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Grafton looking to add gondola for tourism

GRAFTON, IL – JD Lorton has floated the idea of floating through the air above the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, in a Chandola.

“We're 253 feet above the 1993 flood and we're about 683 feet above sea level right here,” says JD Lorton, Director of Operations Aeries Resort.

He`s hoping tourists will enjoy Illinois from on high with one of the best views in the area in something called a Chandola.

“It's a Chandola,” says Lorton. “'It`s a combination of gondola chairs and open-air seating.  But also, it`s the first form of public transportation in the City of Grafton."

Pending city approval, the $2 million-dollar plan from Aeries Resort will build a ski chair like lift in the river town.

The Grafton Sky Tour will also bring a shuttle service to help with traffic congestion during busy summer months and navigating the rugged hilly terrain overlooking the city.

“With this proposal this tram we see that as something that is going to generate amusement tax revenue and sales tax revenue,” says Rick Eberlin, Grafton Mayor.  “It's going to pull people into Grafton.”

The initial towers will be installed beginning in June.

New Hampshire based Sky Trans Manufacturing and Sky Fare Incorporated, a gondola, and amusement company, hopes to have the ride open by 2019.

“We want the experience to be one they can remember,” says Lorton.  “We want Grafton to really capitalize on the tourism industry.  Now we can just enhance it and take it to the next level.”