Sea to Sky Gondola closure leaves couples scrambling
Fallout from the sudden closure of the Sea to Sky Gondola earlier this month wasn't limited to the thousands of tourists who can no longer ride the attraction or the 75 seasonal employees who were prematurely laid off as a result.
Dozens of events – including several weddings – planned at the top of the mountain have had to relocate because of the cable police believe was deliberately severed.
“My heart just sank to my stomach and I just couldn’t believe this was happening,” said Caroline Hyatt, wedding coordinator and owner of Love and Confetti.
Hyatt had a wedding scheduled just days after the news broke. She started looking for alternate venues for her clients right away.
“The first few days were just absolutely hectic because I had four of the five couples (whose) weddings are coming up very soon and they were scrambling to find a venue,” Hyatt told CTV News Vancouver.
The Gondola came crashing down in the early morning hours of Aug. 10. RCMP have opened a criminal investigation.
“No one can predict that something like this could happen. I would assume that a natural disaster would happen sooner than vandalism,” said Hyatt.
The wedding coordinator says affected couples have received a refund and Sea to Sky Gondola staff are helping them make alternate arrangements.
“We’re in the process of working with them to see if we can use some of their staff that are now without jobs,” she said.
Several other events have also been relocated. Yoga Love and Mediation Boutique in downtown Squamish was scheduled to have an event at the top of the mountain this week.
“It’s feels pretty wild actually. It’s hard to believe that someone went through with actually planning this and then went through with the plan,” said Nathalie Maginot, an employee at the boutique.
Business owners hope the closure doesn’t deter visitors.
“That sends a lot of business out of Squamish right there. It’s terrible,” said Murray McCorriston, owner of the Squamish Native Art Store.
The Gondola isn’t expected to re-open until next Spring at the earliest.