New gondola spawns media coverage across the globe |

New gondola spawns media coverage across the globe

The new Heavenly gondola has encompassed more than a ski village planned at its base.

The attention surrounding its opening has tapped into our global village, with media coverage extending to the far reaches of the planet, Heavenly spokeswoman Monica Bandows confirmed. This includes a Tokyo television station, which brought its own translator.

“It was good. We estimated about a half million dollars in media coverage,” Bandows said.

A significant feature from the Associated Press Dec. 22 – the day after the opening – appeared to start a groundswell of attention from so many newspapers along with radio and televisions broadcasts that the Heavenly marketing department is still tracking the coverage.

Besides the anticipated bylines filling communities up and down the West Coast from Eureka to San Diego, other cities’ newspapers and stations nationwide made a point of telling their readers, listeners and viewers about the windfall for South Lake Tahoe redevelopment. Television coverage was tracked in Portland, Ore. and Phoenix, Ariz., with Heavenly’s satellite feed also picked up by quite a few stations across the country.

In print, newspaper pages also gave ink to the ski-resort feature from Boston, Mass., to Missoula, Montana.

Even a story out of Fort Wayne, Indiana got in on the act.

Oversees, British Airways included a feature in the pages of its in-flight magazine.

“Sometimes it’s fun to see clippings that are a bit of a surprise,” Bandows said.

The noteworthy aspect of the coverage was how the ski industry itself seemed to almost ignore the gondola’s opening in comparison to other press, Bandows mentioned.

“It’s interesting that we got a ton of press outside the industry but not as much within the industry. But the mass media made up for it,” she said. She later qualified the observation with the notion that the ski magazines tend to be Utah- and Colorado-myopic.

But once again, Mother Nature had the last word on the event. When 80 mph winds over summit ridges and passes swept through the Lake Tahoe basin, the gondola was temporarily closed down during its splash of an opening.

“The big thing is, whenever we have a big event like this, Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate,” Bandows said, with a chuckle.

She also cited a skiing event in which it snowed too much. Go figure.

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