Utah Lawmakers Support Multi-Resort Connection

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SAM Magazine-Salt Lake City, Mar. 7, 2012-The Utah legislature has passed a resolution supporting the long-dreamed-of Utah Interconnect, which would link Deer Valley, Park City, Canyons, Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton. The resolution passed the Utah State Senate on Mar. 5, 22 to 7, and the House of Representatives on Mar. 6, 58 to 16, largely along party lines. It currently awaits the signature of Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

In keeping with the current economic and political climate, SCR10, drafted by Sen. Wayne Niederhauser (R-Sandy), contends that the resort interconnect would enhance the ski and snowboard resort industry's contribution to Utah's economy, jobs and tax base. Other local supporters have touted the Interconnect's environmental benefits of reduced auto traffic and pollution.

Ski Utah supports the resolution and the concept of a low-impact interconnect. "Utah is uniquely positioned to create a ski and snowboard experience available nowhere else in North America," said Ski Utah president Nathan Rafferty. "This resolution urges interconnection of the seven Salt Lake and Summit County ski resorts using best environmental practices."

While such multi-resort "ski circuses" are common in Europe, "a connection of this scale does not exist in North America," said Rafferty. "From a marketing and skier experience perspective, this would be a game-changer."


Kudos Utah!

It's great to see a state maximizing the use of its natural resources--in this case, the greatest snow on Earth. Despite some who want to keep others off "their" mountains, Utah is well on its way to making its public lands more accessible to the public.

More Info on Interconnect

Here's some valuable info on this from Andrew Mclean's straightchuter.com blog... Andrew is certainly one of the authorities on all the good lines in this spectacular mountain range that is my backyard... See the whole article,
But here's a teaser...

Utah politics has positioned the Wasatch backcountry for its final death blow. Currently there is not one, not two, not even three, but NINE ski area expansions in the works. In the past these expansionist fantasies were thwarted by factors such as public input (90 plus percent are opposed), NEPA regulations, drinking water concerns, local government and coordinated master development plans. What has changed this time around is that Utah is being run by a group of hyper conservative, pro business, pay-to-play, anti environment, personal property rights fanatics. It's a resort developers wet dream.


More Details, Please

Great news on the surface, for sure. But how about a few ore details SAM. This story was a bit shy on the goods. In the local Park City press, The Canyons has been pushing their plan for a connection with Solitude. Is this article part of the same overall plan?


Well, it's about time that a state legislature looked past environmental smokescreens and made a wise, well-reasoned and practical decision to do something that can really make a difference to their state's economy and clean tourism industry. Why was this seemlngly so hard?

The potential in Utah to create an utterly unique skiing experience, and one that does not destroy (or even negatively impact) the natural environment, was simply too compelling to ignore. Chapeau to the UT House and Senate for making this decision. Er, that is, to the Republicans in the UT legislature.

It is too bad that this vote happened along "party lines." Some people apparently are just too conflicted to make good decisions.