Mayor alludes to Flagstaff dispute in brief comment about D.V. gondola
Mayor Dana Williams on Thursday alluded to the polarizing discussions in the 1990s about the development eventually built as Empire Pass as he made brief comments about an idea to build a gondola connecting Deer Valley Resort and Main Street.
Williams was the leader of Citizens Allied for Responsible Growth in the 1990s, before his political career. Empire Pass was under consideration at the time and known by the name Flagstaff. The group led the opposition to Flagstaff before a compromise was struck in what was the most bitter development dispute in Park City’s skiing era.
One of the key points in the compromise was restricting development along Prospect Ridge, a highly visible piece of ground above the southern reaches of Old Town. Williams mentioned Prospect Ridge in his comments on Thursday, saying the idea of development on the ridge was controversial during the Flagstaff debates.
The mayor said Deer Valley could encounter opposition if a gondola alignment is situated along Prospect Ridge.
Deer Valley early in the week said preliminary discussions are underway about a gondola. The resort indicated upward of six routes are being researched. The Brew Pub lot on upper Main Street is seen as the likely bottom terminal for the gondola. It seems that at least some of the routes being researched would pass close to Prospect Ridge.
The mayor and Park City Council did not discuss the idea in depth on Thursday. Numerous decisions would need to be made before a gondola could be built, and it could be another year before choices are made about the Brew Pub lot.
City Councilman Dick Peek on Thursday said the gondola is a "truly stunning idea."
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“We’re kind of turning the corner … and it’s now time to maybe put out the welcome mat in a careful and thoughtful manner,” said Bill Malone, president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.”