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Scenic World bolsters tourism investment with new Skyway upgrade
Blue Mountains visitor attraction Scenic World is to commence a $3 million upgrade of its popular Scenic Skyway, in a move that aims improve the visitor experience and consolidate Scenic World’s position as a world class tourism attraction.
Scheduled for completion in mid November, the new Scenic Skyway will increase the ride’s capacity by 30% to provide a more spacious visitor experience and improve queuing times during peak periods.
Built by world leading ropeway engineering company, Garaventa, the re-configured cabin will also allow for streamlined loading and unloading, and visitors will be able to access free onboard wi-fi for the first time.
The Skyway upgrade comes just four years after Scenic World’s $30 million overhaul of its Scenic Railway, contributing to a $33 million investment in infrastructure over the past five years.
It also marks the next phase of the Scenic Skyway’s evolution ahead of the ride’s 60th anniversary in 2018.
Scenic World’s Managing Director Anthea Hammon said the Skyway upgrade was part of Scenic World’s mission to evolve as a tourism business and provide unique experiences that appeal to visitors from across the globe.
Hammon explained “we have come a long way as a family business since my grandfather opened Scenic World in 1945, but we recognise the importance of moving forward so we can maintain our leading position in a competitive market and continue to capture the hearts and minds of our valued visitors.
“We are constantly looking for new ways to innovate, invest and grow as a business, and the Scenic
Skyway upgrade is part of our vision to exceed our visitors’ expectations and set new standards of excellence in the Australian attractions industry.”
Originally built in 1958 by Scenic World founder Harry Hammon, the original Skyway cabin was clad in plywood and painted bright pink. Without the luxuries of modern day technology, the original cable was manually installed by dragging a steel cable down each side of the valley and joining it in the middle to affix a track rope which was then tensioned with a four-wheel drive tractor.
The Skyway has seen many upgrades over the years, including a change to its signature yellow colour before a new cabin and cable system was installed in 2004.
Harry’s son, Philip Hammon, who retired as Scenic World Managing Director in 2011 before passing the business onto his children, said the Skyway was heralded as an entrepreneurial development in tourism back in the 50s, and has maintained its status as one of the world’s most iconic nature-based attractions.
Philip Hammon adds “like so many of our visitors, I have fond childhood memories of travelling on the original pink cabin which made headlines as Australia’s first cable car back in 1958.
“It’s been fascinating to watch the Skyway’s evolution and many loyal customers who travelled on the original Skyway still enjoy visiting the old cabin which now resides in Scenic World’s onsite park.”
The Scenic Skyway will be closed from 9th October during the upgrade project, and is set to re-open in mid-November 2017.
Scenic World’s other popular attractions - the Scenic Railway, Cableway and Walkway - will operate as usual, and ticket prices will be reduced.
The Scenic Skyway is Australia’s highest cable car, suspended 270 metres above the Jamison Valley in the Blue Mountains. The Skyway provides a unique thrill as the ancient rainforest is revealed beneath your feet through an electro-glass cabin floor. With 360 degree views, the 720 metre return journey provides breathtaking views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley stretching to the horizon.
Scenic World is open every day of the year between 9am and 5pm.
For more information on Scenic World go to www.scenicworld.com.au
Images: Scenic World's original Skyway (top) and the attraction today (below).
2nd August 2017 - SCENIC WORLD GIVES BACK WITH NEW PHILANTHROPIC PROGRAM
7th April 2017 - SCENIC WORLD ACTIVITIES ENCOURAGE FAMILIES TO RECONNECT
10th December 2015 - $95 MILLION FUNDING BOOST FOR REGIONAL TOURISM
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