run a gondola between Universal Studios Hollywood to Los Angeles' famous "Hollywood" sign, which is located on the edge of Griffith Park and across Barham Boulevard to the east from Universal's property.We told you last year about an idea to
Now, rival Warner Bros. is making a bid to have the gondola run instead to its studio lot, which is located north of the sign, across Forest Lawn Drive.
Running the gondola from the Warner Bros. property offers the advantage of avoiding the residential neighborhood that stands on the east side of Barham, between Universal's property and the sign. There's no development between Warner's property on the south side of Forest Lawn and the sign, which is on the southern face of Mount Lee, about a mile away from Warner's Gate 8 parking garage.
While Universal is one of the world's most popular theme parks, ranking ninth in the United States and 15th in the world with more than nine million annual visitors, according to the latest TEA/AECOM Theme Index attendance report, Warner Bros.' Burbank studio also runs its own studio tour, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Adding a gondola to the Hollywood sign certainly would help boost Warner Bros.' appeal as a tourist destination in the Los Angeles area.
Los Angeles is looking for a transportation alternative for getting fans to the Hollywood sign, which it would like to develop as a tourist attraction. Right now, the sign is sorta accessible by hiking trails, though motion sensors surround the sign to protect it from vandalism. Visitors who want to hike to the sign anyway are crowding narrow residential streets to the south of Mount Lee, where they park to access trailheads.
For most people who want a somewhat close view of the sign, the best bet now is to visit Griffith Park and hike up to neighboring Mount Hollywood from the Observatory. But the from there isn't all that close and parking at the Observatory has been a mess forever.
LA officials want to build a visitors center next to the sign and find a way to get people up there without crowding nearby residential areas. Universal and Warner Bros. already have large parking garages and an ability to manage visitors, so the two studios provide logical options for partners in this effort.
"We understand there are a number of possible solutions being considered, but we are confident the city's feasibility study will show our proposal to be the best option — an option that can be built and operated at no cost to the taxpayer and that will provide public benefit to the city of Los Angeles and its residents," a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a press statement.
Warner Bros. is proposing to pay the estimated $100 million cost of building the tramway, though the proposal must first clear a variety of environmental and planning studies before it could be approved.Tweet
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