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Bridal Veil Falls Tram

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#1 mcjones55

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 08:12 PM

Here is an article from the Salt Lake Tribune on 8/18/06
It would be great to see it back up and running. Has anyone been to the top? Before the avalanche or after?

Visitors once lined up for steep ride
Gondola's owners want Utah County to sponsor a $2.5 million bond for a restoration project
By Todd Hollingshead
The Salt Lake Tribune
A gondola house damaged by an avalanche in 1996 still sits at the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. (Al Hartmann/The Salt Lake Tribune)

PROVO - Wyatt Grow would like to see the building atop Bridal Veil Falls rockin' once again.
Grow, whose family owns the cliffside structure 1,700 feet above the Provo Canyon floor, remembers the days when weekend dance parties kept the spot hopping.
Ten years after a massive avalanche destroyed the family-owned tram that carried partygoers up the steep hillside, Grow is heading up an effort to bring back the tram. This time, he said, the base facilities would be moved to the other side of the highway - away from the path of future avalanches.
"There's nothing like it for hundreds of miles," says Grow, 26. "And even close by, there's nothing that compares in accessibility."
The Grow family has been looking for someone to bring the old attraction back to life since the destructive January 1996 avalanche - but no one has stepped up.
Grow said his family doesn't have the $2.5 million needed to restore the tram.
So the recent Brigham Young University graduate has teamed with Utah Valley tourism chief Joel Racker to make a pitch to Utah County commissioners to sponsor a revenue bond to provide the financing.
But first things first: Commissioners need to OK a feasibility study to see if the investment is worth it.
"We know it's doable. Now the question is, if it's economically viable," Racker said. "Nobody wants to build an albatross or a drain on county resources. We know there's demand; we just don't know if the demand would make it viable."
Helping the cause is a budding partnership between the Utah Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau with the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance.
The Alliance is behind the bill Congress passed in July recognizing U.S. Highway 89, from Fairfield to Kanab, as the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area.
"If they're interested, then we're interested," said Monte Bona, its executive director. "The tram added
significantly to Utah Valley's tourism marketing efforts" in the past. "It added something interesting and unique."
An engineering study for the tram's rebuild - paid for by the Grow family - has already been completed.
Racker, Grow and Bona are set to present the proposal to the County Commission on Aug. 29.
"If we got a check for $2.5 million today, we could built it today," Racker said.
The new tram's gondolas would seat up to 10 people and take fewer than five minutes to reach the top.
During the ascent of more than a quarter-mile, gondolas would slowly rotate twice, giving riders a 360-degree view of the canyon and the 607 feet of gushing waters at Bridal Veil Falls.
The base shop would once again house the tram machinery, along with a new souvenir and concessions shop.
The former restaurant above - which is now a haven for vandals, but still structurally sound, according to the engineer report commissioned by the Grows - would be used mostly as a viewing area.
And, of course, the cliff-side building would be open for the occasional weekend dance party.
"I want to see it be a classy, well-run operation," Grow said. "This is the most serious effort to date."

This post has been edited by mcjones55: 21 August 2006 - 08:13 PM

#2 skier14

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 08:41 PM

Well i hope they build a new tram or gondola but i think the newspaper has a point. I dont know if there would be enough demand to make it worthwhile for Utah county. I have seen the base area around the falls and its a beautiful area. does anyone know who built that tram? its been to long for me to remember who built it.

#3 Peter

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 10:18 PM

Here is a pic of it... http://www.chairlift...bridalveil.html
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#4 Emax

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 06:30 AM

I did some electrical work on it several times - scary machine in nearly every respect. I'm pretty sure that if the avalanche hadn't taken it, the Utah tram board would have closed it down.

Pretty place though.
There are three roads to ruin; women, gambling and technicians. The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technicians. Georges Pompidou

#5 Lift Dinosaur

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 04:52 PM

I would like to know how he plans to move the drive terminal, string new cables, add Rotating cabins, and other upgrades for $2.5 million. I rode the installation in the early 80's and it was impressive. As I remember, it was about "square" - length equal to vertical!
"Things turn out best for the people that make the best of the way things turn out." A.L.

#6 barnstormer

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 05:37 AM

I rode it in '94 with my wife and mom. My dad wouldn't get near the thing. It had a plexiglass panel in the floor. Yikes! I also remember that it had an aircooled VW engine for an APU.

#7 Skiing#1

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 11:26 PM

I remember I rode that tram in July 1970. Here are two pictures.

Attached File  BVF.JPG (169.03K)
Number of downloads: 140 Attached File  BVF1.JPG (169.32K)
Number of downloads: 130

I found two articles...here are websites:



After an avalanche in 1996 destroyed the tram station, the owner had no insurance and he can't afford to be rebuilt. Here is website:


Scroll down to #4. Builders Emporium and fifth paragraph (#D).

Other website about two pictures of the top of the mountain.


By the way, I will try to contact Salt Lake Tribune reporter, Todd Hollingshead to ask owners, Wyatt Grow and David Grow about who build the old tram. I will post any news later if I hear from them.

This post has been edited by Skiing#1: 08 October 2007 - 06:03 AM

#8 Skiing#1

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:00 AM


Scenic tram may be reborn

Bridal Veil owners seek tax bond help from county leaders

By Amy Choate-Nielsen
Deseret Morning News

PROVO Sightseers could soon be taking trips back to the top of Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon if Utah County officials agree to support a plan to resurrect the area's old scenic tram. Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning NewsA runner passes the remains of the tram wheelhouse that was ruined by an avalanche in 1996. The owners of Bridal Veil Falls hope to rebuild a tram and resort.

The Grow family, which has owned Bridal Veil Falls since the early 1970s, approached the Utah County Commission on Tuesday with the idea of rebuilding a tram and resort for the falls. But before the Grows can get the project off the ground and get approval, they need to get some money.

Their plan is to ask the County Commission to sponsor a $3.2 million industrial revenue bond that would not tax the interest earned by the bond and would not hold the county financially responsible for paying off the bond. Then, if the county approves the process, the Grows will approach developers and investors anyone who would be willing to help financially and ask them to buy the bonds and pay off the debt.

"If we can find anybody, anywhere that will buy (the bonds), I think that will solve our finance problem," said Wyatt Grow, who is working with his father, Dave, to get the project approved. "Frankly, I just enjoy the experience that you can only have at Bridal Veil so much that it would be a success in my mind if (the tram) can pay for itself and stay open."

According to Grow, when his family operated the Bridal Veil tram from 1974 until 1996, the attraction usually broke even and occasionally made a profit. It was so well-visited that tourists would sometimes wait two or more hours just to take the ride.

The popular business known at the time as "the world's steepest tram" was shut down in 1996 when an avalanche destroyed the cable equipment, concessions stand and wheel house where passengers boarded the tram.

The avalanche was a disaster, but Dave Grow says the result was also a blessing in disguise for the aging tram, which was originally built in 1960.

"In many ways the avalanche did us a favor because it said, 'Guess what? This is history. Kaboom,"' Dave Grow said. "So, now we're excited that it can be re-envisioned today with all of the updates of modern technology."

Since the avalanche, the only reminders of the former tram are some cables, a boarded-over concrete block and a metal building jutting out of the hillside.

Although travelers have continued to ask over the years about the tram and how to take a ride on it, according to Joel Racker, Utah Valley Convention and Visitor's Bureau president, the Grows were never able to gather steam to reclaim the wreckage until last year.

When Wyatt Grow graduated from college last spring, he spurred his family into trying again.

"I think I'm the fresh energy to get it going," Wyatt Grow said. "We know there is a need in the valley for an affordable but an exciting recreation opportunity. After years of (the tram) lying in ruin ... I think it was just a matter of timing."

The Grows have already completed a $10,000 feasibility study half of which they hope the county will pay for of the economic viability of rebuilding the tram. Results of the study will be presented to the county commission on Tuesday.

"I'm interested in seeing what the report shows us," Utah County Commissioner Larry Ellertson said. "I would hope that it would be a positive report and we could make a go of (the project) and it would benefit the community."

Plans for a new tram include a 12-passenger car that will rotate 360 degrees as it heads up the hill for a six-minute ride. At the base of the falls would be a concession stand and at the top would be an observation deck. Ticket costs are estimated to be less than $10.

The base of the tram would also be moved farther from the path of potential avalanches to avoid the same disaster. According to the Grows, the main building will be partly tucked against a hill and triangular in shape, to redirect snow.

"We're very excited about the opportunity to envision and build something the way it should have been in the beginning," Dave Grow said. "We all learn from history."

If the commission approves the bond issuance, Grow says the tram could be back in business by May 2008.


E-mail: achoate@desnews.com

#9 Kelly

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:40 AM

In-depth story of avalanche that closed the tram.
The author Kevin Griffith states the avalanche ran across the canyon floor, the river, then uphill to hit the tram. This was a small finger of a larger event with a fracture line of 2 miles.

#10 lastchair_44

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:15 PM

The debris field took FOREVER to melt.

#11 slyfoxx

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 10:59 PM

Ya know, I had a chance when I was in high school to ride it (during the '80s) but was too chicken, it just looked scary & it appeared to move pretty fast so I chickened out thinking it'd still be around but "he who hesitates, has to wait" as I always now say. If they don't get it up & running, it'd be one of those things that I "cudda, shudda, wudda" done. They can always start small, the same size cabins as before, to earn initial money then build up. When we went it was a VERY popular & scenic stop, the way they had the boardwalk going across the river there & picnic area too. It REALLY was a pretty roadside attraction. I really do wish I'd have ridden it. :( I don't even have photos of our stop there. I broke my camera (which was given to me) on a previous trip & my parents wouldn't buy me a replacement. Too bad. I REALLY hope they come thru for the tram, I really would like to experience something I skipped out on before.

#12 Carl

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 06:14 PM

I stopped and looked at it a month or so ago. Wow! I'd love to see an aerial ropeway running again up that impressive cliff. I'd ride it in a heartbeat!


#13 Snoqualmie guy

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 07:40 PM

That looks about the steepest tram I've ever seen for that short of distince. How many do the cabins hold?

This post has been edited by Snoqualmie guy: 07 October 2007 - 07:41 PM

- Jeff

Why couldn't they of come up with "Global Cooling"?

#14 Emax

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 06:02 AM

View PostSnoqualmie guy, on Oct 7 2007, 09:40 PM, said:

That looks about the steepest tram I've ever seen for that short of distince. How many do the cabins hold?

Two cabins - six passengers each (friendly ones).
There are three roads to ruin; women, gambling and technicians. The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technicians. Georges Pompidou

#15 Snoqualmie guy

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 08:28 PM

In other words that would fit, two guys or six women.
- Jeff

Why couldn't they of come up with "Global Cooling"?

#16 Carl

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 01:37 PM

View PostSnoqualmie guy, on Oct 8 2007, 10:28 PM, said:

In other words that would fit, two guys or six women.


Oh, I have so many replies that I just can't choose which one........


#17 CH3skier

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 08:58 AM


Fire destroys building at Bridal Veil Falls
July 25th, 2008 @ 8:50am
By Nicole Gonzales and Tom Callan
A fire burning near Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon is mostly out this morning.

It destroyed an old restaurant at the falls and snapped one tram cable line but was contained to the structure.

Crews say it started just after 11 p.m. They let it burn through the night, closely monitoring it. A forest service crew plans to do a fly over later this morning to assess the status of the fire.

Surrounding trails and campsights are closed. However, traffic is allowed through on Highway 189.

Utah County fire officials believe the fire may have been intentionally set. Investigators are interviewing people who were hiking in the area at the time the fire started, in hopes they can help with the investigation.

One witness we spoke with, Russ Ridge, says the fire is definitely hard to get to. "It's up on the mountain in a very precarious place. I don't know how they're going to get to it unless they bring in a helicopter," he said.

The restaurant at the top of the falls has been closed for several years.

#18 skierdude9450

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 03:29 PM

:crying: I guess there goes any hope of reopening.

"Today's problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." -Albert Einstein

#19 Callao

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 04:51 PM

View Postskierdude9450, on Jul 26 2008, 05:29 PM, said:

:crying: I guess there goes any hope of reopening.

I don't know--a reopening would require new infrastructure anyway. Consider how much money they just saved, rather than having to tear the thing down "the safe way."

#20 Skiing#1

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:46 AM

KSL news announced the tram cut down since there was a fire.

KSL news:


Tram line to Bridal Veil Falls cut down
August 14th, 2008 @ 8:58am
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A tram line leading to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon has been cut down.

The line was damaged in a July 25 fire that authorities say was man-made, though they haven't determined whether it was intentional.

The tram led visitors to a mountaintop restaurant hadn't been open for more than a decade.

After the fire, the Utah County Sheriff's Office ordered the owners to pull down the remaining cable, fearing people would use it to scale the rocky face by the waterfall.

Information from: The Daily Herald

The Daily Herald:


Luis Garcia and his brother Jose Alfredo Garcia, right, wind up cables from the Bridal Veil Falls tram on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at Bridal Veil Falls. Years ago the cables had been cut and were dangling from the cliff before government officials decided to completely take them down for safety reasons. Some of the cables will be taken to a house near the Sevier River that is being made by recycled material.

Thursday, 14 August 2008
Bridal Veil Falls tram line cut down
Ace Stryker - Daily Herald

After nearly 50 years in Provo Canyon, the tram line leading to the old Eagle's Nest Lodge atop Bridal Veil Falls has been cut down.

The line was badly damaged in a July 25 fire that authorities say was man-made, though they haven't determined whether it was intentional. The mountaintop restaurant hadn't been operational for more than a decade -- since New Year's Day, 1996, when an avalanche severely damaged the tram equipment. But the Grow family of Orem, which has owned the property since 1971, had been looking for the chance to restore it to working order. David Grow said the fire effectively sealed the restaurant's fate.

"This one could've lasted forever," said Grow, 69, who operated the tram during its heyday in the '70s and '80s. "I'm really mad at somebody."

Grow said he's convinced the fire was the result of arson. The U.S Forest Service is still investigating.


There are two pictures in that newspaper. It won't let me copy and it blocked. You open the internet that web address above and see the picture.

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