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September 2, 2010 (Girdwood, AK) – Alyeska Resort, for the first time since the resort opened the aerial tram in 1994 for scenic rides, is permitting mountain bikers to load their bikes onto the tram and ride from the upper tram terminal. This is a one-day special event to be held on Sunday, September 19, 2010.
The cost is $30 per person to bring your bike and ride the tram between the hours of 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM. The last upload for bikes will be at 5:00 PM. The rides will be guided by expert staff with knowledge of the new trails. Helmets will be required for all riders and are available for rent at the Alyeska Mountain Shop for $5. The minimum age to participate in the guided rides is 12, and riders that are 18 years of age and younger will need to have a parent or guardian present to sign a liability release form.
“We are very excited to offer tram accessed mountain biking on this day and are looking forward to offering the service on a regular basis beginning next summer,” says Di Hiibner, Alyeska Resort Ski Area General Manager. “Locals and guests have been asking for lift-assisted mountain biking trails, and the resort fully supports the activity as part of our long-term vision to have more year round recreational activities available.”
Alyeska Resort’s mountain trails crew has been focused on developing new trail systems over the last two years. The result has been tremendous with the opening of the North Face hiking trail last August, and the completion of the Winner Creek Extension Trail in July of this year. In addition, bike-specific trail maintenance has taken place on Bear Cub Climb, Blueberry Hill, and Christmas in July trails in an effort to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for riders and hikers. Last summer, Blueberry Pancake trail opened for downhill only bike traffic and featured a rainforest setting with wooden terrain features and gravel trail tread.
With this start of this summer, the trail crew turned their attention to working upper mountain terrain including improving hiking access on Mighty Mite and biking terrain in the Upper Bowl area. For the upcoming bike day event, all mountain biking trails will be open. The resort is asking that riders with the tram-access biking ticket meet at the base of the Alyeska Tram where bike guides will be on-hand for a quick orientation. Groups will then ride the tram together with their guide. The upper mountain trails will begin from the Upper Tram Terminal and finish in the hotel courtyard. Riders will then be able to conveniently access the Tram with their group for additional laps. The trails are up to three and a half miles in distance with a descent of 2200 vertical feet.
The Hotel Alyeska’s Columbia Patio will be open on Sunday from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM with a BBQ menu and beer and wine garden. The aerial tram will be open for scenic sight-seeing rides from 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM and the special “Tram+Lunch Combo” will also be available for purchase. The Tram+Lunch Combo provides guests a savings of up to 15% off for the combined purchase of a scenic tram ticket and a hot lunch from the Glacier Express Cafeteria located at the top of the tram. The last day for summer tram rides is October 17, 2010. The tram undergoes necessary maintenance in the off-season and will re-open for the 2010-11 ski season on November 24, 2010.