A wonderful example in traffic and tourism is being set in Voss, Norway. The traditional town in the south of the country looks back on changeable times and now wants to return to the fast lane. Operating company Voss Resort AS and Voss Gondol AS invested a total of EUR 33 million as part of a sustainable project to modernize the popular hiking, excursion and ski area at Hanguren mountain. A central element to this project is the tricable gondola lift (3S gondola lift) from LEITNER ropeways as part of an intermodal transport concept. This should significantly accelerate the journey from the nearby conurbation of Bergen and also make it more environmentally friendly, and thus contribute to the economic and tourist revival of the region.
With Monica Maeland, the Norwegian Minister for Innovation, ski star Aksel Lund Svindal and the famous freestyle skier Kari Traa as guests, the project’s significance became clear at the opening event. Deciding to opt for the new 3S gondola lift represents the largest investment ever made in a ropeway in Northern Europe. This also includes other infrastructure measures, such as the construction of a new mountain hotel. The ropeway connects Voss with the local mountain Hangurstoppen and is also part of an innovative traffic concept for the entire region. The central strategy is to create a “green line” from Bergen to Voss. This is intended to shift more traffic to the railways and create a seamless transition to the ropeway. The significant gain in time – the total travelling time on this route will be reduced from almost two hours to just 30 minutes – is intended to attract more day visitors and thus promote winter and summer tourism. While guests flocked here towards the end of the 1970s in particular, the tourist destination’s popularity has been in decline until now. The comprehensive modernization program aims to reverse this trend and return the destination to its former glory.
Other building projects on the mountain and in the valley will embed the roughly two kilometer-long ropeway in an elaborate overall concept. The valley station has been integrated in the redesigned railway station, which includes a new bus station. This created a central traffic junction near the town center.
For Øyvind Wæhle, Managing Director of Voss Resort AS, the decision to work with LEITNER ropeways was obvious. “Getting the go-ahead to construct a 3S gondola lift was a decisive factor in implementing our green mobility strategy. Not only are we offering our guests comfortable and fast transportation, but we are also flying the flag for sustainable climate and environmental protection. This is enormously important to us as a responsible tourism region.”