Helicopters will fly as PCMR gondola is built
March 10, 2015
Parkites recently have seen and heard a helicopter flying above Park City Mountain Resort.
PCMR says the helicopter carried a film crew to shoot footage for marketing material. This summer, though, there are expected to be more helicopters above the PCMR terrain as the resort moves forward with an ambitious set of improvements, including the construction of the Interconnect Gondola that will link PCMR and Canyons Resort into one property.
The Park City Building Department will be heavily involved as PCMR crafts plans to build the gondola and the other improvements. The discussions about the helicopters will likely be one of the important points in the talks as a document known as a construction-mitigation plan is finalized.
Construction-mitigation plans are designed to lessen the impact of building projects on the surrounding neighborhood. Some of the points are included citywide while others involve details based on an individual project.
PCMR is currently engaged in talks with the Park City Planning Commission about upgrades like the Interconnect Gondola and redo of the Snow Hut restaurant. Another meeting is tentatively scheduled later in March. It is not known when the panel will cast a vote. PCMR also filed paperwork at City Hall seeking to replace two lifts — King Con and Motherlode.
Chad Root, the building official at City Hall and the staffer expected to be the key figure in the talks with PCMR about construction plans, said the discussions have not started.
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Root said he anticipates there will be a combination of helicopters and trucks used in the PCMR construction this summer. The trucks would access the PCMR terrain via an unpaved road that reaches King Road in Old Town. Root said he prefers PCMR use helicopters in an effort to reduce the number of trucks that would drive through Park City.
"It saves the amount of truck traffic running through town," Root said.
Helicopters would be used to transport construction materials like concrete to the worksites at PCMR. They would also ferry the towers for the gondola and other lifts. He said the helicopter flights will create the feel of a big city.
Root said helicopter flights would be limited to regular construction hours, which run from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. He said further restrictions could be placed on helicopters, such as a prohibition on flights on some days.
Root added the helicopter flights would most likely take off and land in the PCMR parking lots. He said he could consider prohibiting take-offs and landings inside the Park City limits, likely forcing the flights to leave and return to a spot at Canyons Resort. Helicopters cannot fly low over buildings while ferrying construction supplies, he said. Root said he will require the helicopter use a "strict flight path" between the take-off area and the site of the construction.
"The annoyances I see is going to be the sound from the helicopter," Root said.