UTAH

Little Cottonwood Canyon’s proposed gondola would be different from ski gondolas

Sep 6, 2022, 12:11 PM | Updated: Sep 23, 2022, 12:51 pm
It’s about to get even harder to find a place to live in Park City and the surrounding area....
Skiers ride the gondola on the opening day of the 2021-22 ski season at Park City Mountain Resort's Canyons Village in Park City on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON —  The Utah Department of Transportation’s decision last week to support building the world’s longest gondola drew out more questions than answers.

UDOT Project Manager Josh Van Jura said the gondola would not be your average ski area gondola.

Addressing concerns

Van Jura said that the proposed 35-person cabins accessing Little Cottonwood Canyon won’t pose the same risks of evacuations and shutdowns as regular resort gondolas. 

“3S gondola systems, which is what we’re proposing here, function much differently than the Park City system — which is a 1S. And so this has mechanical backup, it actually brings people back to the closest unloading station,” Van Jura said.

The 3S gondola can transport more than 5000 people per hour and could ease congestion up the canyon by 30%. 

Some critics say the UDOT’s proposed gondola primarily benefits Alta and Snowbird skiers and riders. Van Jura agreed but said that because skiers are the ones primarily clogging the road, the best solution is to get them off it.

“If we are going to build a solution that gets 30% of the traffic off of the road, we should target that largest user group, which are resort skiers,”

Why the UDOT chose the gondola and what’s to come

The UDOT chose a gondola as the solution to gridlock traffic and pollution instead of widening the canyon road to four lanes.

It would take up to three years to install a 3s gondola system from the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon to the top of Alta Ski Area.

Van Jura said in the meantime there would be phasing like increased bus service, tolling or restrictions on single occupancy vehicles and widening Wasatch Boulevard.

The gondola is only meant as a wintertime solution, so summer climbers and hikers should not be impacted.

The UDOT is taking public comments on the gondola proposal until October 17.

Don Brinkerhoff contributed to the reporting of this story.

Related: Utah lawmakers react to Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola announcement

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Utah

A 31-year-old man was taken into custody Wednesday in connection to a bank robbery earlier in the d...
Mark Jones

Bank robbery suspect taken into custody by Salt Lake City police

A 31-year-old man was taken into custody Wednesday in connection to a bank robbery earlier in the day.
20 hours ago
Utah 2022 legislative session...
Lindsay Aerts

Count My Vote threatens ballot initiative to protect signature path to primary ballot if new bill passes

SALT LAKE CITY — A new war is brewing over signature gathering.  The citizens initiative group that ushered in Utah’s decade-old compromise creating a dual path for candidates to get on the primary election ballot — which includes signature gathering, the caucus convention system or both — is threatening to launch a statewide ballot initiative […]
20 hours ago
wallet...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utahns found wallet in a wall from 1970, looking to reunite with owner

After a local restoration company was called to remediate an emergency, they began tearing down walls, leading to a wallet found in the insulation. 
20 hours ago
all-star...
Tom Haraldsen

All-Star fans! Oreo cookie wants to upgrade your NBA All-Star party!

NBA fans can add a little extra swagger to their All-Star Game party here in Salt Lake City, with just 10 more days until tip off.
20 hours ago
evacuees Sugar House fire...
Adam Small

Sugar House apartment fire investigation wraps up, cause undetermined

Investigators say that unless someone comes forward with more evidence, the cause of the Sugar House fire will likely remain undetermined.
20 hours ago
Less than half of infants around the world are breastfed as recommended, and baby formula is in hig...
Janelle Chavez, CNN

Health experts call for end to “exploitative baby formula marketing tactics”

The report, published Tuesday in The Lancet, extensively outlines "predatory tactics" in the baby formula marketing industry.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Little Cottonwood Canyon’s proposed gondola would be different from ski gondolas