CLEVELAND -- The developers behind Cleveland SkyLift say they are making progress promoting a new way to see the city.
The Cleveland Skylift is a bold idea, billed as lakefront "transportainment." It's a proto-type aerial cable car system that could be transportation and entertainment in one.
Market Garden Brewery hosted the project on the ground, even giving the night it's own brew "SkyLift," an amber ale.
Developers of the project at LeanDog, a software company, have done their design homework, but now is the time to collaborate to get it built.
"We're really trying to get the county and the convention center hotel, the Hilton, to agree to let us incorporate our cable car into their design," said Jon Stahl, the president of LeanDog. "We think if we can build this first leg people will become believers because they'll see it up and running, and they'll get fired up about it."
Phase one could connect the newly announced Hilton Convention Center Hotel to the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame for an estimated $12 million. The plan includes 13 more stations, each leg at an approximate $10 million cost.
SkyLift hopes to be a tenant in the Hilton, which is being designed by Atlanta based firm Cooper Carry.
Stahl says the project could be finished when a 2016 political convention is won. "We like having a date and a target and if we could tie it to that convention center, that would be great," he said.
"One of the best things you can do for any city is connect the dots, connect the nodes of interest and that's exactly what the Skylift would do," said Sam McNulty, who owns Market Garden Brewery.
"I think it's a really great idea and I think it will bring a lot more people to Cleveland," said Katie Miller, who heard about the event on Facebook and came to see the cable car.
"It will put Cleveland in such a great position," said McNulty.
While a developer for North Coast Harbor and Harbor West hasn't been chosen yet, Stahl hopes that to have SkyLift incorporated into the winning developer's plan. He's already met with two of the three developers vying for the bid.
The developers will be formally presenting their plans to the City later this month.