After nearly six months of anticipating the sight of yellow chairs again gliding up and down Crockett Mountain, the wait is now over for friends and fans of the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. The entirely new scenic chairlift opens at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 26.
The Sky Lift team is honored to have Gatlinburg Mayor, Mike Werner and Sevier County Major, Larry Waters along with other special guests from the City of Gatlinburg, and Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and CVB attending the opening. At 9:00 am, Mayor Werner and Mayor Waters will depart in the celebratory ‘First Chair’.
Access to the new chairlift has changed in minor ways and visitors will recognize that little has changed at the attraction’s street-level facility. However, stepping into position to load, changes are very apparent. The new chairs are an upgrade as all 92 now accommodate up to three people in each. The lift’s eleven orange towers and cross arms are taller than those of the previous lift, therefore riders are eight to ten feet higher when in motion. The mountaintop overlook–Gatlinburg Sky Deck, remains closed and because the ongoing construction makes the area unsafe, riders are restricted from unloading at the top. Until completion in early fall, the Sky Lift experience allows riders to relax as the chair moves smoothly around the top wheel and without getting off, they are on their way back down with a wide-angle view of the majestic Smoky Mountains as well as an overhead view of Gatlinburg. The roundtrip ride is approximately 18 minutes.
The $2.6 million project began with removal of the Riblet chairlift that received significant damage during the November 2016 wildfires. Manufactured and installed by Doppelmayr, the advanced system introduces riders to a three-person chair, an upgrade from the double chairs on the previous lift. The yellow chairs were specially designed with wooden slats to resemble the chairs that are unmistakable in millions of treasured photos taken over the years. Orange towers were also selected to carry forward the iconic presence of this attraction among the Gatlinburg landscape. Read More