Cannon Tram celebrates 80th anniversary on Friday with free rides for NH residentsBy JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent June 28. 2018 8:15PM
FRANCONIA — North America’s first aerial tramway system is celebrating its 80th birthday today by offering New Hampshire residents both free rides to the summit of Cannon Mountain and access to Echo Lake Beach.
The Cannon Aerial Tramway opened eight decades ago on June 28, but to better accommodate the public the anniversary is being marked a day later on Friday.
On the lawn behind the Tram Building, music from the 1930s and 1940s will play beginning at 10 a.m. until noon, followed by remarks from a number of dignitaries, including Sara Stewart, the commissioner of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
Anyone who presents a valid Granite State ID may obtain a free ticket, normally $18, to ride the tram from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and to access Echo Lake Beach from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Additionally, the first 500 people to ride the tram will receive a free, commemorative 80th anniversary coin.
“While we celebrate the past 80 years, we’re extremely proud of how far we’ve come in just the past 10,” said John DeVivo, general manager of Cannon Mountain. “From the redevelopment of the Mittersill slopes to the recent investment in a state-of-the-art, energy efficient snowmaking system, Cannon is poised for continued success well into the future.”
According to Cannon, which is a component of Franconia Notch State Park, the tram “helped pave the way for the skiing industry and tourism in New Hampshire.”
The original tram, which operated from 1938 until 1980, when it was replaced with a new one, carried more than 6.5 million visitors up Cannon Mountain. The tram has two, 80-passenger cars, popularly known as “ketchup and mustard” because one is red, the other yellow, that ascend the mountain at a rate of 1,500 feet per minute.