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Coaster headlines PMCR improvements

SKYLER BELL, Of the Record staff

Officials at Park City Mountain Resort must have thought guests didn’t have enough to do on the mountain.

During the summer there is hiking, biking, horseback riding, a giant maze, an alpine slide, mini-golf and a zip line. And just in case someone gets bored, a new Alpine Coaster will ready for a grand opening July 21.

"It’s different from the Alpine Slide because you get pulled up hill in your one- or two-person toboggan, then gravity takes you down," said Public Relation Manager Krista Parry. "There will be a 240-foot bridge that spans over the ski way that will act like the Golden Gate Bridge in that uphill traffic will be down below and the downhill traffic will be up above. It is a new thrill attraction at the resort that will provide our guests with something new to do at the resort."

Parry said it will take approximately six minutes to get uphill on the coaster, but half that time to get down. But not to worry — the toboggan does have a brake mechanism so the driver has control over the speed of the ride.

"Another difference between the Coaster and the Alpine Slide is that with the coaster you’re actually attached to the track, so you can be a little more daring," Parry said. "The track length is over a mile long, with the downhill part just over 4,000 feet."

A ride on the new Coaster will cost $15, but one ride on the Coaster and one on the Alpine Slide will only cost $20.

And for those who are already thinking snow, improvements over the summer will allow PCMR to expand its current ability to make, groom and carry passengers to more of "the greatest snow on Earth."

"The Silver Star Lift is new, which will provide a new way for people to access the upper part of the mountain and will be ideal for locals who are using the transit system," Parry said. "It will open up three new runs; The Spiro, Silver Star, (both blue runs) and First Temptation (a double-blue run)."

The gearboxes on all the resort’s detachable lifts will also be retrofitted with SumitomoCaterpillar gearboxes to increase the speed, safety and efficiency with which passengers are carried up the mountain.

Lifts affected include the PayDay, Silverlode, McConkey’s, Bonanza and King Con lifts.

With virgin territory set to be tamed, and lifts more capable of getting skiers and snowboarders up the mountain, PMCR is also improving its snowmaking capabilities to make sure the powder is prime once they get there.

Parry said the resort will be completing the first phase of a long-term snowmaking plan by purchasing eight new fan guns, which are more efficient and more productive than current models. They are also more energy efficient.

"We installed 10 fan guns last year and that alone saved us 151,000 kilowatt hours in energy, which is equivalent to not driving 321,000 miles or planting 33,021 trees. This year we’re installing six new ground guns and retrofitting current ground guns with more efficient nozzles, which will add up to 1 million kilowatt hours in energy saved, which is like not driving 2.34 million miles or planting 241,000 trees. It’s all a part of our sustainability."

In 2005 PCMR showed an increased commitment to grooming its runs, and will not slow the trend for the 2006-07 season. PMCR will purchase three new Snowcats to help continue the commitment to grooming, especially to the resort’s signature runs, Parry said.

"It’s all going to cost quite a bit, we don’t have a price tag on it," Parry said. "But we are investing a lot of money to make sure that each guest’s experience is a good experience."

Although all improvements will be ready for the 206-07 season, none of the improvements will affect summer activities, excepting the Alpine Coaster, which will be added next month.

For hours of operation, costs and other information, visit PMCR online at http://www.parkcitymountain.com.


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