Deer Valley brewing up a gondola route
Deer Valley Resort is focused on the Brew Pub parking lot as the Main Street terminal if a slopes-to-shops gondola is built someday, saying that no other location is under consideration on the Main Street side of a gondola.
The City Hall-owned Brew Pub lot has been seen as the most likely option for a terminal in the months since Deer Valley publicized its interest in building a gondola in mid-2012. A City Hall report issued in February identified the Brew Pub lot as a possible location for a gondola terminal, but it did not provide details.
The February report, which included a list of municipal properties and their potential uses, also mentioned a gondola in an entry regarding the Sandridge parking lots. The lots are located along Marsac Avenue, just east of Main Street. The lots are seen as overflow parking for Main Street businesses should closer-in spots on Swede Alley and in China Bridge fill.
The Sandridge lots are just east of the Brew Pub lot, and it seems that a gondola route to the Sandridge lots could follow a similar line as one to the Brew Pub lot. The lots had not been widely publicized as a potential location prior to the release of the February report.
Bob Wells, the vice president at Deer Valley, though, said the Sandridge lots would pose issues for the resort. He said if a gondola terminal was built in the lots, some sort of system would need to be devised to move people between the terminal and Main Street itself. He did not provide details.
"It could be a possibility. It’s very much secondary, in our mind, to the Brew Pub lot," Wells said, calling the Brew Pub lot a superior option to Sandridge.
There has only been limited information made public in the months since Deer Valley indicated it was exploring possibilities for a gondola linking the slopes to the Main Street area. The resort sees a gondola as something that would increase its competitiveness. Deer Valley has said a small number of locations in Silver Lake Village are under consideration for the resort side of the connection.
Tourism boosters, meanwhile, would be able to tout Park City as a ski destination with a downtown linked to two mountain resorts, pairing the Deer Valley gondola with Park City Mountain Resort’s Town Lift.
Deer Valley has said a gondola could be opened for the 2014-2015 ski season, at the earliest. If the Brew Pub lot is selected as a terminal location, a sale or an agreement between City Hall and Deer Valley will be required.
Jonathan Weidenhamer, the economic development manager at City Hall, said there have not been formal talks about any property between the municipal government and the resort. Once Deer Valley completes its studies about the feasibility of a gondola, Weidenhamer said, detailed discussions could commence about topics like potential gondola alignments and costs.
Weidenhamer said City Hall staffers included the Sandridge lots in the February report to allow further talks if Deer Valley was interested in the location.
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Park City recently detailed the efforts to fill a range of vacant municipal posts in 2018 and 2019 as officials described the challenges City Hall has encountered in its hiring amid a hot economy.