Telluride Making Gondolas Into Dining Cabins


Telluride Making Gondolas Into Dining Cabins

Socially Distant Gourmet Gondolas

The Town of Mountain Village at Telluride is thinking outside the box for this coming ski season, and thinking inside their gondolas. The town is converting old gondola cars into socially distant gourmet cabins for base plaza restaurants, as a creative way to combat occupancy restrictions brought on by Covid-19.

Local regulations are currently limiting indoor dining capacity to 50% or less for health reasons. These gondolas will be able to provide additional comfortable outdoor dining for six to eight people. According to The Denver Post, “The cabins, which are being refurbished by The Gondola Shop in Fruita, will have lights (in the ceiling and under chairs), heating and ventilation systems, cushioned seats with black leather coverings, wooden dining tables, easy-sliding doors and sturdy floors that can withstand wear and tear from ski boots.”

Artist rendering of Telluride Converting Gondola Cars Into Dining Cabins
(Artist rendering provided by the Town of Mountain Village)

Imagine The ‘Pastabilities’

I was completely on board when I first heard this story. That is, until I got to the words, base plaza. I understand the pandemic has us all adjusting to looking at things in a new way. However, I think we are also missing an amazing new way to eat on the go and take in the sights. Let’s get these cabins up and running on the hill!

Can you imagine the pastabilties? “Sorry sir you can go ahead of me. I am holding out for the Mediterranean gondola today. I hear they have a Gyro special.” The eating efficiency alone would be a marvel to see, “Must finish your meal in 3000 vertical feet or less!” Once we can all share food again maybe a brunch buffet on the tram? Omelet station anyone?

Telluride, CO

On a serious note, what a fantastic and fun idea by the Town of Mountain Village. Plastic igloos might be fine for outdoor dining city slickers, but these gondolas were already made to hold up to harsh Colorado winters and even harsher ski boots.

Plastic globes used for outdoor dining in New York City
(An Upper West Side restaurant installed “space bubbles” for outdoor dining this fall. Photograph courtesy of Instagram @rflnyc)

I am excited to see what other ski areas all around the country come up with. Let’s make this the coziest socially distant pandemic ski season ever! Do you have suggestions or ideas, of what wild dining options you’d like to see at your home mountain? Let us know in the comments!

RELATED: Killington Resort Announces Covid-19 Opening Plans