The new terrain pod that the bubble chairlift would service is circled in black.

Park City, Utah- If there’s one ski resort that will change the most in the coming years, it’s probably Deer Valley. A massive terrain expansion will debut in phases, starting during the 2024-25 season, and a village is planned at the Snow Park base area. One of the new interesting proposals is that Deer Valley plans to install a new bubble chairlift for the 2025-26 season.

Over the past few weeks, Deer Valley has been trying to get this new terrain expansion on Park Peak approved by the Park City Planning Commission. This would add a new bubble chairlift and 4.62 miles of new ski trails to the large ski resort.

The Doppelmayr D-Line bubble high-speed six-pack chairlift would have a capacity of 3000 people per hour, be .56 miles long, and feature a vertical rise of around 600 feet. The new chairlift would service mainly beginner terrain and connect Flagstaff Mountain to Park Peak. Ski resorts across the continent are building terrain pods at higher elevations to give novice skiers a memorable experience, and this area would fit the bill for Deer Valley. The bottom terminal would be at the intersection of the Trump and Ontario trails.

However, some locals are opposed to these plans. The key concern is that this proposed terrain pod is in a crucial wildlife habitat. According to the Utah Department of Natural Resources, a crucial habitat is where animals that live there depend on that area of land to survive, which in this case are species like black bears, and moving isn’t an option.

Jennifer Prechtel, a local resident who’s worked in wildlife conservation, voiced her concerns about the plans to Parker Malatesta of KPCW:

“What this means is that there are no alternative habitats in the area for these species to go. Development can never be undone, and as a direct consequence, these animals will disappear from Park City forever… At what expense are we going to continue developing?”

Deer Valley responded to KPCW by stating that the proposed lift infrastructure and ski runs do not impose barriers on the landscape.” As we’ve seen in the past, lift projects in Park City can go haywire, so it’ll be interesting to see if this proposal pans out.

The other planned chairlifts are under a different jurisdiction, as the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA) approves these plans, which makes them easier to install since they pushed forward this development.

On April 15th, Deer Valley gave the public and the Park City Planning Commission members a tour of the Park Peak area. The next public meeting for this proposed project will be on April 24th.

Image Credits: Deer Valley Resort, Park City Planning Commission

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