A group of gay skiers plan to resume their trips to Park City in 2010, saying the ill will between gays and Utah stemming from California's gay-marriage ballot measure will likely have subsided by next year.
Next year's Utah Gay & Lesbian Ski Week is tentatively scheduled Jan. 6-10. An Internet site indicates the skiers plan to visit each of the three local resorts, hold cocktail and social hours and have a party. A dinner is scheduled at the Wasatch Brew Pub.
The 2010 event is scheduled one year after organizers were forced to cancel this year's annual visit.
They said few gay skiers signed up for the 2009 trip because they were unhappy with the role The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints played in the passage of Proposition 8, the California ballot measure. After Election Day, gays and their supporters called for a boycott of Utah. This year's trip would have been the ninth consecutive year visiting Park City.
One of the organizers, John Harriott, a bisexual who lives in West Hollywood, Calif., said there remains a possibility of the 2010 event being canceled. He said, though, there is a three-in-four chance that it will be held. A decision will not be finalized until early December.
Much depends on the political climate by early 2010, he said. Similar boycotts typically do not last longer than a year, he said.
"I have a feeling this will be a lot of water under the bridge," he said, adding, "I have a feeling Prop. 8 will be a distant memory by next year."
California courts are expected to consider the validity of the ballot measure in 2009, likely shifting some of the emotions from Utah to the state where Proposition 8 passed.
The organizers require people to register beforehand, and they say they typically attract approximately 150 people. Harriott has said the full group spends between $125,000 and $150,000 on lodging, lift tickets, meals and entertainment while they are in Park City.
The most popular destination for gay ski trips is Whistler, British Columbia, according to Harriott, and other destinations include Aspen, Colo., the Lake Tahoe region straddling California and Nevada, Telluride, Colo., and Mammoth Mountain, Calif. They are also held in New England and Europe, he said.
If the skiers return in 2010, Harriott would like an "over and above, extra" welcoming in Park City. He said, perhaps, rainbow-colored gay-pride flags could be put up in Park City to recognize the trip.
He said people in Aspen fly the flags during ski trips there. The trips have been held in Aspen annually with the exception of one year when a boycott was in place in response to a Colorado ballot measure banning marriage between gays, according to Harriott.
In past trips to Park City, Harriott said, local people did not make extra efforts to assist the group. He said he would like Parkites to be more receptive if they return.
"With the welcoming, it will make a big difference," he said.