Deer Valley gondola: transit center seen as option for a terminal
A high-ranking Deer Valley Resort official said recently a location at or near the Old Town transit center could be considered as a spot for a gondola terminal linking the Main Street core with the resort’s slopes.
Bob Wells, the vice president at Deer Valley, said in an interview such a location is seen as a potential alternative for the gondola terminal to the Brew Pub lot. The parking lot, situated toward the southern end of the Main Street commercial district, has appeared to be the focus for months.
Wells did not address the prospects of a terminal at or close to the transit center in any detail. His interview comments came after a Park City Planning Commission discussion that included talk of alternative transportation means.
Deer Valley is interested in linking the slopes to Main Street via a gondola, but details have not been finalized and the resort has not filed paperwork at City Hall for the project. Much of the talk thus far has focused on the Brew Pub lot as the location of the terminal on the Main Street side. There has been limited publicity about the Deer Valley-side terminal. It would be in upper Deer Valley, likely in Silver Lake Village.
Mick Savage, a member of the Planning Commission, said during the meeting he is interested in learning about gondola options. He mentioned Swede Alley as a location, saying that a gondola terminal could create an epicenter there.
Some wondered about a way to transport gondola passengers from a terminal at the Brew Pub lot toward the transit center, which anchors the area’s bus system. It seems the thinking is if the gondola terminal was at or close to the transit center, it would be easier to move people to their destination on the buses.
Deer Valley wants to build a gondola link to Main Street as another entry point to the slopes. It sees a slopes-to-shops gondola as something that will increase its competitiveness. Tourism boosters, meanwhile, see a gondola between Main Street and Deer Valley as something that will set Park City apart in the ski industry. The Park City Mountain Resort slopes are already connected to Main Street via the Town Lift.
The Planning Commission discussion was centered on the long-running rewrite of City Hall’s General Plan, an overarching document that guides growth. One of the draft sections, dedicated to upper Deer Valley, includes a statement about connection to that part of the city, but the statement does not provide details.
"Improved connectivity to decrease vehicle miles traveled and connect this remote neighborhood to the rest of town would be a welcomed opportunity," the statement says, indicating that a connection could "synergize the two neighborhoods with increased sales and reservations."
The statement does not mention a gondola, but a picture accompanying the text about upper Deer Valley shows a gondola painted in a shade of green similar to Deer Valley’s well-known green color.
Deer Valley has said a gondola could debut for the 2014-2015 ski season, at the earliest.
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