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Staff shortages causing lift closures at PCMR

Lines for the High Meadow and Saddleback lifts fill up with early-season skiers.
Ben Lasseter
Lines for the High Meadow and Saddleback lifts fill up with skiers.

Despite a strong December of snowfall, not all of the lifts at Park City Mountain Resort are open for skiers and snowboarders. The resort says staffing issues due to COVID-19 are partly to blame.

According to Friday’s Park City Mountain Resort snow report, the resort has 88% of its terrain and 33 of 43 lifts open.

PCMR Senior Communications Manager Jessica Miller told KPCW the resort has not been operating several lifts due, in part, to acute staffing shortages resulting from COVID-19.

Although Miller says COVID is not the only challenge the resort faces, the omicron variant has swept across Utah in the first few weeks of the year, and Miller says the resort has seen staff call in sick daily.

The good news for resort guests, Miller says, is that almost all of the terrain serviced by closed lifts like Thaynes and Sun Peak Express is accessible using other lifts that are open.

Both of Park City’s resorts, PCMR and Deer Valley, are experiencing staffing problems.

Deer Valley VP of Marketing Coleen Reardon said in November she expects staffing to be a challenge throughout the winter, particularly in ski school and hospitality. PCMR COO Mike Goar told KPCW earlier this month that the resort has seen the same employment shortages experienced by businesses across the country.

Miller adds the resort is “still recruiting new staff and will continue to prioritize opening more lifts and terrain as the season continues.”

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.