Opportunity for community to weigh in on Deer Valley’s Park Peak lift Wednesday

The Park City Planning Commission has delayed a decision on Deer Valley's proposal for a new lift on Park Peak, but they will take community input on the project during Wednesday's Planning Commission Meeting.

PARK CITY, Utah – The Park City Planning Commission will take input from the community at their meeting Wednesday, May 8, on Deer Valley’s proposal to develop Park Peak with a six-person bubble lift, additional beginner ski runs and several lift-related buildings. 

The meeting will not include a presentation from Deer Valley staff or discussion by the planning commissioners. Town officials have decided to delay a vote to May 22 to allow Deer Valley more time to pull together materials as requested by the planning commission at their last meeting in April.

During the April 24 meeting, members of the planning commission asked Deer Valley staff for more details regarding how plans for the new lift would impact skier safety as well as details on how they can justify re-designating recreational open space. They also asked for more information on how the resort would manage the project’s impact on wildlife. 

Deer Valley is seeking a conditional use permit to build the new lift on a currently undeveloped peak they own between Bald Mountain and Flagstaff Peak. A portion of the land is currently designated as “Undeveloped Recreational Open Space” in the Flagstaff Open Space Management Plan, the guiding document for how Deer Valley manages development of their world-class ski resort. 

Proponents of the project, who were heard at the April meeting, say building more beginner terrain, especially high on the mountain, would provide beginners with the chance to have an enhanced experience. Stunning views of Clayton Peak, Bonanza Flat, Timpanogos, the Park City ridgeline and Heber Valley abound on top of Park Peak. 

Advocates also say cutting beginner runs on the peak would relieve congested areas of the mountain, where beginners are trying to learn to ski while more advanced skiers whiz by trying to get to and from expert areas of the mountain like Empire Peak and the Ontario Bowl.

Skeptics say the congestion and safety problems might simply be moved to other areas of the mountain with the development of Park Peak. Some expressed concern that a high volume of beginner skiers making their way from the base of the mountain to Park Peak would be problematic and others questioned whether or not the layout of how the new terrain would funnel skiers back to the base of the new lift was safe. 

Other concerns brought up at the meeting in April centered on developing one of the remaining pristine peaks in the area and how the development would impact wildlife.

The proposed lift, which is being called Lift 7,  is the only new lift subject to approval from Park City. The rest of the lifts that are part of Deer Valley’s expansion (2,700 acres of new terrain) are controlled by the state Military Installation Development Authority in Wasatch County and have been approved.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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