Ski Apache’s new gondola — the Apache Arrow — will debut on Friday, with a grand opening ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m., the Ruidoso News reported.
The Doppelmayr Gondola will be able to ferry eight passengers at a time, climbing 1,646 feet in eight minutes, nearly twice as fast as the resort’s previous gondola, the News said.
The Apache Arrow, which can carry 2,000 skiers each hour, has been called the first and only passenger gondola in New Mexico, the paper reported. The previous four-passenger gondola was installed in 1962 — the first ski-slope gondola in North America.
Combined with chair lifts, including two new lifts, Ski Apache will be able to whisk 3,600 people to the summit every hour, the News said.
The new transport is part of a $15 million investment made by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the ski area’s owner and operator, according to the News. The improvements and repairs were approved after the Little Bear Fire moved through a part of the ski resort last June.