The Gondola is opening within the next half hour! We will be opening it as soon as we can during this time frame. Thank you to everyone for their patience and support throughout this process.
Today’s testing was successful and we plan to open the three runs under the Gondola tomorrow, adding to our more than 2,200 acres that are already open. We are currently working through our final punch list from the inspection team. At this point we are very optimistic that we will be able to open our new gondola sometime tomorrow! When we open we will be running with slightly reduced capacity as we go through this startup phase. Once we have completed the punch list, we will have approval from the licensing and inspection team. In the meantime, we still have 18 other lifts open and the top of Winter Park is still accessible by taking the Arrow or Gemini to the Eskimo lift. We will send out an update tomorrow as soon as we have more information.
We are very sorry that unfortunately we are not able to open today as we had hoped, but we thank you all for your patience as we prepare to open the gondola. We made good progress yesterday with the acceptance/load testing process. We were able to work through a number of different testing protocols under load, however there are still several unresolved issues. We are working with the POMA team through the punch list today and the POMA engineers are reviewing the data that was collected over the last 4 days of testing. The inspection team as well as additional personnel from POMA will be on site tomorrow to review the work that we will complete today. We are still uncertain about the exact opening day, however we are getting closer. We will update you again tomorrow.
We are in day 4 of our acceptance/load test process. We loaded cabins with weight yesterday afternoon. We have passed through several tests, however we are having challenges getting the lift up to top speed with a full load. Doing so is a requirement to pass all inspections. We are going through diagnostic testing on our drive system to find what is causing this issue and working as diligently as we can with our operation and inspection teams along with all available resources at our disposal. We are as eager as you to get our new lift running, unfortunately it is being overly temperamental. We will work through this issue, however at this point we are uncertain if we will be able to open on Christmas Day.
Yesterday and this morning we completed tuning and adjusting our terminals. We are currently in the process of dynamic load testing, which entails loading the uphill line of cabins with about 2,000 lbs of weight per cabin then running the lift through all of its operation processes. This includes stop sequences and safety system monitoring. We anticipate completing the load testing today. Once we complete this we will be reviewing the last several days with our inspection team. We are still optimistic about being able to open sometime on Christmas Day, but that is of course dependent on a successful load test today.
We understand everyone, including us, has been anxiously awaiting The Gondola opening and we apologize for not being more transparent about its status. This project has been a complex undertaking and the last thing we wanted to do was provide our guests with inaccurate information. However, we understand that without us supplying the most accurate information we do have, misinformation is out there.
Going forward we are committed to providing you with daily updates on The Gondola by 2pm MT. Our acceptance testing began yesterday. This process requires going through all of the safety and operating systems of the lift. Yesterday, we went through our electrical and tower safety circuits. Today we are working through terminal testing. We anticipate doing the dynamic load testing tomorrow.
This is a brand new lift system for the U.S. and we are one of only three in the country, which is why our testing process is taking a little longer. We are optimistic about opening on Tuesday, just in time for Christmas, but we do have to complete these extensive tests first.
Thank you for your patience as we complete this process and we will update you tomorrow on our progress. We look forward to riding The Gondola with you soon!