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Park City Council bombarded with parking, traffic, and PCMR grievances


The Park City Council received a deluge of public comment from frustrated residents at its meeting Thursday night. Complaints ranged from issues with traffic and parking, to the on-mountain experience at Park City Mountain Resort.

Although traffic, parking, and the ski resort experience were not agenda items at Thursday's Park City Council meeting, the public had a lot to say about them. The council heard from two dozen residents for nearly two hours during the meeting’s general public comment session.

Comments were for the most part focused on things like traffic and parking problems. Many statements were expressed directly to Park City Mountain Resort.

Silver Star resident Katy Mullaly was one of Thursday’s speakers. She said recent signage discouraging through traffic in her neighborhood has helped, but she also wants to see Park City Mountain Resort take more responsibility for the daily traffic caused by skiers and snowboarders.

“Traffic has become unbearable on Three Kings and Payday Drive," Mulally said. "People are treating it as a through street and a faster access out to Kimball Junction. These are small city roads. Vail needs to be held responsible for traffic impacts and I think they should be charged for the traffic controls that they need to implement. We really need to get ahold of the traffic through Park City and through our neighborhood streets because it’s dangerous and we shouldn’t be held responsible for all the people who are skiing up on the mountain.” 

Mullaly’s comments about traffic in residential neighborhoods were echoed by 10 other community members.

Several other people called out Park City Mountain Resort’s parent company, Vail Resorts, by name, citing not only traffic issues, but a lackluster on-mountain experience as well. The city government does not control mountain operations at either PCMR or Deer Valley.

Ryan Williams is the son of former Park City Mayor Dana Williams, and spoke to a growing sense among locals that they are being marginalized in their own town.

“We’re really trying to figure out how we can make it so the people that chose Park City as their home are able to enjoy it the way that they want to and have good times skiing and be able to be up on the mountain whether it’s for an hour or all day,” he said.

A near-perfect storm of record numbers of people looking to ski and snowboard, a dry start to the winter, and a labor shortage brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to many on-mountain frustrations this season. PCMR COO Mike Goar even went so far as telling KPCW in January that he didn’t believe the resort provided the service it strives for over the Christmas holiday.

The council was brief in its response to the comments – elected officials are limited to only discussing items that are on published agendas in public meetings, per Utah’s open meetings law. However, Councilor Max Doilney said he has contacted other ski towns in the mountain west and said from what he’s heard, Park City isn’t alone.

Mayor Nann Worel told KPCW Friday morning that the comments illuminated many of the frustrations in the community. She said it’s obvious people want to protect their neighborhoods and quality of life.

“I think we, internally as a city, have some areas that we can improve on that were brought to light last night, and I think it also shows the need for a really strong working relationship not only with Park City Mountain Resort, but with Deer Valley as well as we work together to protect our neighborhoods,” Worel said. 

Representatives from PCMR are set to participate in a work session at the council meeting on February 17th.

The Park City Council will also hold its semi-annual retreat next Wednesday and Thursday. There will be additional opportunities for the public to provide feedback then.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.