Austrian company contracted to build Dominica’s historic cable car project

Austrian ropeways and cable cars manufacturer, Doppelmayr Group has been contracted to build the 6.6-kilometre-long (4.1-mile) gondola/cable car project in the Roseau Valley, which upon completion is expected to be the longest in the world.

At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit verified the information, noting that due to the few firms engaged in the building of such projects globally, his government chose the Austrian company, which is regarded as one of the best in the industry.

“This is a very highly reputable company. I met with the principals [owners] last year when they came to Dominica,” he declared.

“What’s happening as far as I understand, “ Skerrit added “is that the bases and so forth will be constructed and then all of the components will come in from Austria and will be mounted up so that there is a quicker installation in the process of this.”

Upset residents of SpringHill Estate, Laudat informed Dominica News Online (DNO) last year that they discovered that their property would soon be taken from them after a foreigner entered their property without permission and began conducting surveys.

A few weeks later, a letter from the Land and Survey Division stating that the government was interested in purchasing their land for the Detachable Monocable Cable Car project brought about the first official confirmation from the government of Dominica, for roughly seven local residents.

Although the landowners could not be reached for a further update as of the time of publication, Prime Minister Skerrit stated at the same press conference that his government has contacted the individuals.

“I know initially, because of an absence of information, the persons who had reservations about it, having engaged them one on one in small groups, there was a greater appreciation for the overall importance of the project to the Roseau Valley and of course, the wider country and our tourism offering and on tourism product,” he said.

Skerrit agreed that increased public involvement and information sharing from his government is required going forward on initiatives of this magnitude.

“I think there has been a lapse on the part of the government because so many things happen in this country,” the country’s leader stated.

“ I guess maybe it’s not our style to boast about what we’re doing because we were working and working and keep working. But I think we have to take time to share more with the Dominican public and engage them more on what we’re doing so that people have a greater appreciation for what’s happening in Dominica.”

Denise Charles, Dominica’s Tourism Minister dubbed the US$54 million project as critical in 2022, noting that it will feature Dominica as a “major tourist destination as many people will be excited to come and visit the second-largest boiling lake in the world.”

She said the project is being undertaken by ABL Holdings–whose website states is among the world’s most successful companies in terms of residence and citizenship by investment–with the government having a 15 percent stake.

The Associate Times reported that Outdoor Engineers, (a European company based in Switzerland) conducted a feasibility survey in Dominica, which revealed that the completion of the cable car project would result in a three-fold increase in the country’s tourism.

The 10-passenger detachable gondola would provide visitors with a “fast, reliable and comfortable means of visiting the national park in less than 20 minutes,’ according to the international website “Zenger” which first announced on August 29, 2022, that the Doppelmayr had been hired to build the project by 2024.

Hospitality and shopping facilities focusing on the Caribbean island’s distinctive local features will be incorporated at the bottom station, according to the Austrian company.

The Austrian corporation’s website states that at the bottom station, there will be integrated hospitality and retail facilities emphasising Dominica’s unique local characteristics, while a café with a panoramic terrace, a viewing platform, and a six-meter (19-foot) statue of Dominica’s national bird, the Sisserou Parrot, will also be located near the top station.

 

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39 Comments

  1. Love I
    March 3, 2023

    Put the millions into all equipments for the Hospital. More Doctors and better paid nurses. Better clinics. The health of persons is key.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
    • If we knew better
      March 7, 2023

      Equipment is both plural and singular. the word is NOT equipments.

  2. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    March 2, 2023

    All the electricity generated from the already completed geothermal electric power plant can be used for the project.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
    • Lawyer
      March 6, 2023

      Yes, 0.00 KW. And thats how it will remain. Has Skerrit ever told us how much this white elephant has cost the treasury so far. Millions and millions and nothing to show for it. The Ainchi Hotel in Portsmouth, millions and millions of CBI money gone and nothing to show for it apart for another ruin in Portsmouth. Two other projects will soon join: Cable car and airport. Is the government clear about the annual maintenance cost of a cable car project. Of course not.

  3. March 2, 2023

    Why is Dominican so negative about improvement. Every time the government open their mouth to improve the country. All of a sudden everyone becomes a professional in business. why don’t we step back and let pro. do their jobs for people the country should be back in the donkey cart days. We forget what happened in the planning of the deep-water harbor? When the lighter owners take on the government.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 25
    • smh
      March 3, 2023

      Because the majority of people who comment on these types of articles are opposition supporters filled with resentment for the government which blinds them to any type of positive thing that the government could do. This is why I will never vote for any oppisition despite the fact that I don’t like the government. They are WORSE they just don’t have power yet so we can’t see how disastrous their reign would be. Although we have some examples from the old heads of the party who were just as if not more corrupt than the current regime when they were in power.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11
      • Parrot
        March 6, 2023

        You don’t like the government? Well you could have fooled me. Perhaps you should have completed the sentence: I don’t like the government but I like the handouts I getting simply by pretending I like the CM and then vote for him. Typical Dominican (GREEDY).

    • Walt
      March 4, 2023

      Because its not improvement, basically.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4
  4. SkerritIsMoneyLaundering
    March 2, 2023

    “She said the project is being undertaken by ABL Holdings–whose website states is among the world’s most successful companies in terms of residence and citizenship by investment–with the government having a 15 percent stake.”

    Lol. If I speak I’m in trouble. All I will say is do your research on ABL Holdings, things are not what she says they are.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2
    • Toto
      March 3, 2023

      Amen to that, the owner of ABL Holdings is the same one that had a stake in CS Global. Go and check it.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  5. Roger Burnett
    March 1, 2023

    The National Trail has the potential of being Dominica’s jewel in the crown. But for that to happen it’s uniqueness and appeal needs to be understood by the Discover Dominica Authority.

    Moreover, the National Trial adds to the “Nature Island” image without compromising the landscape.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2
    • THINK
      March 2, 2023

      yes but the fact is not that many tourists want to or are even physically capable of doing all these trails. An aerial tram is fairly minimal in terms of environmental impact. Aside from the base stations and the tram itself (which passes overhead) there is not much change to the environment. The trails will STILL be available for those who want that experience but the tram will provide another option. Just like how we have hotels and cruises and guided tours but many tourists still choose to come on their own boats and camp out in the woods and do trails by themselves.

      It’s all about giving more options so we can get MORE people. And the people who think that we should just keep the country some type of niche area where we don’t want too many tourists to come in I would like them to answer how we are going to bring revenue into the country

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8
      • Toto
        March 3, 2023

        And the aerial tram that was shut down didn’t bring money into the country then. Look this new venture is geared mainly to cruise ship passengers who will be offered this excursion as an option when their boat stops in Roseau and they wil book this before they arrive through the cruise line. Trouble is cruise ships more and more bypassing our island and those that come have lower income passengers. One can tell that when you see them milling about our ramshackle capital. Everybody is welcome of course but lets’s face it we don’t get the cream of the crop do we.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3
      • Mary
        March 4, 2023

        Mmm, I wonder how it is that you have this amazing insight into the general health of the world population.

  6. LL
    March 1, 2023

    The problem we have in this country is that every project being undertaken all ministers want their cut…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 9
  7. JAGOTS
    March 1, 2023

    Anybody remember Rain Forest Aerial Tram? If am not mistaken, one of the well for the Geothermal in on the edge of that property. Where is this new cable car going to be located.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6
    • HOPE
      March 2, 2023

      It’s going to run from lower trafalgar area up to boiling lake if I’m not mistaken. They have a 3D concept of it here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6H5teLsseY
      People are comparing this to the rainforest aerial tram but this is much different. The rainforest tram was just an aerial tram through the rainforest. Not that exciting really but this one will pass over major sites like the trafalgar falls and take you directly to the boiling lake which is one of our most coveted sites.

      I can’t tell you how many people both in dominica and overseas personally who say they want to visit the boiling lake but don’t want to or are not able to do the hike. This will be another option for them and that in itself will create the attraction to get people to come here.

      I really don’t get why people are being so negative. I understand that the government has a poor track record but people are criticizing the project itself as if it’s something bad for the country

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 19
      • Roger Burnett
        March 3, 2023

        Thanks for sharing the video link.

        It certainly clenched my views on the inappropriateness of the project.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  8. Danny Pross
    March 1, 2023

    So – similar to the “aerial tram”?
    – which folded …..

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 3
    • Toto
      March 2, 2023

      I remember, that one was run by Skerrit’s sister when it shut down. I hope this does not run in the family.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1
    • HOPE
      March 2, 2023

      It’s a lot different actually. This seems to be a much more well thought out project. The tram passes over a very scenic location and takes people to one of the most well known but least-visited sites in the country (boiling lake) and will make it accessible to many more people.

      Look man, St. Lucia has a “drive-in Volcano” https://bilivoka.com/en/the-worlds-only-drive-in-volcano/
      which to me is just a sulphur pit. But people love it because it makes something that would usually be hard to get to more accessible.

      I think we are underestimating how impactful this project could be IF it comes to fruition simply because people are so resentful of the government. Given their track record I don’t trust them either. But just like the geothermal plant – if we consider the project on its own merit, it would definitely be a good thing IMO.

      It’s sad that most dominicans are not intellectually capable of understanding that nuanced viewpoint, or at least not those in the…

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 17
  9. Andrew.
    March 1, 2023

    We do not need a Cable Car Project, Just fix up Roseau.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 7
  10. Chain of Chains
    March 1, 2023

    We need to build one over Mt. Daniel; since cars aren’t allowed there.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3
    • Marie
      March 2, 2023

      Exactly, preferably with 24/7 surveillance. Is the treasury still paying the rent for the palace?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
  11. Mike
    March 1, 2023

    Environmental impact study ?? I guess we don’t bother with that these days. The Valley of Desolation is an active volcano. It’s landscape is unstable and it emits poisonous and corrosive gases. This will end in disaster – mostly for the natural environment.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9
    • smh
      March 2, 2023

      It’s an aerial tram. It’s not like they are building an airport in the roseau valley or something. People will find any reason to criticize something. How many of you actually even care about the environment

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12
      • William
        March 4, 2023

        It’s a cable car across an active volcano numbnuts

  12. Mary
    March 1, 2023

    This is shocking, absolutely shocking. What does UNESCO think about it I wonder ?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5
  13. HOPE
    March 1, 2023

    Say what you will about the government but if they manage to complete this project in a timely manner this will definitely be a big boost for the country. I know so many people who say they want to visit the boiling lake but the hike is a major barrier. Some people are physically incapable of doing that hike

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 34
    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      March 1, 2023

      But, but don’t you know there was one of the same in Dominica operating less than five years ago, which abruptly closed shop and flee from Dominica because it was not profitable to operate in Dominica?

      For a business like that to be profitable a large number of people must ride everyday, it can’t be seasonal depending on tourist, and even if that was the case; I don’t know what would be the attraction to tram ride to in Dominica t wherever they exists.
      Depending on the native to ride will not be a monthly thing existing in a country with no economy and small population, that might be another of doctor Punjab the triple doctor business anyway!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 8
    • Ibo France
      March 1, 2023

      I like how you have put it – “IF they manage to complete this project.” That ‘IF’ looms large. Roosevelt completion percentage rate for projects is adjacent to zero.

      Let’s not forget the international airport, the Pakistani university, geothermal energy, cruise village, two agri-boats, rebirth of Roseau, all these are ghost projects promised by Roosevelt.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6
      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        March 2, 2023

        lbo, perhaps you read where I said there are places in Los Angeles where I once frequent, but now kind of embarrassed to go and that is where some West Indian boys meet.

        Each time kid Francisco goes to that place, by the they see me approaching, the boys from St. Vincent shouts here come the man who’s country has the most plans to have everything done; but never get started or completed!

        Boy, people laugh at us as individual Dominicans, they talk about Roosevelt as if he is a dog, they laugh at our country; it a shame.
        He Roosevelt had silhouettes, drawings of kinds telling Dominicans that’s how Dominica will look when he takes Dominica to the next level, and all the country in the Caribbean use Dominica as a model to develop their country.
        I that boy stupid or what, or just delusional?

        I think he is just a very atrocious, and gross person, the older he gets is the worst he become!

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
    • HOPE
      March 2, 2023

      Man I cannot believe people have such a negative reaction to a positive comment. This is why the opposition continues to build up a track record of failure. Even if you dislike the government, at the very least be able to accept when something can be a benefit for the country.

      As to how successful the project will be – according to them they have done assessments that shows that it will result in a threefold increase in tourism. I think that this project WILL be more successful than the previously closed tram because:

      1. We live in a completely different time from then. We have much more exposure now thanks to the internet and social media.
      2. The location makes it more appealing as it gives access to a popular site that is hard to access
      3. It’s not just an aerial tram but integrates several other facilities such as restaurants and shops

      Again IF this project is successful it will be a benefit for the country. I think any dominican can agree that is a good thing

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 18
      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        March 3, 2023

        “Man I cannot believe people have such a negative reaction to a positive comment. ”
        Were you born last night, or your ears, and eyes been closed for the twenty-three years of Rosevelt corruption and useless promises?

        Don’t you know there was something as this proposed operating in Dominica which left recently? What has change in Dominica since they left?
        Nothing!
        The population got smaller, while Tram was in operation it did not attract any visiting tourist. And since there are not enough Dominicans ride daily, unless they want to operate as a none-profit business, it is already a failure prior to its inception.

        Perhaps you don’t know Dominica very well, you will soon learn that there is no value in Roosevelt words nor his thoughts; everything he touches turns to ashes.!

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  14. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    March 1, 2023

    ” Doppelmayr Group has been contracted to build the 6.6-kilometre-long (4.1-mile) gondola/cable car project in the Roseau Valley, which upon completion is expected to be the longest in the world.”

    Yes, indeed everything in Dominica must be the first, the biggest, and longest in the world “6.6 kilometers or 4.1 miles. That means the ride will be longer than China’s Tianmen Shan cable car ride which covers a distance of 7,455 meters.
    So, watch this: 1 meter = 0.000621371 mile.
    Since some of the mathematical formulas are evading me I can cut this short and do this: 7455/1609 = 4.6333123, which is more than half of a mile longer as proposed in Dominica.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 11
    • Ibo France
      March 1, 2023

      Sounds like a fairytale story to me. Roosevelt is most (in)famous for his hyperbole.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6
  15. Ibo France
    March 1, 2023

    Every time Roosevelt speaks I’m left with the daunting task of separating fact from fiction.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 8
  16. Toto
    March 1, 2023

    That is already old news, It was already known overseas since last summer but thanks to Angelo Allen we know about this now too.
    This government of ours keeps everything under wraps and does not want to inform the public unless they can not avoid it. Thank you Angelo.
    PS. We are not the only island to have such a facility. Madeira has one too. OK shorter than ours but it is operating. Madeira, similar to Dominica, although not fully tropical, they grow bananas, grapes to produce wine, sugar cane to make real rum, the way the French do from pure cane juice and they have an incredulous jet airport, built into the side of a mountain with a runway extending over the Atlantic on concrete pillars and crosswinds. What is more, they have thriving tourist industry. Look it up.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 6

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