If you’ve ever crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you would’ve seen them in their grey/blue jumpsuits, scaling one of Australia’s most famous structures.
But from 1 October 2018, their presence will be no more – at least in its current form – after the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) announced that BridgeClimb Sydney had failed to win a new 20-year contract to operate on the iconic bridge.
Founded by chairman Paul Cave, BridgeClimb has been a world-renowned experience and leading attraction for visitors to Sydney for 20 years.
Since it began operations on 1 October 1998, it has welcomed around 4 million climbers from over 140 countries and boasts an unblemished safety record.
“It has been a privilege for us to make a hero of the bridge, and of every climber on every climb,” Mr Cave said.
“We will continue to create unforgettable memories until our final Climber.
“Every one of our past and present team can hold their heads high on what we have created together.”
Cave said its focus would now be “on our customers, our team, and on preserving our brand, equipment and expertise for future opportunities”.
Bookings up until 30 September will be climbing as usual, while those booked after September will be contacted once there is further clarity regarding these bookings.
Owner of Scenic World in the Blue Mountains, Hammons Holdings has been appointed new operator of tourism on the bridge, and said its priority would be to return the bridge to the people.
The third-generation, family-owned business said “expanding access and affordability” was a key focus in its 20-year vision for the bridge.
“The Bridge is already an iconic structure, recognised around the world. We want to make it a must-see destination for Sydneysiders and visitors to Sydney, regardless of physical or financial restraints,” Hammons Holdings CEO, David Hammon said.
“Our experience building Scenic World into one of Australia’s most popular destinations shows that we can drive visitor numbers and increase economic value while respecting unique heritage and environmental values.
“Our vision is to recreate the people’s Bridge – we will be exploring ways to safely expand access to new areas of the Bridge, use innovative technology to bring the Bridge to life, and make its history and connectivity a more central part of the experience.”
Scenic World is Australia’s most-visited, privately owned attraction, hosting over one million, mostly international visitors.