Vail Resorts is playing chess, while the residents of Park City are playing checkers. For context, Vail Resorts wanted to put in two new lifts at Park City Mountain Resort for this winter to replace the Eagle, Eaglet, and Silverlode lifts. In response to a chaotic winter at the mountain, numerous residents of Park City successfully appealed the prior decision by the city’s planning commission to install two new lifts this off-season. This meant that the lifts couldn’t be installed at the ski resort before the 2022-23 season. In response, Vail Resorts has decided that they’ll be using shipping those parts to Whistler Blackcomb.
After upgrading the Creekside Gondola and Big Red this offseason, they will be replacing the Fitzsimmons Express and Jersey Cream next year. Fitzsimmons Express is one of the main lifts out of the Whistler Village base area. The high-speed quad will be upgraded to an eight-pack. It will increase uphill capacity by 73%, and become a valuable addition to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park during the offseason. Jersey Cream, a high-speed quad on Blackcomb’s side, will become a six-pack. The new chairlift will help reduce lift lines, increase the mid-mountain capacity, and help with the circulation around that terrain pod.
There’s been no word yet as to whether Vail Resorts still plans on replacing the lifts over at Park City. Lift demand is very high at the moment, so it may take a while for these new Park City lift upgrades. It’s a tough break for Park City, where residents have grown increasingly frustrated with the diminishing guest experience at the massive ski resort. I imagine they’re a plethora of Park City guests and passholders that wanted these changes, so how do you think they’re going to react? It will increase the growing tension between the two parties, and lead to locals buying passes at the other adjacent Utah ski resorts.
Image Credits: Whistler Blackcomb, Ian Wood of Unofficial Networks