Vail Resorts details plans for gondola linking PCMR, Canyons | ParkRecord.com

Vail Resorts details plans for gondola linking PCMR, Canyons


Vail Resorts on Monday said it plans to build a gondola linking Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort prior to the 2015-2016 ski season, publicly outlining details of the connection for the first time.

In a release, Vail Resorts said it will be an eight-person gondola that will travel between the base of the Silverlode lift at PCMR and the Flatiron lift at Canyons Resort. It will also offer an unloading point at Pine Cone Ridge, Vail Resorts said.

Planning for the link has been a priority since Vail Resorts acquired PCMR in the fall. The Colorado firm operates Canyons Resort as part of a long-term agreement with the Talisker corporate family. The release says the linked resort will offer more than 7,300 acres of skiing terrain. It would be the largest mountain resort in the U.S.

According to the release, the unloading point, which will be at the top of Pine Cone Ridge, will provide skier and snowboarder access into terrain at Thaynes Canyon through a gate and into Canyons Resort’s Iron Mountain terrain. New trails are planned between Pine Cone Ridge and Iron Mountain.

Vail Resorts, meanwhile, said in the release it intends to upgrade the King Con and Motherlode lifts prior to the next ski season. King Con, now a four-person lift, will be turned into a six-person one. It will be a high-speed, detachable lift. The Motherlode lift, a fixed-grip three-person lift, will be made into a high-speed detachable lift for four people. The release says the upgrades will cut lift lines.

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Vail Resorts also said it wants to build a new Snow Hut restaurant with 500 inside seats at the bottom of the Silverlode lift. It will be situated at the terminal of the gondola. The firm also said snowmaking will be expanded on two Iron Mountain-area trails at Canyons Resort that will become more important as a result of the connection. The Red Pine Restaurant at Canyons Resort will be renovated.

Vail Resorts said the upgrades and improvements are expected to cost more than $50 million. It will be "one of the most ambitious and impactful capital programs in U.S. ski industry history and will transform the guest experience at Park City Mountain Resort," Vail Resorts said.

The firm said the combined resort will operate under the Park City Mountain Resort moniker, ending speculation about the resort’s name. The base area at what is now Canyons Resort will be called Canyons at Park City, Vail Resorts said.