A chairlift linking Snug Cove's tourist and cafe precinct to Imlay Street’s CBD has been considered by Bega Valley Shire Council during planning for major roadworks.
The bold concept for Warrens Walk - a scenic 600-metre zig-zag pathway from the port to the end of the Imlay Street - was put forward by the council's transport and utilities director Terry Dodds during plans for a new intersection at Albert Terrace.
Mr Dodds said that while the chairlift would be “hideously expensive” he remained passionate about the concept, which he believed would be the “icing on the cake” for the future of Eden.
Further development of the project would be subject to securing funds for the chairlift’s construction and maintenance that did not involve a drain on ratepayers, he said. The current lack of an alternative funding source stopped a concept design and business case for the chairlift from going ahead at council level.
"The idea is quite simple and the fundamental principles underpinning it, even simpler,” Mr Dodds said.
The demographic of cruise ship passengers showed they were middle-aged or older, he said. Nine out of 10 passengers took the opportunity to disembark in port.
“Walking about means they have an opportunity to not only be a tourist, and tell all their friends back home how good Eden is, but also spend their money,” he said.
What stood between the dock and the main street was one, very steep hill, he said.
Mr Dodds believes a chairlift would be popular with all visitors to Eden, not only cruise ship passengers.
Chairlifts at The Nut and Cataract Gorge in Tasmania, Katoomba’s Scenic Railway and Noumea’s Tchou Tchou road train were examples of successful attractions.
“Probably the easiest would be the last [road train] but it’s likely to be considered a service whereas a chairlift is more of a curiosity and drawcard,” he said.
Warrens Walk was named after generations of a local fishing industry family.
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