Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) application to upgrade two of its elevators received approval last week. As part of a 1998 mountain upgrade development agreement, Vail Resorts plans to replace the Silverlode lift with a new 8-person high-speed detachable chair that will be the first of its kind for Vail Resorts in America North. In addition, a new single Eagle lift will replace the Eagle/Eaglet lifts. This new lift will also include an unloading-only intermediate station and will follow a similar route to its predecessor.
Vail Resorts said in its press release that the new lifts will fill a critical spot on the mountain by increasing climbing capacity by 20% and reducing wait times. Vail also said the upgrades are part of a larger $320 million plan for capital improvements at 14 of its 37 resorts.
Vail Resorts mentioned other future development plans for PCMR, also from their 1998 Development Agreement for a Mountain Upgrade Plan. In collaboration with the PEG company and awaiting approvals, Vail announced…
Proposed plans for the 10-acre site include condominiums for sale, affordable housing, employee housing, parking garages for day skiers, hotel, retail and dining offerings, club ski lockers, public ski lockers for daily and seasonal use, skier services, state-of-the-art wayfinding, the ability for the National Ability Center to build its new facility, current green building opportunities, and open spaces.
Commenting on approved elevator upgrades, Mike Goar, COO of PCMR, adds“These are projects that would have a significant and very positive impact on waiting times at the ski lifts.”
But will it be? Will these changes be enough to relieve skier congestion and long queues to really improve PCMR’s customer experience? Perhaps.
The upgrade project also calls for PCMR to institute a paid parking system, at least on the Park City side, with the net proceeds being reinvested in local transportation, parking, and traffic issues around the station. Under the new 2022-2023, paid parking reservations will be required for vehicles with less than four occupants for all surface lots at the base of Park City and there will be significant incentives for other drivers who ride carpooling.
With more and more resorts instituting a similar type of paid parking system as a means of solving crowds and skier congestion, it’s only a matter of time before we can see results.
It’s also worth noting that Vail Resorts does not recognize PCMR as one of its top resorts like it does with Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler.. Vail also confirmed that they consider PCMR one of their second-tier stations, despite its rich heritage, by continuing to not limit access to the station in their Local Epic Pass like they do with Beaver. Creek, Vail and Whistler, where you get 10 days of combined access to all three resorts during the 21/22 season.
With the sale of ski passes for the 2021-2022 season 42% increase in assists from the prior year and a whopping 30% increase in net income ($128 million) over the same period is an important question to ask. How could all this work?