I didn't see anything about a replacement system either. There is no other way to the top of Rendevous Mtn (except hiking).
I also have a hard time believing that JH can't afford $20million. There has been way too much development over the last few years. Even though it is not built up, the quality of what they put in could make it affordable (Four Seasons, many upgraded townhomes and condos).
That is a thread on the thought from TelemarkTips. What I basically gleaned from it was that the resort posting the plans to close the Tram as an effort to get the state to cough up some money to help replace/fix the tram. Seeing how that tram is a HUGE icon of Wyoming, not just the resort, it is possible that the state tourism department may get some pressure to help keep it running.
Speculation and conjecture, but interesting to consider.