Cannon Mountain’s tramway now has the money in place for work on its replacement to begin. New England Ski Industry reports that New Hampshire’s biennial 2024-25 budget, which was signed by Governor Chris Sununu this week, includes $18 million from the State General Fund “for the maintenance and operation of the tramway at Cannon Mountain.”
Cannon Mountain, which is part of Franconia Notch State Park, is a state-run entity. Major capital projects like this need to be approved by the state legislature. Stakeholders at Cannon Mountain were hoping to receive $25 million in funds for the new tramway project. With this reduction, some of the components from the currently operating tramway will be reused.
In an interview with Ski Area Management, John Devivo, who is the General Manager of Cannon Mountain, said that “the track cables (on which the carriage assemblies roll), towers, concrete tower bases, top and bottom receiver buildings and steel superstructure are in fine condition,” and will likely be reused. The parts that will need to be replaced include “the tram cars, carriage assemblies, hanger arms, haul rope, electrical and electromechanical systems (drive, brake, safety, etc.).”
The history of Cannon’s tramway dates back to 1938. The 24-person cabins carried riders up to the top of Cannon but were eventually replaced by a new tramway, which opened in 1980. This eighty-person tramway is mostly used during the offseason, with it running on weekends and holidays during the winter. The currently operating tramway was supplied by Nuova Aguidio, who wrote out all of the instructions and other important info about the lift in Italian, making it difficult for Cannon to communicate with the manufacturer. With the tramway nearing the end of its lifespan, the time for a replacement is now.
Governor Chris Sununu advocated for the tramway to be replaced by a gondola earlier this year, arguing that it was cheaper, safer, and more efficient. Leaders at Franconia Notch State Park and local skiers argued against this idea due to the historic nature of the tramway, leading lawmakers to side with the locals.
The timeline for completion of the project has yet to be announced by Cannon Mountain, but they are aiming to being work in the summer of 2025.