3 Nov 2005

Moves to rebuild American Samoa cable car tourist attraction

8:29 am on 3 November 2005

Moves are afoot to rebuild what used to be American Samoa's most famous tourist attraction, the cable car to Mount Alava.

The territory's Director of Commerce, Faleseu Eliu Paopao, says a task force, which has been studying options to rebuild the tramway, has submitted a report to Governor Togiola Tulafono.

The task force supports rebuilding the cable car and believes it will again become a draw card for tourists.

A 1997 study estimated that it would cost US$4 million to rebuild the tramway.

Faleseu said the cost had ballooned to US$6 million but he said the investment would be well worth it.

If the governor gives the go ahead, federal grant sources will be tapped to raise the necessary capital to restore the cable car.

The cable car was initially built when the government television station was opened in 1962.

A tragic plane crash damaged the tramway in 1979 but it was restored in the late 1980s.

The cable car to Mount Alava hasn't been used for more than a decade.