Cannon Marks 75th Year of Operation of Aerial Tram
First Passenger Tramway in North America

August 2, 2012

FRANCONIA NOTCH, NH - On June 28, 1938, the original Aerial Tramway on Cannon Mountain was dedicated and its first year, it carried 163,000 passengers to the mountain's summit. From 1938 to its 1980 retirement, the original tram - the first passenger tram in North America - transported more than 6.5 million passengers on a scenic one-mile journey up Cannon.

Since then a modern tram, with its twin 80-passenger red and yellow cabins nicknamed "Ketchup and Mustard," has continued the tradition, traveling at a speed of 1,500 feet per minute with an hourly passenger capacity of three times the original tramway.

"Cannon has such a rich history," says Cannon Mountain general manager, John DeVivo. "The Tramway really changed the economy of the region. As its proponents predicted, the Tramway proved a sound financial investment for the state" and confirmed the viability of skiing as an industry in New Hampshire. Cannon's success encouraged those in the private sector to invest in the burgeoning sport, and the ski industry in New Hampshire grew and prospered."

Today, skiing in New Hampshire produces 10 percent of jobs in the state in winter, while tourism is the state's second largest industry.

Cannon has also earned a place in the history books for the Olympians who have learned to ski and race or who've taught on the mountain, from Paula (Kahn) Valar to Bode Miller and Tyler Walker.

"We're currently making plans for celebrations and special promotions that will run throughout the winter season, all leading up to June 28, 2013, when we'll celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Tramway's opening," continued DeVivo. "Stay tuned for updates that we'll be announcing on our website,, on our Facebook page and in the press."

Cannon Mountain, located in Franconia Notch State Park, Franconia, NH, is owned and operated by the State of New Hampshire, Division of Parks and Recreation. The ski area has 72 trails, Mittersill backcountry area and 10 lifts and also operates the Aerial Tramway, Echo Lake Beach and Cannon RV Park in summer.

Cannon is easily accessed from Rte. I-93, exit 34B - Aerial Tramway at Exit 34C - Main Base Area. For more information call 603-823-8800, email or log onto

Picture of the original Cannon tram that went into service in 1938.


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