaining a third party to do a deep dive into your business case, a deep dive into your ridership projections, your revenue model, to flush out all of those questions, and that exercise cost a lot of money, took a lot of time."

But the analysis not only confirmed Prairie Sky's ridership projections, Hansen-Carlson says, but also confirmed the gondola would face little competition from other attractions and as such is "commercially viable."

Prairie Sky now expects the ropeway system to be operating in 2025.

Edmonton city council voted 8-5 in February to give the privately funded project a green light.

However, the top items on the company's to-do list are big: it needs to finish and get city council approval for both real estate negotiations and the rezoning of 41 parcels of land. The latter process consists of public and Indigenous consultation. A river valley bylaw also has yet to be approved by city council. 

More to come... 

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nahreman Issa Top Stories

Stay Connected