Crews at [R191R, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort] plugged away this summer with 13-hour work days, six days per week, to keep the tram on schedule for its December opening. "Once the weather improved in mid-June, Garaventa (subsidiary of lift manufacturer Doppelmayr) made progress extremely fast," says Jackson Hole's Tim Mason. "It's been going at a rapid pace ever since. Everything is on schedule."

The new 80-foot clock tower at the base terminal will strike a more imposing presence than its predecessor. "It's going to be even more of an icon than it was before," says Mason. "Everyone will know where you mean when you say, 'meet ya at the clock tower.' It's gonna be big."

Follow progress of the tram's construction at Jackson Hole's Tram-formation site, where you can see videos and photos of the installation.

In addition, Jackson Hole is running a contest to win a spot on the first tram ride up to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. The resort plans to open the new aerial tram in December. A winner and a guest will receive a four-day trip to Jackson Hole or a full season pass for the winter 2008-09 season.

The contest includes two airline tickets to Jackson Hole, Wyo., plus four nights' lodging in a Teton Village condominium. The winner also will receive two four-day adult lift tickets and two VIP passes to the aerial tram launch festivities.

Register to win the first tram ride prize at Jackson Hole's site.