Prairieland Park says proposed chairlift would give birds-eye view of Saskatoon Ex
Park still needs approval from Saskatoon city council, could be ready for next year
It may not be a monorail, but Prairieland Park is hoping a new attraction will become a big hit at the fair.
Park management is asking Saskatoon City Council for permission to build a 1,000-foot, permanent skyride chairlift on the fairgrounds.
The lift would take fairgoers soaring above the Saskatoon Ex, from the grandstand to the fair entrance at Ruth Street and Lorne Avenue and back.
Prairieland's leadership said the attraction has become very popular at other fairgrounds across the country, including the Calgary Stampede and the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.
"It's very scenic," said CEO Mark Regier. "You can see above ground the people, the park, and good sightlines of the city. Usually they're well ridden and very popular."
While buying and installing a new chairlift could cost roughly $1.5 million, Regier said the park is in discussions to buy a used chairlift from the fairgrounds in London, Ont.
"(Buying new) would be a little rich for our blood, to get a return on our investment," he said. "But we're in discussions to get a substantial discount."
Waiting for approval from city
Prairieland leases the fairgrounds from the city, and needs to get permission to build any new structures.
The park is also asking to build a new 80,000 square foot hall attached to its convention centre.
"There's big demand for this right now," Regier said. "We start in January with our Western Canadian Crop Production Show, and there's intense demand to get into that event."
If everything goes according to plan, the chairlift could be ready to go by next year.
Councillors will debate the issue at a committee meeting on Monday.