I just returned to the East Coast after a nine-days Christmas holiday in Park City. My disappointment in the grand opening of the new Park City Canyons resort was as epic as the snowstorm we experienced. I felt compelled to write an email to Bill Rock, COO of PCMR and Billy Gray, Director of Mountain Patrol Operations last Friday, December 25. In part, this is what I wrote to them.
"Dear Bill and Billy,
Merry Christmas. Hope yours was wonderful. Mine was great except for the unfolding tragedy of skiing at Park City. I’ve been skiing at Park City for 20-plus years. We own a home and business here in Park City. We flew in from various parts of the country with five families and 40-plus people to enjoy an awesome Christmas holiday in Park City. All of us come to Park City 2-3 times per year for skiing. I’m shocked, confused, frustrated and saddened by the lack of open lifts and runs here at Park City.
Let me get to the point. Deer Valley, Snowbird and Alta have all lifts running and almost 100 percent of runs open. The largest ski area in the United States, Park City, is less than 50 percent open. Here is what I don’t understand. We’ve had the most epic storm this town has seen in several years and since we arrived on Dec. 17 we’ve spent most of our time being funneled down blue runs to the Silverlode chair. Which, by the way, could use some help with organizing the long lines.
King Con chair: I don’t ski it, but it’s classic intermediate skiing, which many people love and you can’t open it? I don’t understand. Thaynes lift: You gave us a taste for three hours on Tuesday and shut it down all day Wednesday and most of Thursday. Motherlode: Epic terrain under Motherlode and you opened it for an hour on Thursday and then shut it down. Mechanical issues? We’ve ridden Crescent chair several times over the most incredible powder fields that chair has ever seen. You opened that terrain yesterday for a few hours and shut it down. Pioneer chair: Opened for a few hours yesterday. Thank you. Jupiter Bowl: My favorite area to ski in the whole world not open … I’m speechless.
I know there are many capable people working for PCMR, but someone missed the mark on this grand opening. Please restore my faith in Park City."
To my surprise, I received a call from Bill Rock this morning. We talked about the high risk snowpack caused by the storm and the importance of skier safety. He acknowledged a few miscues had occurred and assured me adjustments would be made. I am just one guy on the mountain, but based on my conversation I’m convinced they’ll continue to work hard and make things better. Only time will tell, but I’ll be back to Park City because I love this town and this mountain.
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Larry Aleva writes in a guest editorial that City Hall must be more accountable and transparent.