ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

2034 Olympics won’t impact approval of gondola, says Mayor Wilson

Oct 26, 2023, 6:00 PM

Snow is seen in Little Cottonwood Canyon....

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said she does not think the potential 2034 Olympics will impact the approval of the gondola. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said she does not think the 2034 Olympics will impact UDOT’s approval of a proposed gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon. 

Mayor Wilson is a part of the bid committee for the 2034 Olympics. Utah has not officially won the bid, however, she said plans are already underway for the potential games. Venues will be similar to those of the 2002 games. 

According to Wilson, none of the 2034 Olympic venues would be in either of the Cottonwoods. It is not logistically feasible to stage events up either canyon. 

“I know that was a deep concern of the previous mayor of Alta especially, and maybe its current [mayor] that games would be staged at Snowbird or Alta, and they won’t be,” Wilson said. Olympic venue agreements are already being signed.

Salt Lake County and the cities where Olympic venues are located have also signed an agreement. According to Wilson, the agreement said they “will prioritize sustainability and civil rights and fairness.” 

As for the gondola’s timeline, Wilson said “I suppose if you’re a proponent of a gondola, you push to get it through against the will of the community and myself and others [to get it built.] I’m sure a 2034 timeline would impact [it] in some way like trying to advance it prior or not break ground till after.” 

Wilson and the gondola

Wilson is an opponent of the gondola. She said she is working with UDOT to find “common sense solutions.” These solutions, according to Wilson, include enhanced bus service and a shuttle system. 

“Right now we’re getting ready to announce what we’re calling Cottonwood Connect 2.0,” said Wilson.

Cottonwood Connect is a ski shuttle program, that started last winter. It provided transportation to the ski resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. 

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2034 Olympics won’t impact approval of gondola, says Mayor Wilson