Wasatch Front Regional Council passes transportation plan including Little Cottonwood gondola

May 25, 2023, 7:30 PM

Wasatch Front Regional Council meets to discuss the little cottonwood canyon gondola...

The Wasatch Front Regional Council meets on May 25, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Aimee Cobabe/KSL NewsRadio)

(Aimee Cobabe/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Wasatch Front Regional Council voted in favor of a new transportation plan which includes the controversial gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon. But a release from the council hours before the vote made it clear that the council had already made up its mind. 

The vote happened just before 3:30 p.m. Thursday, but KSL NewsRadio received a document at 12:16 p.m. with the council’s letterhead clearly stating it had passed. It was embargoed until the vote happened, which often happens in the news world, but the release given to KSL NewsRadio clearly stated that the council had approved the plan.

This was the only release the Wasatch Front Regional Council sent to the media. 

The same piece of paper was handed to reporters at the door.

A spokesperson with the council said they wrote multiple versions, but he was unable to provide any examples.

Voting on the Little Cottonwood Gondola

The plan the council voted on impacts more than the gondola, it includes things like walkways and updates to FrontRunner.

But it’s the gondola that brought over 100 people to the meeting.

Several dozen people spoke at the meeting, most expressing their hatred for the potential gondola.

But those at the meeting said they were unsurprised by the result. This includes Jesse Margolies.

“I don’t even know why there was any public comment, to be honest. Because they did not listen to us,” Margolies said.

Still, this is how Chair Dawn Ramsey ended the vote today.

“It may not feel like you’ve been heard, but I want you to know we have heard you. And there are certain things we can and certain things we feel like we can’t do,” Ramsey said. “But we have tried to come up with a way to be reflective.”

The council has already voted on including the gondola in the transportation plan. That was back in January.

But this vote today was an official approval of the full plan.

Samatha Herrera and Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.

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

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

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Wasatch Front Regional Council passes transportation plan including Little Cottonwood gondola