PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has tentative plans in place to add brand-new attractions to further the tram experience. The thrill has always been taking the tram up the mountain, but tram officials want to further the experience before patrons set foot on the tramcar. "We learned from Disney, almost every attraction does," said Palm Springs Aerial Tramway general manager Rob Parkins. He added, "you need to continue to upgrade your product, and that's what we're going about doing now."
The tramway plans to add a zip line attraction near the lower valley station, just above the current employee parking lot. The zip line would be around 550 feet of elevation, similar to the height of the first tower. It would also be a completely separate attraction from the tram. The plan to build is on hold till the concept passes the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. But once that hurdle is cleared, officials expect to have the zipline up and running within six months.
"Once that's all done and we've answered everybody's questions and made them comfortable with this, that we're not going to be destroying the mountains and so on, then we can proceed."
No prices have been set, but Parkins said the zip line should pay for itself in five years. Tram officials are also planning a "walk-through-the-trees" experience, included free of charge with a purchase of a tram ticket. The zip line concept is much further along than the treehouse trail. That still needs to pass through the CEQA, but if it does then tram riders will experience one more thing, free of charge, before they go up the mountain.
The tram still plans to charge for paid parking in 2016, but Coachella Valley residents can apply for free parking vouchers with proof of residence in the area.