Judge sustains decision to prevent Park City Mountain lift upgrades

'We continue to be disappointed in the Park City Planning Commission’s decision to revoke the permit for these lift upgrades,' said Park City Mountain spokesperson Sara Huey

PARK CITY, Utah — A judge ruled in favor of Park City Municipal yesterday in a dispute with Vail Resorts over whether the company should have been able to update two chairlifts at Park City Mountain.

Following a hearing at the Silver Summit Justice Center, Third District Court Judge Richard Mrazik ruled to uphold the Park City Planning Commission’s decision to overturn a prior permit approval that would have allowed Vail Resorts to upgrade the Silverlode and Eagle chairlifts at Park City Mountain.

 “Park City Municipal respects the court’s thorough review of the case and today’s decision. Though disagreements in our community can be contentious at times, our system is designed to resolve these matters deliberately as is the case today,” said Clayton Scrivner, communications manager for Park City Municipal. “We appreciate the court recognized the diligence of our Planning Commission, whose complex work often goes underappreciated.”

“We appreciate the District Court’s time and consideration of our appeal,” said Sara Huey, spokesperson for Park City Mountain. “We continue to be disappointed in the Park City Planning Commission’s decision to revoke the permit for these lift upgrades, but remain committed to investing in the guest experience at Park City Mountain.”

The conflict began last year when four Park City residents appealed the lift upgrades, which were approved by the Park City planning director through an administrative conditional use permit.

The Park City Planning Commission voted in June 2022 to grant the appeal of the conditional use permits for the lift upgrades, on the grounds that these updates were not consistent with the resort’s 1998 Mountain Upgrade Plan.

Vail filed an appeal to the Planning Commission’s decision in July 2022.  In its initial complaint, the company’s attorneys stated that the Planning Commission’s reversal of its decision to approve the lift upgrades was “arbitrary and capricious, and illegal, and should be undone.”

Vail announced in its 2022 earnings report that the six- and eight-person lifts would be sent to Whistler Blackcomb as a part of a 2023 improvement project to replace the resort’s Jersey Cream and Fitzsimmons high-speed quads. The eight-person lift was installed at Whistler Blackcomb this summer.

Angela Moschetta provided the following statement on behalf of the four appellants:

“We are pleased the court upholds the conclusions of Park City’s Planning Commission and affirms the right of a permitting authority to verify a ski resort’s operation in accordance with code and law. Visitors, employees, and surrounding communities depend on transparency and disclosure to assure safety and function at all Vail Resorts properties. We hope Vail Resorts and Park City Mountain accept Judge Mrazik’s ruling and also accept the invitation extended by Park City Municipal in 2022 to apply for new permits in accordance with code and capacity considerations.”

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