Summit County Council Challenges Deer Valley To Continue Efforts Towards Greener Practices
The Chief Operating Officer for Deer Valley, Todd Shallan, visited County Council on Wednesday. He was asked if the resort can be more green in a couple of areas.
During the conversation, County Council member Glenn Wright asked Shallan how Deer Valley can cut down on traffic congestion. Wright noted that when the parking areas spill out every day, from Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort—the result is gridlock and even the buses of Park City area transit are caught up in it.
Shallan said having a free bus service is phenomenal, and there are some good transit links to the resort—but they can be cumbersome.
“We can probably do about 2,500 cars in and around all of Snowpark,” Shallan continued. “That includes street parking, that includes everywhere. When we get to that limit then we start asking people to park down at the school which Park City does the same. The challenge that we have at Deer Valley is you’ve got to take two buses to get there. So, we’ve had some conversations with the city in saying hey look if we really want to be serious about this carpooling and having people park, we should have something straight from the high school to Deer Valley.”
“We have issues getting people, your workers and skiers, from the Snyderville basin area because it’s three buses from down there.” Wright added
“You’re right” Shallan said.
He said they’re trying to figure out the development future for their base parking area—much like Park City Mountain Resort is doing.
“It’s the same conversation that our friends next door are having about their base parking lot. How do you redevelop that and do the same parking thing at the same time?” Shallan explained.
“Or not do the parking?” Wright asked.
“Or not do the parking but I don’t know is that reasonable?” Shallan questioned. “Maybe 30-years from now but they can’t even build a bullet train in my old place. I wish they would, you know I lived in Europe for four years and transportation over there is not the afterthought that it is here in our country. Living in London I didn’t have a car for four years and I never needed it. I could get to any country on a train it was incredible how you could get around Europe. I wish we had that here, that’s a nice wish but we don’t. How do we get there? Step by step.”
Shallan said another issue is traffic that Deer Valley can attract from the other side of the Wasatch mountains. He said the solution he likes is, granted, controversial, and something off in the future.
“I think with the Ikon pass we are now especially when the Cottonwood Canyons are closed, we’re now seeing a lot more people coming up the back way and Jordanelle is getting hammered, so we’ve got to address that piece,” Shallan continued. “Personally, I’m not on the environmentalist’s side but I would love to see a lift that goes up and over to connect us to the canyons. I think that would help transportation in a great way and yes people could make an argument that it is a blight, seeing a lift on top of some of those beautiful places however I think if we’re really serious about transportation I think that would be a really good way, and look I’ve been here five months but my observation is I think that would be a really good way to get people up and over the canyons and move back and forth. Because we are encouraging them to do that by having the pass. So that’s one now I know that’s far in the future, but I would love to see that.”
On another item dealing with sustainability, Wright asked him if the resort could achieve zero generation of food waste. Shallan said it’s difficult, but he talked about the level of overall waste they achieved during the FIS event.
“We were zero-waste,” Shallan explained. “Not necessarily food waste but zero-waste. Everything that we used plates, silverware everything was all compostable. No straws, none of that kind of stuff and then everything else was recycled. Every piece that came in there was that. We do use, I think it’s the same guy for our food waste, so all of our lodges are now recycling food waste but for us to claim zero is pretty hard. I think we’re going that direction and we’re already doing many of those things today but I think we’re really worried about claiming that zero thing because that’s really hard to achieve.”