PCMR repaints Town Lift towers, altering look of hillside
The look of a high-profile hillside looming above Old Town was altered recently as Park City Mountain Resort dipped into the palette of its branding colors.
PCMR is in the process of repainting the towers of the Town Lift a gray shade. They had been black. It was a noticeable change to one of PCMR’s most visible lifts. The Town Lift climbs a hillside immediately to the west of Old Town, and the bottom terminal is located on the Town Lift Plaza steps from Main Street. It is visible from numerous spots in Old Town and from higher elevations nearby. The hillside has long been considered an especially picturesque location within the city limits and subject matter for professional and amateur photographers alike.
A PCMR spokesperson, Margo Van Ness, said the gray shade “is now consistent with most of the other painted lifts” at the resort. The work is part of the effort to paint all the resort’s lifts in the same color, she said. Van Ness noted the offseason timing of the work is meant to ensure the Town Lift is ready for the planned opening on June 15 for summer operations, when the lift operates for scenic rides and for trail access.
PCMR’s owner, Colorado-based Vail Resorts, has made branding shifts involving monikers, logos and colors since acquiring the property in 2014 and combining PCMR and Canyons Resort into a single resort. The repainted Town Lift towers match the color scheme of the overall rebranding.
Other PCMR lifts are seen well outside the resort boundaries, but the Town Lift has long been considered perhaps the most visible on the Park City side of PCMR. Many see the hillside climbed by the Town Lift as the backdrop of Old Town, and the Town Lift’s lower terminal is a fixture on lower Main Street.
There did not appear to be significant public interest in the repainting of the lift towers. The Town Lift passes close to residences on streets like Park Avenue and Woodside Avenue, but there did not seem to be public reaction to the change.
City Hall is aware of the repainting of the Town Lift towers and indicated last week the work is allowed. Bruce Erickson, the municipal government’s planning director, said the color of PCMR’s lift towers is regulated by a 1990s overall development approval leaders granted to a previous owner of the resort to redo the base area. Erickson said the 1990s approval calls for the color of the lift towers to be a neutral shade that would blend with the natural surroundings. The approval identified black as the most appropriate color, Erickson said.
However, the planning director explained, lift towers painted black heat up on one side under direct sunlight more than those painted lighter colors like the gray shade selected by PCMR. That could create maintenance issues for the towers, Erickson said.
PCMR did not require City Hall approval to repaint the lift towers, he said.
“We think it’s an acceptable color,” Erickson said.
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Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts in early June submitted a letter to the Park City Planning Commission in support of a Provo developer’s blueprints for a major project at the resort. It was a rare public statement by the Colorado firm about the disputed proposal.