May 16, 2014 11:29 am

New Sea to Sky gondola opens in Squamish as protesters rally against LNG plant in the area

Watch: The grand opening of the Sea to Sky gondola

The new Sea to Sky gondola will officially open this morning in Squamish.

The gondola will take tourists on a 10-minute, nearly two-kilometer ride to the top of Howe Sound, 886 meters above sea level.

The company behind the project says it will provide new views of Shannon Falls and the famous Squamish Chief climbing area, year-round access to hiking trails and Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge.

It will cost $34.95 for an adult to take a round-trip ride on the gondola.

The $22-million gondola has been built through a provincial park near Squamish, but construction has not been without problems.

During testing in February, a gondola cabin came off the line and fell to the ground. No one was injured, but the B.C. Safety Authority launched an investigation.

WATCH: Riding Squamish’s Sea to Sky Gondola


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Today, protesters will be holding a rally outside the grand opening, which will be attended by local MLAs and tourism minister Naomi Yamamoto, to oppose a proposed Woodfibre LNG plant in the area.

The protesters are expected to line the highway between Shannon Falls and the gondola.

Tracey Saxby with My Sea to Sky says even though everybody in town is excited about the opening and supports the gondola, they feel that today’s event has been politicized.

“We want to send a very clear message to MLAs, the premier and our ministers that Squamish is very concerned about this Woodfibre LNG project and that we do not support it going ahead,” says Saxby. “We are very concerned that this plant is in complete opposition to the community direction and it is going to have a direct impact on this brand new investment in tourism infrastructure.”

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