Palm Springs Aerial Tramway rededicated

Ceremony marks 50th anniversary of first tram ride

POSTED: 08:12 PM PDT Sep 12, 2013 

To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first tram ride at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the city's Mayor Steve Pougnet cut the ribbon during a rededication ceremony Thursday.

Since the tramway began operation a half century ago, more than 13 million people have taken the tram's two-and-a-half-mile trip that takes them up to the heart of the San Jacinto Mountains.

It's no coincidence the tramway is one of Southern California's leading tourist attractions.

 "You're going from the desert floor to the canyons to an alpine wilderness," said Linda Vivian, who was  the tramway's director of sales and marketing between 1975 and 1997.  "It's like driving from Mexico to the Alaskan frontier, it's something everyone needs to experience, it's just fantastic."

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was built in just over two years at a cost of more than $8 million, all funding from private funds.

The attraction underwent renovation 13 years ago, installing the largest rotating tram cars in the world.