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"I think it will be great for
skiing. At the beginning I didn't know what to think of it, but now I can see
the potential. I can see that it is really going to make a big difference."
The gondola has the longest
unsupported span for a lift of its kind in the world at 3.024 kilometres. It is
also the highest lift of its kind off the ground.
Even Dan Doyle, the head of venue
construction for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games, came to
the resort to take a ride.
"It was phenomenal," he said.
"What a great thing to bring to
Whistler. I wanted to come to see it because I am an engineer, and this is a
phenomenal feat. Look at the towers, look at the cables, and the cars. It is
"We think the Games are going to
show the world what Whistler-Blackcomb is all about, and now we will be able to
show them this as well. It will be great."
Whistler-Blackcomb's Dave Brownlie
could hardly contain his excitement in announcing the opening.
With an ear-splitting smile he told
the huge crowd that when he first heard of the idea from Hugh Smythe he just
smiled and went back to work.
But once the 2010 Games were won
and the mountains consistently drew over two million skier visits staff knew
the mountains had to look to the future.
"At Whistler-Blackcomb we have
always dreamed big, and we have always been bold, and the Peak 2 Peak is all
about that," he said to an appreciative crowd.
"Building on the top of two mountains
after two big snow years in what can only be described as an overheated
building environment to deliver this project on time and on budget has been a
huge, huge accomplishment.
"The Peak 2 Peak gondola is about
inspiration, and it is about dreams. It will take our guest experience to an
entirely new level, and it will inspire people to come from around the world
and enjoy our playground."