Quicksilver Gondola opens | ParkRecord.com

Quicksilver Gondola opens

Surrounded by eager skiers and snowboarders, longtime Park City Mountain Resort employee Brian Suhadolc, now the resort’s mountain manager, smashed a bottle of champagne against one of the new Quicksilver Gondola’s support towers, christening the new lift and welcoming guests aboard.

Though gondola cars officially began transporting guests on Thursday, a kick-off celebration was held Friday morning amid sunshine and fresh snow. Joining Suhadolc for the ceremony were Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and COO Bill Rock, among other Vail and Park City VIPs.

Shortly after Katz and Rock spoke to the assembled crowd, a DJ began spinning live music and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the nearby Miners Camp restaurant as skiers and snowboarders piled into the gondola to explore the new terrain.

Rock said it’s exhilarating for him and his team to finally connect the two resorts after several months of hard work.

"We love it," he said. "Our team is so excited to show the world what we’ve been able to do this summer. The improvements are just spectacular."

The connection between Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons creates the biggest ski resort in the United States, offering 40 lifts, 314 runs and 7,300 acres of skiable terrain.

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Rock said the timing couldn’t be better for the opening of the Quicksilver Gondola.

"The weather has been fantastic the last week — good snowmaking weather and great natural snow," he said. "There’s a great forecast right before Christmas, too. This is right when we wanted to open it and Mother Nature worked out for us."

Rock was curious to see what guests thought of the new lift, so he spent some time Thursday riding it back and forth.

"I rode with a bunch of guests," he said. "A lot of folks were trying it out [Thursday]. They love it. It’s quick — eight-and-a-half, nine minutes, very smooth. It’s got spectacular views of Park City. It’s going to be an iconic part of our resort."

Now that the gondola and the other projects that were part of this summer’s $50 million in capital improvements are finished and open, Rock said it’s time to relax for a while before figuring out the resort’s next step.

"We’re going to have a great season," he laughed. "That’s the next step."

To check Park City Mountain Resort’s snow report and lift status, visit http://www.parkcitymountain.com.