British Columbia

First COVID, then a severed gondola. Couple hatches new wedding plans after last 2 ruined

Gavin Johnston and his fiancée Hayley Stringer were supposed to have an intimate wedding at the top of the Sea-to-Sky Gondola this Friday. Not anymore.

Gavin Johnston and his fiancée Hayley Stringer still plan to get married Friday, no matter what

Gavin Johnston, left, and his fiancée Hayley Stringer are pictured in Squamish on Monday. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Gavin Johnston and his fiancée Hayley Stringer were supposed to have a small, intimate wedding with close friends and family at the top of the Sea-to-Sky Gondola near Squamish, B.C., this Friday.

Not anymore.

Their nuptials were foiled by a bewildering act of vandalism, the second to hit the popular tourist attraction in as many years. The thick, downhill cable of the two kilometre-long gondola was once again severed, sending dozens of cars crashing into the mountain early Monday morning. 

"I'm thinking this is another case of déjà vu," said Johnston, who woke up to the news on Monday. 

"I had to rewind and double-check if that was the case."

The Sea-to-Sky Gondola is closed after a cable was found deliberately cut in the middle of the night for the second year in a row in Squamish, B.C., on Sept. 14, 2020. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Johnston and Stringer had chosen the Sea-to-Sky Gondola as their wedding venue after their first plan, a big wedding with family and friends from overseas at the Vancouver Rowing Club, had to be scrapped due to COVID-19. 

"We changed our plans to the top of the Sea-to-Sky, and just have a small, intimate wedding with some very close people," said Stringer.

"[We] kind of planned two weddings already."

And with 33 of the gondola's cars strewn across the mountain, the couple's Plan B is now also in shambles. 

"We're just trying to look for a Plan C now," said Johnston.

WATCH | Locals react to the Sea-to-Sky Gondola being deliberately cut for the second time: 

The cable on British Columbia's Sea-to-Sky gondola was deliberately cut in the middle of the night for the second year in a row, resulting in another round of multi-million dollar repairs. 2:01

The gondola company had only partially reopened in February and fully reopened in May after the first incident of vandalism, on August 10, 2019. The insurance claim for that incident — with damage between $5 million and $10 million — hasn't even been processed yet. 

In both cases, no one was hurt. Police have not announced any arrests in either case.

Sea-to-Sky Gondola general manager Kirby Brown has vowed to rebuild, saying the order for a new cable is already in.

Johnston and Stringer are also vowing to get married on Friday regardless of how and when.

"If it's in a car park or if it's in a McDonald's, it's going to happen," said Johnston. "In a couple of days, we will be getting married."

With files from Tina Lovgreen

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