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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, October 07, 2011

Proposed Tram Would Link Canyons and Solitude Resort

As the crow flies, Solitude is only about 5 miles from Canyons Resort. But by car the resorts are about 45 minutes apart. In the future, the may be just a short tram ride apart.

Canyons Resort is in the Park City area, while Solitude is located at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, on the east side of the Salt Lake Valley. Business leaders and ski enthusiasts are proposing a tram to link the two resorts. If the proposal comes to fruition, it would certainly change the nature of Utah ski resorts.

ESPN has this report about the proposal. Below are excerpts.

The announcement resurrected a debate around the idea of Utah's major ski areas moving toward a European-style interconnected mega resort.

Solitude CEO Dave DeSeelhorst offers another take. "We have had an agreement for over a year now to study the possibility of connecting the two resorts with a lift," said DeSeelhorst in an exclusive interview with ESPN.com. "There is a tremendous amount of work and thought that needs to go into a project of this magnitude. The genesis of this idea is simple. We both believe that our customers are looking for more of an alpine adventure than what one single resort can provide. We have an amazing diversity of resorts in the Wasatch. Each resort has a distinctive feel to it."

If a skier boards a lift at the Canyons, it will take an estimated 90 minutes to move via lifts to Solitude. And even then they will be at the bottom of Solitude. The skier who starts at Solitude, however, and heads to the top of Canyons via the new lift might even beat out skiers who started at the base of Canyons and have to ride four lifts to access the upper (read: best) terrain on the mountain. So, the lift could motivate more people to drive up Big Cottonwood, score upper Canyons laps, then come back to Solitude to finish their day. Without knowing the exact entry and exit points of the lift, this is all pure speculation, but it begs the looming question: Is this really about BCC's traffic congestion?

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