Gatlinburg Sky Lift should reopen by early summer

March 7, 2017: Crews are completely replacing the best seat in Gatlinburg.

GATLINBURG, TENN. - Work continues to renovate and reopen the iconic Gatlinburg Sky Lift, which was damaged in November's wildfires.

The fire destroyed the upper viewing deck and did so much damage to the chair lift's tower support system that it needed to be replaced.

Boyne Resorts owns and operates the lift.  Senior Vice President Julie Ard told 10News the work on the towers is complete, along with the cable that supports the chairs. They are now working on the electrical system.

As soon as the new, three-person chairs arrive, they will begin hanging them.  Work on the loading and unloading platforms will begin soon, and they hope they will be ready for state inspections by the end of April.

They are still finalizing their plans for the mountaintop viewing deck and patio, and want to clean up and beautify the property as much as they can before reopening.

They hope to be back open for business by late spring or early summer.

Previous story: March 7

Crews have started the work to replace the iconic Gatlinburg Sky Lift. 

Helicopters started removing the existing towers from the hillside attraction on Monday, and began flying in concrete for the new chair lift Tuesday. 

The operators determined the Sky Lift suffered too much damage in last year's wildfires to be repaired and instead needed to be completely replaced.

The upper viewing deck, including the gift shop, was destroyed; however, the street-level building was not impacted by the fire. 

PREVIOUS: Gatlinburg Sky Lift assessing damage from wildfires 

Boyne Resorts operates the downtown Gatlinburg attraction. When it reopens, it'll also be getting a big seat upgrade. 

Sky Lift General Manager Randy Watson recently told 10News that the new chair lift will be using chairs with three seats instead of two. 

But Watson confirmed they'll be sticking with yellow for the color. He said they hope to have it back open in mid to late April. 


© 2017 WBIR.COM


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