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Pursuit buying Jasper SkyTram for $25 million

Subject to approvals by Parks Canada, the transaction is expected to close in July.
The Jasper SkyTram carries guests up to Whistlers Peak in Jasper National Park.

Pursuit will soon be adding another major Jasper attraction to its portfolio.

Viad, parent company of Pursuit, announced Wednesday, June 29 that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Jasper SkyTram for $25 million.

Subject to approvals by Parks Canada, the transaction is expected to close in July.

“We are excited to continue the growth of Pursuit with the addition of the Jasper SkyTram,” said Steve Moster, president and chief executive officer of Viad, in a news release.

“This attraction is a perfect strategic fit in Pursuit’s Banff Jasper Collection and the only sightseeing aerial ropeway in Jasper National Park. We will benefit from its deep competitive moat, economies of scale and scope, and the strong perennial demand for this iconic destination.”

The transaction includes a renewable long-term lease with Parks Canada, with nearly 30 years remaining.

The Jasper SkyTram is an aerial tramway on Whistlers Mountain in Jasper National Park and runs seasonally from late March to the end of October.

The attraction is currently owned by the same company that runs the Marmot Basin ski resort.

The experience provides visitors of all ages and abilities the chance to ascend 2,263 metres up Whistlers Mountain via tram while taking in 360-degree national park views.

The attraction welcomed over 130,000 guests in 2023 with amenities that include an interpretive boardwalk, easy access to hiking trails and light culinary offerings.

Todd Noble, general manager of the Jasper SkyTram, noted in an interview with the Fitzhugh how discussions had been going on for years about improving and refreshing the property, but these plans have faced delays, largely due to COVID.

“We’ve been talking a long time about improving the place, and like I said, for uncontrollable reasons here and there, it’s been a challenge, and when Pursuit says they’re going to come in and make it happen, I believe that.”

Noble confirmed that he planned to stay on as general manager and there were long-term plans for a rebuild, although no timeline has yet been set.

Pursuit estimated the Jasper SkyTram would add about $4 million USD in revenue this year.

“Pursuit has a long-standing history delivering exceptional guest experiences throughout the Canadian Rockies, and the Jasper SkyTram will be a great addition to our attractions and hospitality properties in Jasper and Banff,” said Pursuit president David Barry in the release.

“The SkyTram has a terrific team in place led by GM Todd Noble and enjoys one of the most breathtaking views in the Canadian Rockies. Together with this experienced team, we’re excited to plan for the future refresh and renewal of the SkyTram in alignment with Parks Canada and the Jasper community.”

Pursuit is hospitality company that owns and operates multiple hotels, restaurants and attractions in the Canadian Rockies, including the Columbia Icefield Skywalk, the Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure and the Maligne Lake Cruise.

Noble acknowledged that residents would be nervous about the acquisition as they were protective of the culture of the destination.

“But again, Pursuit has proven to be passionate about what they're doing and passionate about the people, and I have felt that through this process. I have definitely felt the attention and respect to the people first, and that has been impressive to me.”