Friday, April 27, 2012

New organization created to promote SkiLink

SkiLink support is growing. In an attempt to rally Utah around the idea of an interconnect between Canyons Resort and Solitude, a new coalition has been created.

Early Tuesday, that new coalition, Lift Utah, was introduced at a press conference in Salt Lake City. Intended to promote SkiLink, Lift Utah will be chaired by former United States senator Jake Garn, Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan and the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce President Lane Beattie.

Lift Utah is made up of 20 community leaders from along the Wasatch Front and Back, all with backgrounds in business and politics, from state legislators, bankers and chamber presidents. The group even has a few familiar names from Park City including Bill Malone, the president of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, and Tom Richardson, former president of the Kimball Junction Business Association and creator of Ski Our Canyons Responsibly, a local organization aimed at supporting the controversial gondola project.

Even as Lift Utah was announced at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce headquarted in Salt Lake City, protestors from Save Our Canyons rallied outside. Save Our Canyons, an environmental nonprofit based in Salt Lake City, claims SkiLink could spur future development in the mountains, affecting the watershed of hundreds of thousands of people.

SkiLink was originally introduced as a transportation project last year as something that would cut down traffic, and therefore emissions in Big Cottonwood and Parley's Canyons. According to the SkiLink website, the gondola is projected to reduce ski season traffic through Big Cottonwood Canyon by as much as 18,000 cars per year. Since then, the project has focused more on the economic benefits SkiLink would offer creating the most connected ski resort terrain in the country. Park Record