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.