Ski Link Gondola in Utah Appears Dead

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Ski Link would connect The Canyons to Solitude in an 11 minute gondola ride
Ski Link would connect The Canyons to Solitude in an 11 minute gondola ride

Last year, a bill existed in the US Senate that would have required the US Forest Service to sell 30 acres of land in Big Cottonwood Canyon to Taliskier (the owners of The Canyons ski resort) so that Taliskier could build an 8 person gondola between The Canyons ski resort & Solitude ski resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  A one way trip would only take 11 minutes versus the 1 hour drive between Park City & Big Cottonwood Canyon.

This year, the bill appears to be completely dead.

“Rep. Rob Bishop, who had pushed the bill in 2012, isn’t sure if he will again introduce the legislation. Rep. Chris Stewart doesn’t plan to add any measure on SkiLink, either.

On the Senate side, Sen. Orrin Hatch’s office says he’s looking at all the transportation options but hasn’t decided whether to push the SkiLink measure. Sen. Mike Lee’s office sees no movement on the bill.

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, opposes SkiLink.”Salt Lake Tribune

11 minutes in a gondy versus 1 hour in a car.
11 minutes in a gondy versus 1 hour in a car.

Vail just leased The Canyons from Taliskier for 50 years and they haven’t decided whether they’ll pursue the Ski Link idea.

Salt Lake’s mayor has asked Utah’s congresspersons not to push a Ski Link bill until an environmental study has been completed in a few more years.

As of right now, it’s not looking good for Ski Link.  

Do you think this is a good idea and potentially environmentally beneficial as you’ll avoid the long drive?  or Is this a bad idea as it would set a bad precedent for the Forest Service selling land to private companies purely for profit?

Ski Link map
Ski Link map

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5 thoughts on “Ski Link Gondola in Utah Appears Dead

  1. I really don’t see how a gondola would impact the environment more than cars driving an hour polluting the air. It really sounds like ski link tossed the reps. some $$ last year and now they want more $$$ in their pocket to pass a bill. If it works in the Alps connecting towns for the last 100 years why the F wouldn’t you want this? You probably don’t have to cut many trees being that majority of it’s above the alpine line considering Utah’s climate there is few trees anyways in the snowy mountain desert. The god damn US forest service is so stingy about the forest when someone wants to built a lift that runs on electricity but when the Big company’s that clear cut the forest want do work they chopp em down. Ski lifts cut very litte trees down in compairison. Sounds like good old kyler is not a fan of #POW #faceshots #steep&deep #RippingTheShitOutOfit so go hug a tree and kick yourself in your face the next time you ride any type of ski lift you shoebie gayper mothafucker!
    PNW’s jaded Local

    1. Hi Chase!

      I’m glad you don’t live in Utah and don’t know the facts. So I’ll lay em out for you.

      -The bill would require the USFS to sell land to Talisker. Once the land is sold they can do whatever they want. Build homes, roads, restrict access etc. The area in question is hugely popular with backcountry skiers who enjoy #POW #faceshots #steep&deep #RippingTheShitOutOfit as you put it.

      -The drive takes an hour. However SkiLink claims the lift will only take 10 minutes. Bit of a white lie. In order to access the proposed lift you have to take multiple other lifts, which given best of circumstances, no stops, no lines etc take over an hour combined. So time benefit they claim is ZERO.

      -Many trees would have to be cut and access roads cut. The tree line in Utah extends to nearly 11,000 feet. The area in question is an area with mature pine and aspen groves that would be cut in two.

      -The company Talisker PAID to do the transit study cites reduction in traffic, however other non partial independent studies cite that traffic will NOT be reduced with the proposal.

      -Lastly, I am in favor of a linked ski resort system. This however is NOT the solution. All 7 resorts need to sit down at a round table and lay out a plan for all ski resorts to link within a certain period of time. If the lifts go across USFS land they need to get proper permits, not pay off lawmakers who care about nothing more than the size of their wallet.

      If you would like to have a factual conversation about the topic at hand let me know. However don’t make a fool of yourself living out of state thinking what is best for our ski community here before you know what is actually happening.

  2. This is great news!

    The bill should have never been introduced to begin with. It would have set a disastrous president involving our public lands. If the USFS says a project will negatively impact the land I am far more likely to believe them than a profit driven greedy company who throws a temper tantrum when they don’t get what they want.

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