While a new group called the Utah Lift Coalition was holding a press conference Tuesday in support of a proposed mountain gondola that would link the Canyons Resort in Summit County to Solitude Mountain Resort in Salt Lake County, Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker was meeting with the Deseret News editorial board to explain his opposition.
The controversy boils down to a question of whether the lift would endanger the watershed that supplies the Salt Lake area or harm other parts of the fragile mountain environment. Developers say no. The city and county say yes.
Meanwhile, because the land “SkiLink” would use is owned by the federal government, four members of Utah’s congressional delegation have introduced a bill that would allow construction (Rep. Jim Matheson, the lone Democrat, is also the lone opponent). Becker says the bill excludes any consideration by local governments.
Click below to hear Becker responding to a question about whether this isn’t also a matter of back-country skiers just wanting to protect their own turf. He expounds on his reasons for opposing the lift.