Utah Senate panel OKs ski interconnect resolution

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A resolution promoting some sort of system to link Salt Lake County's four ski resorts and a trio around Park City cleared its first legislative hurdle Monday.

The Senate Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Committee voted 4-2 on partisan lines for SCR10, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy.

The resolution encourages Salt Lake and Summit counties, along with the U.S. Forest Service and the Town of Alta, to "fairly consider the benefits of connecting the various resorts and expeditiously approve a low-impact inter-resort transportation system … based on sound research and public input."

The conservation group Save Our Canyons testified Monday that it could not support the resolution because its approach to use and care for the central Wasatch Mountains advances the position of only the ski industry without adequate input from other stakeholders, such as Salt Lake City water officials, backcountry skiers and the Utah companies that serve them.

But Save Our Canyons Executive Director Carl Fisher struck a conciliatory note, offering to work with Niederhauser to make the resolution more palatable.

Niederhauser's resolution contends an interconnect would increase Utah's appeal to skiers and other tourists, producing jobs through its creation of a ski product unique in North America.

Voting for the measure were Republican state Sens. Stuart Reid, Ralph Okerlund, Aaron Osmond and Michael Waddoups. Democrats Pat Jones and Karen Morgan voted no.


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