The rebuilt Roosevelt Island Tram glides out of its loading dock on the first day of operation following a nine-month modernization project in New York

The rebuilt Roosevelt Island Tram glides out of its loading dock on the first day of operation following a nine-month modernization project in New York (LUCAS JACKSON, REUTERS / November 30, 2010)

The Town of Ocean City is set to consider the addition of an aerial tram ride that would fly high above the boardwalk from the inlet parking lot to 27th Street.

The proposal for the $10 million attraction comes from Trey Winstead, who has also proposed a similar project for the Inner Harbor.

Winstead's venture, Skyline Ocean City, would locate the aerial tram about 50 to 85 feet above the boardwalk, offering riders views of the ocean, bay and beyond.

A presentation of the proposal was to be made at Monday night's Ocean City council meeting, but Winstead said developers pulled it from the agenda to make a few tweaks and also to develop support from local businesses along the boardwalk.

A backer for the project said that Skyline Ocean City had met with city engineers and other officials and generally had a positive reception, although the idea has not been formally proposed.

"We’re in the process. It really is a preliminary idea," Winstead said. "What I want to make sure is that everyone is on board with it. So that’s it’s a win-win for everybody."

Winstead said the tram or gondola would be similar to those in use in other U.S. cities. He said good examples are at Roosevelt Island in New York City and the Portland Aerial Tram that carries visitors from the waterfront.

The tram would have cabins that could accommodate 6 to 8 people and tickets would be about $6 round-trip.

According to a letter sent to the city describing the proposal, the tram would be not only an attraction but also a mode of transportation, ferrying visitors from one end of the boardwalk to the other.

"I spent a lot of summers at the beach and I think it would be a great way to get up and down the boardwalk...and a fun thing for families," Winstead said.

He said the most likely route would be from the inlet parking lot to about 16th Street, where the boardwalk takes a slight bend.

The tram would be manufactured by Leitner-Poma, a Colorado-based company that specializes in ski lifts, gondolas and other cable transport systems.

The ride would be built on small concrete foundations with passenger loading at two open air terminals. Two poles would span the east side of the boardwalk and be anchored deep into the sand. The attraction would be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from April to October.

Winstead also said financing for the project is already in place and should be sufficient "as long as numbers work out the way we think they can."

An official presentation to the town council is expected within weeks. If approved quickly, Winstead said the project could be ready as soon as next summer.

But he is mindful that the historic nature of the boardwalk doesn't always lend itself to new ideas and changes.

"We need to work with the people who are down there," he said. "I think any town that’s based on tourism only keeps surviving when they have new things every once in a while."