Investigation confirms Sea to Sky Gondola cable was cut: RCMP
The lift's haul rope fell, making the gondola inoperable. (RCMP)
Published Friday, August 23, 2019 12:46PM PDT
The RCMP has confirmed a tourist attraction north of Vancouver was intentionally damaged.
In a short statement to media, Squamish Mounties said the investigation proved that the main cable on the Sea to Sky Gondola was cut.
"There are no other natural or mechanical reasons for the cable to have failed," the RCMP said of the incident near the Stawamus Chief in Squamish.
Mounties did not release any more information, saying that details would be withheld to "preserve the integrity of the investigation."
It's a suspicion the RCMP had already voiced following a preliminary investigation earlier this month.
They've said previously that the investigation is criminal in nature, though they have not provided any indications of a possible motive.
Construction on an elevated tree walk began less than two weeks before the cable was cut, but the gondola's general manager said he couldn't speculate on whether the timing was coincidental. He said only that there were no clear indications about who may have done it, and that he believed RCMP had "some directions that they're leaning in."
The cabins of the gondola came crashing down at around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, prompting a police investigation and the complete closure of the attraction on the Sea to Sky Highway.
The incident left couples who'd planned weddings at the venue scrambling to make other arrangements.
Gondola staff estimate that it will be closed at least until next spring as they wait for replacement cabins and cable to be manufactured and shipped from Europe.
As a result, 75 staff members were laid off.
"This is longer than any of us had hoped but we have to live with the reality of the situation and move forward responsibly," a post on the lift's website read.
And businesses that rely on the attraction to bring tourists to Squamish are worried they may be impacted as well.
"The gondola absolutely put us on the map. It achieved international attention when it opened," Squamish Mayor Karen Elliot told CTV News when the gondola first closed.
Anyone who may know what happened is asked to contact the RCMP tip line at 604-892-6122, or to provide information anonymously through Crime Stoppers.