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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Historic Mount Buffalo Chalet to close 22-Jul-2009 At 6:22:13 PM oweng
On the topic of a gondola / cable car, I doubt it would stack up for the following reasons.

1) There is no population base / public transport hub at the bottom of the mountain. Therefore 95% of visitors would drive there own car to the carpark at the Cable Car base.

2) Since everybody will already be in their own car, most will prefer to drive to the top, as is will be quicker and easier to do so, the cost of a cable car ticket would be bloody expensive to cover costs, and having a car at the top gives the flexibility to tour the top.

Some ballpark dodgy numbers Iíve just made up, If you assume 3 employees ($210,000pa), $30mill construction cost (this figures been used in the past for constructing a cable car in Hobart) with interest repayments at 6%, and maintenance/depreciation another 5%, it would cost $3.5 million a year to operate. According to the Mt Buffalo Management Plan, Mt Buff gets between 150,000 and 200,000 visitor days per year. Iím not sure what a visitor day is, but lets assume 200,000 separate person trips up the mountain each year for the purposes of guestimation. If 10% go up by the cable car, the ticket price to cover costs would be about $175. If 25%, $70. If 25%, and you assume the cable car itself brings in 50,000 new visitors who all use the cable car itís a more reasonable $35 per person. (The Table Mountain Cable car in South Africa costs 120 return, which is about $19 Australian. It has no competition from a road.).

3) To get people on the cable car, it would be necessary to either jack up the car entry fees on the road to make the cable car more attractive, or close the road altogether to private vehicles. Politically either option would be Ďcourageousí. It would be more likely that the Government would have to fund construction and heavily subsidise its use. Maybe it would generate extra tourists to the north-east that would justify a whopping subsidy.

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