Earlier this week Ski Utah released a new map that shows two of the three lift alignments necessary to connect seven ski resorts under the ONE Wasatch concept. The idea is similar to the uber-connected mega-resorts in Europe, as One Wasatch would clock in with a whopping 18,000 acres and 100 chairlifts. Ski Utah also released the results of a survey they sent to 35,000 individual online subscribers of their monthly newsletter and snow reports. Curbed Ski breaks down the results and then turns it over to you: Do you think ONE Wasatch is a good idea for Utah?
Let's review the pros and cons of ONE Wasatch:
One Wasatch claims that all seven central Wasatch ski areas could be connected with as few as six chairlifts and as little as 1,000 new acres. All three connections would be made on 100% private land, and the lifts would be 100% privately funded by the resorts who operate them. Initial estimates are less than $30 million for all three connections, which is a steal to get 18,000 connected acres. The concept would surely bring more skiers to the Wasatch and be a boom to state tourism. It also would make for an epic day of skiing.
Here are the potential problems:
What about the fact that Deer Valley and Alta don't allow snowboarding? Will One Wasatch only be available to skiers? And how does Vail Resorts' obvious interest in Park City Mountain Resort (and other Utah ski areas) effect plans? Vail has a history of opting out of ski associations, like when the ski industry giant withdrew its membership from Colorado Ski Country USA way back in 2008.
There are plenty of practical concerns, like what happens if a family staying at Deer Valley finishes the day at Alta. How do they make the 42 mile, hour long trek back to Park City? And how much is a One Wasatch lift ticket going to cost? And of course there are the environmental, water, and land concerns. All that will take a while to sort through.
According to Ski Utah, most are in favor of the plan. Ski Utah released the following info about a survey sent to more than 35,000 individual online subscribers of their monthly newsletter and snow reports. They believe that the respondents "cover all types of recreationists that follow snow/skiing and riding conditions, [so] we can infer they include both downhill as well as backcountry users."
Of the 35,468 survey requests, 3,009 completed the survey—a response rate of almost 9 percent.
A high number—77% of the respondents—have heard of ONE Wasatch.
Of those that have heard of the concept, 73% of the overall respondents believed the concept was a somewhat or very good idea, while only 19% thought that it was a somewhat or very bad idea; 8% were not sure (nearly 4 to 1 margin of favorable vs unfavorable responses)
The respondents, by an overwhelming margin, indicated they would use ONE Wasatch once it was completed–71% said they were somewhat or very likely to use it, compared to 25% that said they were somewhat or not very likely to use it (almost 3 to 1 in favor).
So now it's your turn, Curbediverse:
· One Wasatch [Official Site]
· New Map Shows How 7 Utah Ski Areas Could Become One [Curbed Ski]
· Connecting 7 Wasatch Ski Areas in Utah: Could it Really Work? [Curbed Ski]
· All One Wasatch Coverage [Curbed Ski]
· Lawsuit Watch: Utah Judge Won't Dismiss Alta Case [Curbed Ski]
· PCMR Will Pay $17.5 M To Save Upcoming Ski Season [Curbed Ski]