Hollywood Sign hollywood chamber of commerce

A plan has been mooted for a $30 million gondola to transport tourists up to LA’s iconic Hollywood sign.

Philanthropist couple Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg hope to enable tourists to be floated up to the sign, according to Variety magazine.

The gondola would run from the LA Zoo car park up to Mount Lee. It would allow visitors a close-up view of the famous monument.

The idea was first suggested to LA city officials around three years ago but didn’t gain traction. The plan is now being mooted again. Diane von Furstenberg’s investor son, Alexander, is heading the push. He serves as a director of the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation.

The philanthropists previously contributed $35 million toward the New York High Line. In early talks, Alexander von Furstenberg noted the parallels to the NYC project. He even referred to the gondola as the “Sky Line.”

A “Sky Line” to the Hollywood sign?

The project would need to gain the approval of David Ryu, Los Angeles City Councilman for Los Angeles City Council District 4. Ryu’s office has held discussions with representatives for Alexander von Furstenberg. He has been advised to garner the support of neighbourhood groups around Griffith Park. If it went forward, the project would be required to undergo an extensive environmental impact report.

Ryu’s office has already been looking at ways to relieve traffic congestion in the Hollywood Hills area. The streets are often packed with tourists taking selfies. The gondola is one of a range of options that has been presented to an advisory committee.

“There’s nothing definitive at this point. It’s just an idea,” says Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. However, he says that the Chamber does support the idea. “If you had a gondola coupled with a visitor centre, we think something like that would truly work to get people out of the neighbourhoods.”

However, despite this, the project may face stiff opposition. Neighbourhood complaints and concerns about the impact on Griffith Park could cause problems. As a result, Ryu, who was only elected in 2015, is extremely sensitive to neighbourhood objections around new developments.

Alexander von Furstenberg declined to comment on the project. “I wish I had more info to share with you but I don’t at this time,” he wrote in an email to Variety.

Image credit: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

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