The Hollywood sign is one of the most iconic locations on Earth. It's instantly recognizable and a major destination for tourists in Southern California. Now, one movie studio wants to make getting there a lot easier. Warner Bros. has announced a desire to build an aerial tramway that would take visitors from the studio lot directly up to the famed sign and then back down again.
While the sign is easily visible from many places in Southern California, if you want to get up close to the sign right now, you need to hike up the hill, something which isn't easy for everybody to do. In addition, tourists cause traffic issues in a residential neighborhood near the sign, something Warner Bros. believes it can help alleviate by building the tramway.
The tramway idea has apparently been one that's been thrown around as a solution to the various issues that the sign has caused, and Warner Bros. has now decided they'd like to put it into action, the studio estimates the tramway will cost $100 million. On the plus side, Warner Bros. is apparently planning to cover the entire cost and isn't looking to taxpayers to fund the construction.
According to Warner Bros., the studio's location is uniquely suited as it is close to the sign and building the tramway there will have a lesser impact on the environment than other proposed locations.
While not specifically spelled out, one assumes that if the tramway is built on the WB lot, that means the studio will charge for access to the tram, and if the studio funds the construction entirely, there's little argument who will receive the profits from the tram tickets sold. This could be a nice little revenue source for Warner Bros. and certainly, the tramway will more than pay for itself over time.
Warner Bros. already runs a studio tour on the lot for tourists, and access to the Hollywood sign, whether it was locked behind the tour or not, would certainly drive more tourists to consider the tour than otherwise would. It's likely a win-win for Warner Bros.
Variety reports that there is a competing plan also in development that would ferry tourists in gondolas from the parking lot of the Los Angeles Zoo that is estimated to cost $25-$30 million.
Based on the interest in creating some sort of alternate path to the Hollywood sign it seems quite likely that something will get built in the next few years, it's simply a question of what solution is deemed best. This will hopefully succeed in alleviating the issues the sign has caused for the local residents while still giving tourists the up-close look of the iconic sign they're looking for.