Plan to upgrade ski lifts at Park City Mountain Resort wins OK
Conditions attached to the approval include investment in traffic mitigation and a parking reservation system
The Park Record
Park City Mountain Resort’s plan to upgrade its Eagle and Silverlode Express lifts got the go-ahead Monday after tweaks were made to the conditions for the approval of the project.
Gretchen Milliken, the city’s planning director, approved PCMR’s application for a conditional use permit at the end of a lengthy meeting that included public comment and after consultation with other municipal staffers.
PCMR plans to replace the existing Eagle and Eaglet lifts with a high-speed, six-person detachable lift and upgrade Silverlode Express from a six-person to a high-speed, eight-person detachable lift. The new Silverlode Express will be parent company Vail Resorts’ first high-speed eight-person chair in North America.
A Planning Department staff report says the Eagle and Eaglet lifts will be dismantled. The replacement lift will include an unload-only mid-station for skiers and snowboarders to access other parts of the mountain.
Although the alignment is changing slightly, the replacement lift will have a similar route as the existing lifts, the report says.
Mike Goar, PCMR vice president and chief operating officer, said the improvements are focused on the guest experience and will enable the resort to move skiers and riders around the mountain more effectively and efficiently.
“These are projects that would significantly impact in a very positive way those wait times at the lifts,” he said at Monday’s meeting.
The plan also calls for a paid-parking system on the Park City side of the resort during the 2022-2023 ski season that will cover all of the surface lots at the Park City base and “meaningful” incentives for drivers who are carpooling to PCMR. Parking at the Canyons Village side of the resort will remain free.
The resort has a 1998 development agreement that includes an approved mountain upgrade plan. The agreement allowed for ski lift upgrades within the plan to be reviewed and approved or rejected administratively.
Any appeal of the decision must be filed within 10 days with the Park City Planning Commission. An appeal can be brought by anyone who submitted a written comment or testified on the proposal before the Planning Department; the owner of any property within 300 feet of the boundary of the site; any city official, board or commission having jurisdiction over the matter; and the resort owner.
The 19 conditions of approval for the lift project include using net proceeds from the paid parking to reinvest in transit, transportation and parking measures to mitigate traffic problems around the resort.
PCMR also must provide adequate residential neighborhood traffic mitigation and designate a residential liaison to meet with the city; manage a parking reservation system at the resort with an on-site attendant and a turn-away and tow policy for people without a reservation; mitigate any impact to open space or trails; and comply with the city’s noise ordinance.
Milliken heard more than two hours of public comment Monday. Many speakers supported the project but some had concerns.
Several residents of Snow Flower Condominiums, just off the resort property, said the Eagle lift will be too close.
Susan Bremer-Rossow said the lift will be 35 feet from her living room window and she will lose her views.
“This is going to erode my property value,” Bremer-Rossow said. “This is going to erode the property value of everybody in Snow Flower. We’re asking that you move the lift away from us. We want improvements. We just don’t want them this close.”
Based on the Snow Flower residents’ concerns, a condition of approval requires PCMR to put in landscaping, a privacy fence or both on the condominium complex’s property line and increase a setback there from 25 feet to 30 feet.
“I will add that if there’s any additional feet that can be added there, I think it would be appreciated by all,” Milliken said.
A PCMR blog says the changes are part of Vail Resorts’ Epic Lift Upgrade, a $320 million investment in projects at 14 resorts. The end result will be 12 new high-speed chairlifts, a new high-speed gondola and eight new fixed-grip chairlifts, the blog says.
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