Utah is considering putting in a 3 mile gondola to link The Canyons ski resort to Solitude ski resort. 2 bills are before congress currently. One for the project and one against. Economist say the gondola could greatly assist Utah’s $1.2 billion ski industry and assist in their future Olympic bids. Environmentalist say the gondola will damage wilderness, taint the watershed, and turn off backcountry skiers. What do you think about this project? New York Times: Utah’s “SKILINK” Gondola has Two Bills Before Congress Right Now… | One For & One Against | Unofficial Networks

New York Times: Utah’s “SKILINK" Gondola has Two Bills Before Congress Right Now... | One For & One Against

New York Times: Utah’s “SKILINK" Gondola has Two Bills Before Congress Right Now... | One For & One Against

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New York Times: Utah’s “SKILINK" Gondola has Two Bills Before Congress Right Now... | One For & One Against

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Location on proposed new gondola

Utah is considering putting in a 3 mile gondola to link The Canyons ski resort to Solitude ski resort.  2 bills are before congress currently.  One for the project and one against.  Economist say the gondola could greatly assist Utah’s $1.2 billion ski industry and assist in their future Olympic bids.  Environmentalist say the gondola will damage wilderness, taint the watershed, and turn off backcountry skiers.  What do you think about this project?

WHAT IS “SKILINK”?

– It’s a new newly proposed gondola that would connect Solitude ski resort to The Canyons ski resort allowing skiers and riders to travel between the Park City ski resort area to the Big Cottonwood ski resort area

– 20 tours reaching heights of 20-40 feet tall

– 11 minute ride

– 3 miles in distance

– $35 million = cost to build

– Will move 1,000 people per hour

– Could be the first step in connecting all 4 Wasatch ski resorts and expanding their boundries

 Read the New York Times article on this project:

Along a Utah Range, a New Skirmish Over Development or Conservation

The Wasatch Mountains = narrow mountain range that runs 200 miles north to south

UTAH’S “SKILINK” CONTROVERSY:

– 2 competing views in congress currently

– 1 bill = Wasatch Range Recreation Access Enhancement Act = create the “Skilink” gondola 

  • bypasses jurisdictional and environmental laws
  • overrides federal and local restriction on ski resort expansion in the Wasatch Range
  • National Forest Service would have to sell 30 acres of public land for this project
“An interconnection would boost the ski industry tremendously.  This will be a game changer. There’s nothing like this in the United States.” –  Republican Utah Senator Wayne L. Niederhauser
“…$51 million increase in the state’s economy in SkiLink’s first year, creating jobs and revenue that would go up in future years…” – Talisker Corporation 2010 study

Deep Utah pow. photo: adam barker

– The other bill = Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act = stop the “Skilink” gondola

  • preserves the same area of land “skilink” would potentially use
  • states that this zone is a valuable watershed and wilderness area
  • could create precedent to allow further ski resort expansion in the Wasatch
“It’s the cumulative effect of expansion that we are worried about.” – Jeff Niermeyer, the director of Salt Lake City Public Utilities
“[the Wasatch already had] a good balance between ski resorts and backcountry skiing, and something of the magnitude of SkiLink would forever alter that and certainly make the Central Wasatch less attractive to backcountry skiers.” – Mark Menlove, former head of Ski Utah

Salt Lake City & the Wasatch Mountains

MORE “SKILINK” INFO:

– Big & Little Cottonwood Canyons hold 4 ski resorts and produce 60 percent of Salt Lake City’s drinking water

– 6,294 acres of the Central Wasatch are covered by ski resorts currently

 

Should they put this thing in?

Will it lead to all 7 of the Wasatch ski areas connecting?

If they do it, will it effect backcountry skiing and the environment negatively?

 

Read the New York Times article on this project:

Along a Utah Range, a New Skirmish Over Development or Conservation

 

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