Celebrating the ski season that almost got away
November 21, 2014
It is hard to believe that just a couple of months ago there were real concerns about whether Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) would open this winter. Maybe the players in the backroom were confident a deal would be hashed out in time for ski season, but the rest of us were genuinely worried.
So when the snow guns started firing plumes of manmade powder last week, the whole town’s spirits were lifted, and when the First Time chairlift revs up Saturday morning carrying the first skiers of the season into a new era for the resort, the smiles will be as wide as they are on a bluebird day after a snowstorm in Jupiter Bowl.
Vail Resorts has already begun to put its mark on Park City’s marquee resort. Thanks to the company’s vaunted Epic Pass, locals who previously could only afford to invest in one season pass now get two ski areas for the price of one Canyons and PCMR.
Vail has also announced plans to connect the two resorts a long-held fantasy among the young and restless who measure their pleasure in miles of terrain consumed in a single day.
The bullish attitude on the mountain has washed over the whole town infecting other sectors of Park City’s economy. Vail’s worldwide reputation as a well-run publicly traded ski industry giant has boosted confidence among Realtors, hoteliers and restaurateurs. It is a far cry from the mood around town last summer when business owners were whispering about whether Park City’s three-resort economy could survive with only two.
Our optimism is guarded, though. While Vail has taken steps to carefully integrate its brand with Park City’s unique character, there are also signs the landscape has shifted. There is a new in-law at the Thanksgiving table this season and we are still getting to know each other.
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But this Saturday, there is only one thing that matters: Park City Mountain Resort, the ski area that helped to elevate our town to the ranks of world-class destination resort and Olympic venue, is open for business.