Originally Posted by Govnor
Wow, some of those plans are pretty big. Another Tram at Snowbird would be incredible for them.
The plans for all nine expansions would be great for each resort and most--not all--skiers and boarders that get to enjoy the extra experience the extra in-bound skiable acreage provides. Skiers coming for their one week vacations won't mind seeing another lift at their favorite area, nor do they believe a few lifts in will "ruin" or destroy the environment since the Wasatch stretches for 160 miles. I think some of the resorts are less profitable as some people think, and need (as opposed to want) the expansions.
Originally Posted by BobMc
If Mr. McLean and Save Our Canyons had their way all the resorts would be gone. If you've read any of Mr. McLean's posts on various message boards it doesn't take long to figure out the guy is an elitist douchebag. I'd take anything he writes with a grain of salt.
Roughly 85% of Utah's population lives within 15 miles of the Wasatch Range, They are much more likely to ski in the back country. Some of the more conservative locals see the back country as something for themselves and would prefer, as BobMc posted above,"all the resorts would be gone."
My take on all of this? Most environmentalists and proponents of growth are Hippocrates. Really. Environmentalists on this site will talk all day long about how big companies pollute (even if they don't) and then photograph themselves with a beverage poured out of a non-recycled can into a plastic cup. They will bitterly complain about a ski area building housing for the wealthy, but will demand "free" local services paid for by the tax dollars of vacationers. Proponents of growth are likely to be motivated by profit (this can actually a good thing in a capitalistic society, something those bereft of money don't understand), but don't always look at the long term impact of their actions. This is why there is compromise.
McLean is of course wrong to assume more people will die as a result of in-bound powder skiing. It is an acceptable fact that blasting and close access to ski patrol saves lives. Double diamond runs attract double diamond skiers, and they already know how to ski powder and steeps. Ski lifts by themselves don't destroy the environment. Wildlife has no problem walking under the lifts. The concrete bases and steel don't pollute. The fuel used to powder these lifts does indeed pollute, but the impact is minimal. The real question: Is the vision of a lift across open terrain is too much to accept? In some places it may be. I recently skied Squaw and Heavenly. The lifts didn't kill my experience. Sure, I'd like to see what the Sierras or Wasatch looked like a few hundred years ago in the winter. But I could never see their beauty 200 years ago since it was impossible to travel there without roads, available food and shelter. Besides, I can't see through forests. So I must assume some progress and building is good. Others want no part of any public or private land built upon. There will be argument about the nine proposed projects and there will be compromise. Don't expect elected politicians to ignore jobs, tax revenue from tourism, and the survival of certain smaller ski areas.