Park City Lift Projects Blocked

The Park City Planning Commission voted 3-1 tonight to grant an appeal of two approved lift projects at Park City Mountain. First announced in September 2021, the new Eagle six pack would have featured a mid-unloading station and a new Silverlode lift would have become the first eight place lift constructed by Vail Resorts. Both detachables were set to be built by Doppelmayr and Silverlode was slated to be a D-Line model. The projects were part of the Epic Lift Upgrade, a 21 lift modernization initiative across Vail Resorts.

The appeal focused on a decades-old agreement with a cap on Comfortable Carrying Capacity between Park City Mountain Resort and previous owner Powdr. At issue was the degree to which new lifts create new demand for skiing. Vail argued the projects were simple lift replacements and would pull skiers off of the current 3 Kings lift in addition to three removed lifts. Appellants said the projects would induce new demand for parking and cause traffic. Normally chairlift replacement projects do not make it to the Planning Commission and are approved by city staff. The appeal was brought by four citizens, triggering elected officials’ involvement.

New Park City Mountain Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Deirdra Walsh blasted the move in a late night statement. “Those opposed to these important enhancements to the guest experience have created a false narrative that the replacement of aged infrastructure with modernized lifts will draw crowds,” she said. “Chairlift tourism does not exist – skiers and riders just want to spend more time on Park City Mountain’s vast terrain and less time in line. Investment in infrastructure is a critical part of the guest experience at Park City Mountain – and we are deeply disappointed that the City is now blocking that investment at the last minute.”

Luckily the lack of approval and threat of appeal kept Doppelmayr and Park City from removing the outgoing Eagle and Silverlode lifts, which will remain in service. Only preliminary construction work had taken place including fabrication of foundation elements in Park City’s parking lot. Both lifts were ordered many months ago and well into production, leading to questions about the future of the euipment. “We are considering our options and next steps based on today’s disappointing decision,” Park City said, adding that new lifts at Park City would not move forward until at least 2023.

66 thoughts on “Park City Lift Projects Blocked

  1. Peter June 16, 2022 / 4:27 am

    This is super embarrassing for the town of Park City. These people need to grow up and stop holding grudges and find something better to do with their time than complain about lift projects that will objectively make Park City a better place.

    I don’t know much about the specifics of the issues between park city and vail resorts, but I know part of it has to do with staffing shortage. I think people need to realize that the staffing shortage was not exclusive to park city, vail resorts, or even the ski industry as a whole. I’ve skied Sunday river my entire life and have never seen aurora quad and white heat quad closed on weekdays, but this was a common occurrence last year. Sunday river claimed it would open Merril hill on exclusive dates but the lift never spun once. It was pretty easy to understand this was due to staffing shortages but there was never a lash out against Sunday river or boyne. If anyone should be blamed here it should be the federal and state governments that have enacted policies that create a better financial incentive to collect unemployment than work a low-wage job. It seems as if Vail is actively working to resolve the staffing issues it faced last year across all its resorts, so this whole situation seems like an overreaction, especially for something that has no relevance to the issue in the first place.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 5:05 am

      Yeah, this is basically a bunch of grumpy NIMBYs who hold a grudge against Vail Resorts for something that has nothing to do with Vail Resorts. I mean, it’s not like these lifts were going to affect these NIMBYs’ quality of life; both were to be built on land that Vail Resorts owns/leases, and with money from Vail Resorts’ coffers.

      Like

    • Philip Keeve June 16, 2022 / 6:59 am

      As a Utah local and PC regular, this is infuriating. Four residents could do this?! Something seems off. I understand some of their concerns to an extent but all it does is prolong an existing problem even more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 7:19 am

        This is NIMBYism for you: people who move, then do a surprised Pikachu face. It’s like I said on the roundup thread (https://liftblog.com/2022/06/10/news-roundup-284/comment-page-1/#comment-111614), “you forfeited your right to complain when you chose to move next to a ski area, a ski area that was there long before you decided to move there”. Just like I think you forfeit your right to complain about the noise when you move next to a busy railroad line or airport.

        skitheeast also raised a good point on the roundup thread about what Vail Resorts really ought to do: “Vail, and the rest of the ski industry, have to realize that local politics will only hurt them. They are fundamentally real estate developers, and local voters have been empowered and incentivized to block as much new development as possible over the past fifty or so years in this country. Whether it is a terrain expansion at Aspen, affordable housing at Vail, or lift replacements at Park City, getting the local town involved has never helped the process. This NIMBYism cannot be successfully combated at the local level, and Vail should be inspired by Dakota Pacific and other developers to seek legislative change at higher levels of government, such as the state, to overrule local decisions [made by people who feel compelled to block any sort of change that might impact their perceived “quality of life” or property values even if said project would actually benefit them].”

        Like

    • Mike B June 16, 2022 / 4:07 pm

      This is a simplistic and somewhat disingenuous take. You know why people didn’t complain when Merrill Hill didn’t spin? Because it’s self-evidently a real estate lift that no one was clamoring to ski. The staffing shortage wasn’t exclusive to Park City or Vail Resorts more broadly, but it was clearly more acute at Vail Resorts generally and PCMR specifically. More importantly, it completely ignores the very real externalities that ski resorts can produce for the communities in which they operate, be it traffic, transit, land use, housing or otherwise. And what we are seeing in the different local disputes with the town of Vail or Park City are a lot of chickens coming home to roost on issues Vail Resorts has ignored or discounted until things reached a breaking point this year.

      To be clear, I am no fan of NIMBY’s and hold those types accountable for a number of urban planning ills, not least of which is a structural housing crisis nationwide that is hitting mountain towns hardest. So I certainly don’t support the use of obscure levers designed to throw sand in the gears, but if that’s what it takes to get VMR to the table and recognize their role in dealing with these externalities, then so be it.

      Like

      • Peter June 16, 2022 / 4:30 pm

        I see your point. Vail has an obviously different approach to the industry as the other big players do. Alterra and Boyne let their resort operate more independently compared to Vail’s centralized corporate model. I also think people need to look at what has happened the last two years in regards to the outdoors. The pandemic has created a resurgence in the desire for the outdoors, and anyone who has been to a national park recently knows this. Rural mountain retail prices have sky rocketed nationwide. It costs like almost a million dollars to buy a trailer park home in Jackson these days. It kinda just seems like Park city residents are playing victim to a situation that is affecting the whole country, and it certainly goes well beyond Vail’s corporate policies. I know Yellowstone is closed for the forseeable future but the traffic jams there have been insane the past couple years. It just seems like Park City is exacerbating what they think is a great corporate injustice that is targeting them even thought it extends way beyond them. I am not suggesting Vail is innocent in this situation, but anyone who appreciated the outdoors has seen how much more crowded hiking trails, ski trails, national parks have been recently and that certainly and that certainly is not Vail’s fault. Vail just happens to offer a product that makes access to the winter outdoors more accessible to the general public.

        Regardless of any of this, the residents of Park City and Vail need to reach a compromise on how to handle the situation instead of undermining each other. I don’t know how feasible this is, but a lot of beach towns have specific convenient parking lots for residents only, so maybe a similar model could be enacting in ski towns. Obviously the issue here is that beaches are town/city operated whereas ski areas are generally privately operated.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kirk June 19, 2022 / 7:49 am

      Utah (Salt Lake City Area) has become a mess on both sides of the mountain. The expansion of the SLC airport, availability of flights from all directions and relatively short drive (distance wise) to Park City and front side areas.
      Don’t forget the mess in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
      Some tourists may figure it out to try some ski areas north of SLC??

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif June 19, 2022 / 12:57 pm

        Yeah, try Snowbasin instead of the Cottonwood Canyons…😐

        Like

  2. meirk June 16, 2022 / 5:25 am

    “chairlift tourism does not exist”
    Don’t you feel personally insulted?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Peter June 16, 2022 / 6:21 am

      I think Boyne will be insulted by this as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 6:46 am

        Especially since Big Sky kinda runs on it. 😉

        Like

  3. PK June 16, 2022 / 7:24 am

    Although there are certainly grandstanders in the crowd that love to see themselves in the news, this is a legitimate problem that Vail/Alterra/Etc have to address in the communities in which they are located. These mega passes have so severely degraded the resort experience for locals and visitors alike, Park City council is calling them out to produce a better plan for crowd mitigation. Vail now has to rethink this and their commitment to the developers of the base area. It won’t be easy, the whole area is a mess on busy days. Community led resistance will come to many other mega pass communities, as Park City just opened the door.

    Like

    • SCSkier June 16, 2022 / 7:34 am

      Please explain to me how increasing out of base capacity and capacity from probably the biggest chokepoint on the mountain is not addressing crowd mitigation?

      Is the only acceptable solution to raise prices and continue to push people out of the sport so that only the wealthy elite can afford to ski?

      We are losing snow. Everyone will continue to be pushed to these resorts because it’s the only places you can still ski. That is not something you can fight, it is an eventuality of our climate at this point. Every ski area community needs to stop pretending that they are “fighting crowds” when really all they are doing is fighting diversity on the mountain and in their communities. The towns that will thrive are the ones that say “more people are going to need to ski here, not want to, and how do we support them?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 11:32 am

        Yeah, building newer and higher capacity lifts is a case of crowd mitigation. I mean, Silverlode 8 won’t be for “chairlift tourism”, which was Big Sky’s whole reason for building Ramcharger 8.

        Like

      • PK June 16, 2022 / 2:39 pm

        It’s the overused infrastructure leading to the lifts that are the biggest problem. Higher capacity lifts only push the bottleneck somewhere else. The reality is that epic/ikon passes have overwhelmed the system, and Park City called them on it which is sobering to Vail. It is surprising to me too, but I understand where the city is coming from. It seems that the relationship of resort / resort towns may be changing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 7:43 pm

          That infrastructure though is largely not Vail Resorts’ problem to deal with. That’s Park City’s problem.

          Like

        • SCSkier June 17, 2022 / 10:16 am

          Then the town should follow Breckenridge’s model and put a special tax on lift tickets in order to pay for infrastructure as well as taxing higher on lodging. Vail made the parking paid, that’s all they can do.

          They have no room to build a parking lot and lord knows if they did try to turn their lots in to garage’s they would get even more backlash than this.

          What is your solution?

          Like

      • ktappe June 16, 2022 / 11:09 pm

        I’ll be glad to explain it. Adding lifts might mitigate lines on the mountain but once those are gone more people will come and clog all the roads to the base and parking lots. What was Vail doing to fix that issue? Getting onto the mountain at 8:30AM is already a nightmare. Tell us what Vail’s plan was to ease that. We’re waiting.

        Like

        • Donald Reif June 17, 2022 / 4:46 am

          That’s the town’s problem to solve, since they carry traffic not just for PCMR but also for Deer Valley.

          Like

        • Local Skier June 17, 2022 / 12:59 pm

          Ok, you win, why don’t you tell us what the Park City planning commission has done to help with this parking issue. Vail has done everything they can to incentivize parking at Canyons and taking the shuttle to the Park City base. The shuttle system works so well that the out of base capacity at Park City is getting packed. While Vail could be doing a bit more to address the parking, what more can they do? Despite how much they try to incentivize parking at Canyons, people still park in the town itself. For those skiers who don’t want to take the shuttle, there’s always the connection from Canyons via Quicksilver (I recall, that was about $50 million worth to try to make Canyons a better portal to transfer to the Park City side).

          I’m not seeing any efforts from any other parties trying to invest 50 million into incentivizing parking outside of the town. If I am mistaken, feel free to correct me.

          Like

  4. Aussierob06 June 16, 2022 / 7:32 am

    Building the Peak to Peak was chairlift (Gondola) tourism. Replacing Creek Gondola and Red are just improving the experience. PCMR are only adding to the experience. I find it hard to believe a few people finding a minor discrepancy in an an ancient CCC calculation can have this much power. Surely elected officials representing the whole town can look at the big picture here. Unless of course they had decided this was a good way to punish PC’s guests. This is not a punishment of Vail.

    Like

    • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 11:35 am

      I’d argue Peak 2 Peak both was and WASN’T chairlift tourism, since for skier traffic in the winter, it means that one can cross from Whistler to Blackcomb or vice versa in a fraction of the time it’d take to go down to Whistler Village and ride one of the gondolas out of there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charles June 16, 2022 / 12:10 pm

        I mean you can make an argument like that for any lift which could be put in the chairlift tourism category. Pretty much every big famous lift has a practical purpose for being built along with its more unique qualities people know it for.

        Like

    • Paul Hothersall June 17, 2022 / 2:32 am

      Whistler (municipal) is generally pretty good about enabling stuff like this, or rather not getting in the way. That said its the small technicalities that crop up Example for Vails LED info boards, which are “movable signs” and hence banned in Whistler, so as they needed a bylaw exemption to put one at the creekside base, I got a printed copy of the application mailed to me as I live nearby for comment. Apart from 1) what a waste of paper, 2) waste of time, It did at least follow the process, and Vail pinky promised not to put adverts up on it (mtn ops info only).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul Hothersall June 17, 2022 / 3:29 am

      With respect to the P2P build, that was interesting as it crossed between 2 CRA (legally separate ski areas) and also outside of the area for both. but still, got done no real issue etc. still a mega popular lift, with huge lineups even midweek for sight-seeing tourists, even last few days when I was up there.

      Thinking forward, all of the planned lifts in the Master plans (whistler https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/natural-resource-use/all-seasons-resorts/whistler/14a_mountain_master_plan_at_buildout_-_whistler.pdf and blackcomb https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/natural-resource-use/all-seasons-resorts/blackcomb/14a_mountain_master_plan_at_buildout_-_blackcomb.pdf ) are now enshrined in the towns official community plan. Vail don’t need to go throw any process to build the ones that are shown on there.

      Now whats interesting is example creekside is an upgrade on the same line, not the line as shown on the plans. For the Blackcomb Gondola there was an open house, lots of into etc and public education and opportunity for feedback. For this one, just a lift announcement which was confusing if was a 8 or 10 pax! technically its not in the master plan so should have had a public consult?. and even more interesting I can’t find the demo / site alteration / development permit for any of it on the Whistler muni system. And given that the base area is actually in the Muni regulated area they SHOULD have this.

      So I can totally see how a stop work like this story at park city could happen, depending on the context.

      Whistler (mountain and municipality) does play fast and loose with stuff like this. Ski trails outside the legal Ski area, including one that is on land I (partly) own. only few years ago WB built a bike trail outside the CRA over a right of way that I (again partly) own and in that instance had to rework it back to previous as they had wrecked a ski in/out trail with banked berms for bikes. We left it until after bike season and alternative was made to not interrupt mtn ops.

      But even the whistler municiplaity are taking a run at Vail for using muni facilities (mainly bike lessons) for LOTS of commercial bike lessons, and figuring out a way to at least get some revenue out of it.

      Its all done on spirit of “ok lets get whatever done, and figure the details out later”

      Like

      • Aussierob06 June 17, 2022 / 1:28 pm

        Paul, the only power the muni has is over building permits on the hill. Everything else is provincially regulated through the master plan and MDA. No municipal permits are required for a lift.

        Like

        • Paul Hothersall June 17, 2022 / 8:04 pm

          Rob, I support the lift replacement, and personally am super happy both it and red upgrade are going in.
          My point perhaps rambling on in previous post and missed is that is about the base terminal. And at least several of the first towers are not inside the CRA. They are in a muni addressed and zoned property that’s also part of the cc2 covenant area with its own restrictions on it.
          Literally even the styling of the station and the operator building is at least supposed to by the rules be OKed by the municipal planning committee to ensure it meetings the restricted design architecture etc etc.
          Put simply, the base station is subject to the zoning and bylaw of the muni.
          It’s even more clear cut muni authority than the currently LUC (land use contract) that’s being retired as part of the new zoning for base of Blackcomb gondola and midstation of Excalibur) Which itself technically should have had a formal change to the land use contract when wizard changed to a the BC gondola.
          Following the procedure in the muni bylaws, any resident of whistler could , or the bylaw department on it’s own could notice, and per rules the muni should put a stop work on the creekside base until ^ process is in place even if muni staff nominally “signed off” on the gondola and/or said permits not required…
          My reference to the bike park trail snaffu was to highlight where the muni staff had done such a thing, and actually not followed procedure and WB was forced to correct. Happy to be educated I am wrong here.
          That situation got backtracked awfully quickly…and expensively for WB.
          I don’t think anyone in Whistler doesn’t want the new creekside to go in. I am just saying if they did, it would be a hold just like park city here whilst forcing the correct procedure per the bylaws and policies to have a stop work order until they have been followed. And technically that could be WB having to prove it still has the specified base area(s) parking spaces per the lease agreement with province.

          Like

        • Paul Hothersall June 18, 2022 / 2:29 am

          Rob,

          Various items, especially under the MDA are what you are referencing. I agree with you, that for the most part that lifts are under provincial permission/authority. And further since the confidential agreement with local FNs was signed, that the required consultation with them is covered under the commercial partnership, making it easier for the development to happen.

          I support and will campaign for better lifts, more uplift capacity especially from creekside where I live, and even build out into the provincial parks provided that WB/VR abides by its obligations under the Whistler and Blackcomb MDAs.

          Under the MDA(s), WB/VailResorts (“the developer”) acknowledges that getting whatever permission from the Province does not absolve need for permits / permission / approval from any other party. This is in part why this park city sort of situation happened, and could happen in Whistler.

          Critically, the permission from the province is only with respect to land that is within the CRA (or alternatively referred to as “whistler development area” in some of the documents), and very very specifically under “ARTICLE VI – CONSTRUCTION IN THE CONTROLLED RECREATION AREA”.

          The current document in force is Master Development Agreement No.: 347997 File No.: 2400087
          Disposition No.: 927876 , from 2017

          As per my other posts on this thread, WB should have and I posit MUST HAVE the various permits for the base station of the creekside gondola from the whistler municipality as it is outside of the CRA, everything from the demolition of the old base station, through the ground excavation and building of the new one.

          Very very specifically for the parts that are in the land parcel subject to RMOW (whistler muni) zoning/permits which are referred to as 2044 LONDON LANE PID: 024-867-926 Folio: 005316.104

          and finally, I hope WB doesn’t forget to pay its fee for the new lift which under the municipal bylaws (BUSINESS LICENCE AND REGULATION BYLAW NO. 2253, 2019) that has a huge fee of $85.00/lift/year (min $200 Total).

          The permitting cost is something where WB may get hit will a % value of construction and other flat fees, however due to an interesting quirk of a historical “land swap” or other association, WB can actually potentially dodge that fee and potentially even the annual muni taxes based on the $2Million(ish) value assigned to the (old) base area gondola station via the whistler mountain Ski club which got a blanket tax free exemption on the land parcel !

          Like

  5. Anthony June 16, 2022 / 8:07 am

    Vail fucked around and found out when it comes to their relationships with their communities.

    It sucks for visitors, but this is the logical conclusion of Rob Katz’s steamroller approach. Every ounce of goodwill that Vail’s communities had for their resorts is gone, and maybe if they’d pivoted their strategy earlier to be more collaborative with the towns, this wouldn’t have happened.

    But here we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam June 16, 2022 / 8:42 am

      this is ultimately the answer. is it petty by the town to do this? Yes, but its one of the only recourses the town has. They only did this because they are sick of the way that vail does business.

      Like

      • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 2:29 pm

        Or it’s a couple of people being selfish for the reason of thinking this will affect their property values, even though there’s no way Silverlode 8 could do that.

        Like

        • Richard June 16, 2022 / 7:09 pm

          Source?

          Like

        • Sam June 17, 2022 / 8:10 am

          if vail had a good relationship with the town and acted like they were actually trying to do something about the traffic problem then the council would have just ignored the 4 people who made the appeal and ruled in favor of vail on the expansion.

          Like

    • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 9:01 am

      This sort of opposition would still happen even if Vail Resorts didn’t own PCMR.

      Like

      • Mike B June 16, 2022 / 4:12 pm

        And yet this is the first time it’s happened in PCMR’s 60 year existence, so your take on this hypothetical is just like, your opinion, man.

        Like

      • Anthony June 16, 2022 / 6:06 pm

        Yeah, I don’t buy it.

        I should say this isn’t a problem unique to Vail. It has to do with mega-corporations, low wages, high housing prices, the commodification of everything, and fundamental changes in our economic system. Vail has little direct control over these things, but it’s managed to become a symbol of those things for the ski industry and mountain towns. So has SkiCo. So has Palisades Tahoe. (Alterra isn’t immune!)

        At the end of the day, new lifts are cool. But fair wages, affordable housing, decent working conditions, union patrollers, and competent operations are cooler.

        Like

    • Thomas Jett June 16, 2022 / 12:20 pm

      Maybe local governments that are dominated by rich, neurotic weirdos shouldn’t have the power to screw over a businesses just because they don’t like its owner.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. xlr8r June 16, 2022 / 8:09 am

    I’m just guessing here. The argument against PCMR might be that the new lifts are designed to get more people out of the Park City base and parking lot. This will attract more people to arrive and park at the Park City side vs the Canyons side. The towns goal is to reduce congestion around the Park City base, these 2 new lifts will make it worse.

    Like

    • The GooberSled 44 June 16, 2022 / 9:27 am

      There is already a limited amount of parking at the PCMR base so even if it did attract more people to that base it wouldn’t do any good because there no where for those additional people to park. The PCMR base usually fills up before 9am, and if you want to get a parking spot you really have to arrive at like 8am.

      Upgrading the silverload lift is probably the best thing the resort can do. Its the busiest lift on the mountain and visitors are often required to take it in order to get to certain parts of the mountain. if you want to go from the quicksilver gondola Bonanza za, payday, motherload, crescent, mcconkeys, or town you have to take silverload to get to any of those lifts.

      Like

      • Tom June 16, 2022 / 9:40 am

        Based upon vails last earnings report, vail has lots of cash, what if vail decided to play hard ball, ok park city no new lifts, we won’t operate this year, we will continue to pay our employees, if employees want they can go work at other vail owned resorts, no park city operating, lots of empty hotel rooms, bars restaurants, ski shops not selling anything etc, vail has the deep pockets to pull this off.

        Like

      • xlr8r June 16, 2022 / 10:35 am

        Even if the Parking lot is small, that doesn’t stop people from trying to park in it, jamming up all the roads around the area. Traffic jams at ski areas are usually caused by people trying to park in lots that are already full.

        In regards to Silverlode, The lift is so important, Vail really should build a secondary lift for it instead of replacing it. Must be a nightmare to be there when Silverlode is down. but i guess that ship has sailed.

        Like

        • Boardski June 16, 2022 / 11:05 am

          It seems like installing an extension segment on the Quicksilver gondola would be a good solution, similar to the second segment planned for the Wild Blue gondola at Steamboat. The gondola’s capability to deliver skiers to the top of Silverload or close enough to access most of the front side lifts would work out great., People riding over from canyons could stay on and have many more options and reduce traffic dramatically

          Like

        • Jonathan June 16, 2022 / 4:19 pm

          Another option would be moving the Park City side of the gondola terminal uphill to about where tower 24 is and then cut a trail to the base of the Motherlode lift. That would allow the Motherlode Lift to pull some traffic off the Silverlode lift and provide backup incase the Silverlode Lift goes down. Seems a lot less expensive than replacing Silverlode, building a third stage to the gondola, or building another lift that terminates at the top of Crescent. It wouldn’t increase the CCC of the Park City side at all, so it might be easier for it to pass approval.

          Like

    • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 11:50 am

      The NIMBYs’ goal is to screw PCMR over for things Vail Resorts can’t control.

      Like

  7. Charlie June 16, 2022 / 11:06 am

    Does the town on the land that PCMR is on or how do they have the authority to block the projects?

    Like

    • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 11:40 am

      Vail Resorts leases the land from the USFS, I think.

      Like

    • Anthony June 16, 2022 / 12:09 pm

      No, the land is mostly leased from Talisker, a private company.

      Like

  8. skitheeast June 16, 2022 / 11:06 am

    For everyone here saying, “This is all Vail’s fault. If Vail hadn’t lost all goodwill with their community this would never have happened.” If similar laws existed in Aspen, Ski Co would never have gotten approval for their Lift 1A replacement. If similar laws existed in Olympic Valley, Alterra would never have gotten approval for the California Express Gondola. If similar laws existed in Jackson, Snow King would never have gotten approval for Sunnyside or the Gondola. Vail has undoubtedly had issues at Park City and elsewhere that they have yet to properly address, but it is fairly common for at least a small, vocal minority of residents in any ski town to oppose new development altogether. The blame for the project’s collapse is solely on the town and its residents.

    This came down to an old clause that four residents in a town of more than 8,000 people utilized to their advantage. These sorts of loopholes exist in towns and cities across the nation and are constantly utilized to stop or reduce new development. The Park City Planning Commission is elected by Park City residents, who are incentivized to stop or reduce all new development to the greatest extent possible. However, as the town stops or reduces development, demand for the town and its services continues to rise, creating supply and demand imbalances that anger the same locals who created the situation in the first place. This is basic NIMBYism. I have never lived in Park City, but I have lived in other ski and resort towns, and it is the same story over and over again across the country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif June 16, 2022 / 11:43 am

      Like you said on the other thread, this kind of NIMBYism is something that Park City Mountain Resort can only combat at a higher level of government that can overrule the locals.

      “The Park City Planning Commission is elected by Park City residents, who are incentivized to stop or reduce all new development to the greatest extent possible. However, as the town stops or reduces development, demand for the town and its services continues to rise, creating supply and demand imbalances that anger the same locals who created the situation in the first place.” That’s what we call a vicious cycle.

      Like

    • skier June 17, 2022 / 12:08 am

      I mean, didn’t the Snow King Gondola take about 5 years to happen? It seemed like there was a lot of pushback on that

      Like

  9. Carson June 16, 2022 / 1:43 pm

    personally I don’t get their issues with the new lifts. granted I am contradicting myself being that I like old lifts but this mountain doesn’t have time for those lifts anymore. this mountain isn’t for the locals the only ski area that was up here for that was Park West and now half of that is a village. I get the parking issue and the fact that their not addressing it is a shame. but the park city side is already a joke and they should push parking at the canyons side instead. the thing I don’t get is how the residents will allow multi million dollar developments on historical and cool looking areas but as soon as someone touches the mountain its off limits.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Ron Nichols June 16, 2022 / 2:14 pm

    Yes. I agree. Putting in all these modern “express” lifts just keeps pushing the price of lift tickets higher. Long live the Halls and Riblets!

    Like

  11. afski722 June 17, 2022 / 9:32 am

    This is really just the town pushing back on Vail Resorts. Many of the mountain towns are at the breaking point and have very strained relationships with VR. They have pushed a number of issues on to the towns and haven’t always been the most collaborative partners / stakeholders.

    I know this is a site about lifts, but there are much broader issues at play.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. techorangeboots June 17, 2022 / 11:19 am

    While I haven’t worked at PCMR and DV for years… and I think these lift upgrades are really a no-brainer, as the parking and traffic situation is already maxed out. Vail has really consistenty polarized the community, and last year’s pain is really fresh. We all have staffing issues, and we are all understanding of it. But Vail’s responses always seem to be too little, too late; and the community feels like they have force them to do the right things. When PCMR was asked for parking mitigation and plans, they come back with paid parking… insulting the locals, of course you want more money. PCMR needs a community engagement position that helps them to stop making people mad. What they should have done is, agreed with the locals, and city council, and added to the conversation i.e.:

    “We agree parking and traffic are issues, we are frustrated in it everyday. We would like to release our guest traffic numbers and trends and help fund a study with a city partnership. We are willing to fun 100k towards that study and be transparent with our guest trends. That way we can come up with a solution that will encompass the entire picture, and include input/planning from multiple resources and users. We would like to look at solutions that take into consideration both our mountain portals. It may make sense to add more parking at the Canyons, to push traffic off of the Park Ave/Empire stoplight. We don’t have all the answers, but we are currently installing these two lifts to try and reduce lift lines and make it easier for people to disperse on the mountain.”

    You could always stop making idiot knee-jerk statements like lift tourism doesn’t exist. Tell that to your Epic lift upgrade campaign.

    Like

    • Donald Reif June 17, 2022 / 12:25 pm

      Or the locals should just, I dunno, not be able to hold so much influence. This is just NIMBYism.

      Like

      • Ryan Murphy June 18, 2022 / 4:10 pm

        Look Donald, you’re allowed to have political views, and you’re allowed to post about them. Skiing often bumps into politics, be that environmental, labor, or local issue. But you account for like 15 of the 60 comments on this thread. You’ve said your piece, let it be.

        Also I’m going to take issue with this post specifically. People are allowed to have a say in the places they live. That’s the whole point of our society. You have influence in your local politics, wherever that may be. I don’t agree with the stance taken by the commission, but they have the right to take it.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Thomas Jett June 18, 2022 / 8:24 pm

          You can’t just shout “democracy” and expect to win the argument. America is a country where things like property rights are supposed to be respected. Local governments dominated by vindictive or selfish residents shouldn’t have the discretion to arbitrarily interrupt the routine functioning of businesses. The State of Utah, at whose discretion the city exists at all, should step in and crack down on local government overreach.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Ryan Murphy June 18, 2022 / 9:41 pm

          I don’t have an argument to make. I don’t agree with the decision, but I don’t think I can clearly articulate my own feelings on the matter, and no one else has said anything I’ve fully agreed with on this or any other forum. PCMR also isn’t a ski area I bother visiting, it might be my least favorite in Utah. It’s bland and corporate (and was before Vail), and the terrain is the worst out of any of the Salt Lake ski areas.

          I have a problem with the arguments Donald, Skitheeast and a few others are making. Park City locals are about the least sympathetic group out there, and I do agree that local politics can incentive a few loud individuals to put their interests over that of the community. That sentiment is grounded in reality, and I should probably have acknowledged that better. However, I don’t think the solution is to tell local groups to get lost in favor of rich tourists and corporations that have no vested interest in a place. The ideal path lies somewhere in between, where the development goes hand in hand with addressing the needs of a community. Park City locals will probably pay a price for this without the state or feds stepping in. I’d venture that Vail will invest less at PCMR and won’t give an inch or goodwill. Epic skiers may also be more likely to choose Colorado, California, or Canadian destinations instead, since Park City has clearly stated it doesn’t want their business. Actions have consequences, and Park City will feel them.

          Liked by 2 people

        • pbropetech June 20, 2022 / 10:39 am

          Agreed, Ryan. As a local of a different place, I would definitely take issue with some outside company or organisation being allowed to do what they want in my town without taking myself and my fellow residents into consideration.

          Like

  13. techorangeboots June 17, 2022 / 5:34 pm

    That’s short sighted, it’s not just a NIMBY issue, it’s up to the city council to manage the influence. I’ve been to meetings where the city will smile, thank me for my input, and do the opposite of what I would like done. There is certainly a lot of NIMBY attitudes out there, but it doesn’t invalidate their concerns. The issue continues to be Vail repeatedly walking over locals concerns. I think the lifts should go in, but I’m an AND person. Meaning, you can have both, smaller lift lines and crowd/parking mitigation. I haven’t heard of anyone complaining about Deer Valley’s new lift, it will double capacity on Wide West… get ready for twice as many beginners to bomb and land on the Snow Park patio. Que the Warren Miller Film scene, turkey chili everywhere, Bogner suits ruined, and nanny’s breaking out the first aid kits.

    If Vail was serious about controlling crowds and parking, they too, would limit ticket sales. They would introduce programs to shift capacity to excess times. When Bogus Basin introduced the cheap season pass 24 years ago, it was a boom. They even cap out selling passes now, but they’re out-of-the-box thinking makes them come up with the twilight pass and moving night skiing to a 3pm start time. They even had to cap some weekend night skiing because it was so busy… what does Vail do? Get rid of night skiing.

    The bottom line is the locals see Vail’s chase of the dollar at the cost of the experience. I don’t ski at Vail resorts because I don’t share their values. Their mountains are great, but it’s too frustrating to deal with the crowds. Park City is the last place we would choose to ski in Utah, and that’s directly due to Vail. But I will be returning to Sun Valley and Snowbasin now that they’re back from the dark side, see you soon JP Lodge, save me a seat by the fireplace.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. OttawaSkier June 17, 2022 / 5:42 pm

    When I think about it, I’m surprised Stowe’s upgrade went through. I think Vail is going to put these upgrades onto the list next year, if only to save face. I think they will remember this in the future though, and cut Park City out of other lift upgrades.

    Like

  15. Munier Salem June 18, 2022 / 12:38 pm

    If only the town council was blocking Vail from installing a red, 120-passenger tram car … could have worked out pretty nicely.

    Like

  16. Skier September 11, 2022 / 11:27 pm

    I was driving by the Doppelmayr factory on I-80 in SLC and you can see all the conical lift towers for the delayed Park City lifts stored in the back(north) side of the property.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s