- The Forest Service issues an operating permit to Mountain Capital Partners for Elk Ridge, Arizona, though reopening plans remain fluid.
- Sun Valley’s Cold Springs projects takes a major step forward with the removal of 50 year old lift towers.
- Tim Boyd, the visionary behind Peaks Resorts, earns NSAA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will evaluate changing its name.
- Arctic Valley builds a public use cabin integrated into the top terminal of Chair 2.
- Solitude becomes the latest resort to abandon summer operations to focus on winter.
- President Trump signs an executive order banning many foreign workers until 2021, including J-1 visas used by many American ski resorts.
- Despite Coronavirus, Utah resorts enjoyed their fourth best season in history.
- For sale: a classic Hall T-Bar.
- Virus-related financial impacts may delay Sunlight’s proposed East Ridge project.
- Jackson Hole takes a hit but will consider replacing Sublette and/or Thunder as early as 2021.
- A Georgia community grapples with what to do about Stone Mountain, where an aerial tramway travels over the nation’s largest Confederate monument.
- Disney Skyliner cabins are spotted back out on all three lines.
- The state of Utah hosted 4.5 million skier visits last season, a new record credited in part to the “Vail effect” and six new lifts.
- The Boston Globe autopsies New England’s nightmare season.
- Bloomberg Businessweek talks urban ropeway growth with Doppelmayr and Poma, so does The Wall Street Journal.
- Snowbird’s tram track cable replacement project is finished a week early.
- Disneyland will demolish historic VonRoll Skyway terminal to make way for Star Wars Land.
- Fatzer finishes six 27,000 foot ropes for the world’s longest 3S, set to open in 2017 in the Gulf of Thailand.
- Powdr buys Eldora.
- Jay Peak works on a plan to get its grounded tram running sometime this summer.
If you’ve never driven over 9,700′ Guardsman Pass in the summer, you might not realize just how close Brighton Ski Resort is to the upper reaches of Park City Mountain. In fact, from Brighton’s fire station to the top of the Jupiter lift is less than 7,000 linear feet. It’s this reality and a similar one in Alta’s Grizzly Gulch that makes Ski Utah’s One Wasatch concept tantalizingly close to becoming reality. But the feeling that the Wasatch just isn’t that big also has environmental groups scrambling to prevent any more of these mountains from becoming ski runs. The challenge for Save Our Canyons, the Sierra Club and others is that all the land needed to complete One Wasatch is already in the private hands of Royal Street Land Company (owner of Deer Valley,) Iron Mountain Associates (developer of The Colony) and Alta Ski Lifts Co.
Over the Pass
I’m convinced Park City and Brighton will be connected first. Ski Utah calls the two lifts needed for this connection Guardsman A and Guardsman B. They would rise from a common point adjacent to Guardsman Pass Road between Brighton and Park City’s Jupiter pod on land owned by Royal Street a.k.a. Deer Valley. Operationally, it would make the most sense for CNL/Boyne to build and operate these lifts as part of Brighton. Guardsman A, which would need approval from UDOT to cross State Route 190, would likely be a detachable quad approximately 4,065′ long with a vertical rise of 740′ ending near the top of Jupiter. Guardsman B would rise back towards Brighton and be a detachable quad about 3,800′ long with a vertical of 1,235′.
Royal Street Land Company has a strong interest in completing the Guardsman connection because it now also owns Solitude. With Guardsman in place, a Deer Valley skier at the top of Lady Morgan Express could ride 4 lifts (Pioneer and Jupiter at Park City, Guardsman B and Milly Express at Brighton) and be at Solitude in less than an hour. The return trip would be almost as easy – Summit Express to Great Western Express to Guardsman A and Park City Mountain, which already abuts Deer Valley. Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County would both need to approve the Guardsman lifts before construction could begin.