Two years of chairlift rides!

Our fabulous vintage chairlift has been in use exactly two years since its major restoration!

We’ve done the sums and reckon more than 300,000 visitors have taken that two minute ride in the past 24 months!

The chairlift was relaunched in August 2012 following a Heritage Lottery funded refurb after being out of use for more than a decade.

It was the first passenger-carrying aerial ropeway to be installed in England and transports visitors from the zoo’s lower zone to the 11th century Dudley Castle on the upper level, within a two-minute journey.

The trip offers panoramic views across Sandwell to Birmingham, and travels directly over flamingoes and our newly-opened £20,000 exhibit Baboons on the Bank, home to a five-strong group of Gelada baboons which was officially launched this week by TV presenter and conservationist, Bill Oddie!

 

80 per cent of visitors take the chairlift!

DZG CEO Peter Suddock said: “We have had tremendous interest in the chairlift since it re-opened to the public on August Bank Holiday 2012 following restoration, and have carried out a simple survey using clicker counters to find out just how many people take the two-minute ride between the zoo’s upper and lower levels, which comes in at around 80 per cent.

“That’s an amazing percentage and is in excess of 300,000 visitors, which is just fantastic.
 
“Due to safety rules and height restrictions many of our younger visitors are unable to make the journey, but for those who are it’s brought back many happy memories and also spawned a whole generation of first timers who are now firm chairlift fans.”
 
Mr Suddock said: “There’s a land train available at the entrance, but we just think it’s the quirkiness that appeals to visitors as soon as they come on site, and it also cuts out that steep walk up Castle Hill.”
 
 
 

Opened in May 1958

The chairlift was officially opened to DZG’s visitors on May 11, 1958 by comedian Richard Hearne, who played the madcap children’s TV character Mr Pastry. One of the first passengers was Dudley schoolboy John Price (pictured).

Mr Suddock said: “Early passengers paid sixpence for their journey, but today’s travellers use the facility for free.”

 
 

Read more of the restoration relaunch here:

 

And take a trip back to 2012 with our