Park City and Courchevel: big mountain resorts plan info exchange
A delegation from what is billed as the largest mountain resort in the world plans to visit the largest mountain resort in the U.S. later this winter.
A group from Park City’s sister city, Courchevel, France, is scheduled to travel to Park City from Jan. 31 until Feb. 7. It is a trip meant to exchange information and strengthen the sister city relationship. Courchevel lies in the French Alps and it is the location of Les 3 Vallees, advertised as the world’s largest ski area.
The trip is planned in the weeks after the debut of the Quicksilver Gondola linking what had been the two separate properties of Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort into a single mountain resort under the PCMR moniker. PCMR is the largest mountain resort in the country as a result of the connection.
The delegation from Courchevel is expected to include the community’s mayor, Philippe Mugnier, the deputy mayor and the city manager. An education official, a tourism official and the chief executive officer of Les 3 Vallees are included in the group. The leader of the sister city program in Courchevel is part of the trip as well.
Matt Dias, the assistant Park City manager and one of the City Hall staffers creating a schedule for the delegation, said the Courchevel contingent plans to spend a day at PCMR and a day at Deer Valley Resort learning about operations. Another day will be spent at the Marsac Building to delve into topics related to the municipal government. Dias said another day will focus on topics like tourism, lodging and Park City’s Winter Olympic legacy.
There are scheduled to be discussions about the arts, culture and education, he said. Dias said the visitors and their counterparts in Park City are expected to discuss the sister city relationship. United States Ski and Snowboard Association executives have set aside time to host the delegation for a tour of the Center of Excellence training facility and to discuss the organization’s operations.
Dias said there is a possibility the Courchevel delegation will participate in a public event, but the details have not been finalized.
"The inclusion of so many stakeholders, we hope, will provide a very broad and balanced perspective of the many wonderful things our community has to offer," Dias said in a recent report to Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council.
The Courchevel mayor, in accepting the invitation to Park City, says the trip is a chance to further develop relationships and learn new ways to manage the community. City Hall attached a copy of the November letter from Mugnier to the recent report. Mugnier also says in the letter the delegation wants to learn about the mountain resorts, tourism and the Sundance Film Festival. He also mentions education interests.
Park City and Courchevel started a sister city relationship in 1984. It has over the years involved occasional trips by delegations from the two cities and student exchanges. Courchevel, the name, is seen in a variety of places in Park City.
A delegation from Park City visited Courchevel last winter. The mayor led the trip, which also involved representatives from PCMR owner Vail Resorts, Deer Valley Resort and the sister city association. Dias was part of the delegation.
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Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts said the sales of season passes rose sharply through the middle of September as compared to the previous year.