Past, Present & Future: 50 years of the Sandia Peak Tramway

Picture of Sandia Peak Tram Dedication

Dedication of the Sandia Peak Tram – May 7, 1966
(Courtesy Sandia Peak Ski & Tram)

On Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm, Debi Owen, Sandia Tram Communications Director, will discuss the history, status and future of the Sandia Peak Tramway.

The Sandia Tram is one of Albuquerque’s “icons”. Most residents of Albuquerque have ridden the Tram at least once if not numerous times. The image of the tram car soaring along the western face of the Sandias is etched into the visual thoughts of locals. Tram visionary Robert Nordhaus was inspired to build the Tram after a ski trip to Switzerland. His business partner Ben Abruzzo joined him in the effort and the Tram’s planning began in the 1960s with the Tram opening May 1966. Come learn about some of the Tram’s past and present and what the future holds.

The program will be held at the Albuquerque Museum in Old Town. Parking is free in the lot south of the Museum. Admission to the Museum and the AHS program is also free.

Picture of Debi Owen

Deborah (Debi) Owen has been involved in the tourism industry in Albuquerque and in New Mexico for 40 years. She is currently Director of Communications with Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway and Ski Santa Fe, a position that she has held since 1986. A 1974 Graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Communications Debi came to New Mexico in the summer of 1974 for a visit with family. In the fall of 1974 she decided to make Albuquerque her home and began work for the Sandia Peak Ski & Tram Company.

Debi serves on the Lodger’s Tax Advisory Board and is their representative on the Visit Albuquerque Board (formerly ACVB). She is a past Chairman of the Board of the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as past President of the Tourism Association of New Mexico. Debi was inducted into the New Mexico Tourism Hall of Fame in 2006.

Picture of original Sandia Peak Tram Car

First generation tram car c.1966. (Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, UNM)