Ski industry questions: What about the Park City Mountain ‘mosh pit’ and what of alcohol at Deer Valley concerts? |

Ski industry questions: What about the Park City Mountain ‘mosh pit’ and what of alcohol at Deer Valley concerts?

Crowd at recent panel discussion inquired about a broad range of issues, but time ran out for answers

The slopes of Park City Mountain, foreground, and Deer Valley Resort, shown in 2021, are visible through a sculpture along S.R. 224 commemorating the 2002 Winter Olympics. Audience members at a recent panel discussion in Park City centered on the ski industry submitted a range of questions that provides an intriguing view of their thinking.
Park Record file photo by Jay Hamburger

Might it be smart for Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort to someday allow workers living in vans or recreational vehicles to park in the resort lots without charge?

And how are the two mountain resorts preparing for climate change?

Those are two of the questions people at a recent panel discussion in Park City about the ski industry wanted to ask but were unable to as a result of time constraints. The event, organized by Leadership Park City and held at the Santy Auditorium, featured the top staffers at the two mountain resorts, the president and CEO of Ski Utah and a travel industry veteran. They covered a broad range of topics, including talks about Deer Valley operating Mayflower Mountain Resort terrain, but the gathering ended before some of the issues of interest to the audience could be addressed.

Leadership Park City in the days after the event distributed a list of the questions that were ultimately not presented at the Santy Auditorium. The list did not include answers from the panelists, but the questions themselves provide intriguing bits of insight into the thinking of some of the audience members.

The topics covered issues that are of global interest as well as those that are notable to just a sliver of the Park City-area population. They also illustrate just how much influence the ski industry has in Park City as attendees questioned the role of Park City Mountain and Deer Valley in difficult topics like affordability and traffic.

Some of the attendees wanted to learn about any planned upgrades to ski lifts while another wanted to learn about the retailers that may eventually operate in a large development planned at the Snow Park base of Deer Valley. Someone else requested details about staffing levels at the resorts during the two most recent ski seasons, a question was asked about the possibility of relaunching night skiing at Park City Mountain while another person desired information about so-called uphill skiing, when a skier climbs a slope rather than taking a lift up and then skis down.

A sampling of the questions includes:

• “Have we considered allowing vans/RV’s to stay free in resort parking lots or other spaces in order to tap into that housing resource? These employees bring their own self-contained residence on wheels and we only need to provide space this costs us nothing. They can easily move their vehicles for snow plowing operations. This would greatly alleviate housing shortage problems,” asked to each of the panelists.

• “Once upon a time, Park City skiing was accessible to families of many socio- economic levels. What can you do to restore family affordability?” asked to each of the panelists.

• “Research estimates by 2050 Summit County won’t have precipitation falling as snow below 8,000 feet altitude. Will DV & PCMR alter the lower Main chairlifts to allow for downloading of guests in masse?” asked to each of the panelists.

• “With global warming, how many more years of profitable operations do you expect? If you build out your parking lots starting in 2025, do you expect to be able to pay off a 30-year loan maturing in 2055?” asked to Park City Mountain and Deer Valley in regard to plans to develop at both of the resorts.

• “This past session in the legislature, Utah passed several pieces of legislation that are hostile to LGBTQ folks. What steps can the resort industry here take to make both guests & employees feel welcome to work and play in the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth?’” asked to each of the panelists.

• “How do your resorts create housing so that your employees can live within the community they work in?” asked to Park City Mountain and Deer Valley.

• “The multi-mountain season pass often disincentivizes beginners and infrequent skiers because the cost for a 1 or 2-day ticket is prohibitive. Do you see changes in those tickets?” asked to each of the panelists.

• “PCMR is a mosh pit – Why no capacity controls?” asked to Park City Mountain

• “How does ‘Demand pricing’ fit into your vision for the future of the industry particularly given the popularity of IKON & EPIC passes? Thank you!” asked to each of the panelists.

• “Being that both DV & PCMR are no longer locally owned, and based on the very negative reception of various high-impact projects what do your local COOs believe they can do to be better community partners?” asked to Park City Mountain and Deer Valley.

• “As large landowners and resort operators, what steps are you taking to mitigate growing wildfire concerns? Additionally, do you have any examples of current resorts which have experienced a recent wildfire and what are some of the lessons learned?” asked to Park City Mountain and Deer Valley.

• “Why is Deer Valley no longer allowing people to bring their own alcohol to summer concerts? It created a wonderful community atmosphere. Very casual,” asked to Deer Valley.


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