Park City History Bits - January 16, 2014

Jan 16, 2014

Did you know you once were able to get to Park City’s ski trails by subway?

This is Hope Woodside with your weekly Park City History Bit.

Two years after ski slopes opened in 1963 at Treasure Mountains Resort, now Park City Mountain Resort, a Skier's Subway was used to transport skiers nearly two-and-a-half miles into the mountain, through the pitch-black Spiro Tunnel.

After the one-hour ride, skiers boarded a mining elevator, lifting them 1,750 feet to the surface, where they accessed the entire mountain from the Thaynes chairlift. The Skier Subway had four passenger cars, each capable of carrying 24 passengers. Two more specialized cars carried the skis. 

While the idea was innovative, the damp, dark ride was long, and skiers emerged wet into the cold air. It was shut down after only four years of use.

The idea expanded in 1967, when an underground mining museum was opened and accessed by the Skier Subway. In 1974, a Salt Lake family and a tour guide were surprised by a rockslide 3,000 feet inside the tunnel. They trudged to the museum, and were instructed to continue to the Thaynes Lift to exit. They were raised safely to the surface where the admission fees were cheerfully refunded. 

The Mine Train Ride continued for a few tough years, and was closed in 1978 due to high insurance premiums. 

This Park City History Bit is brought to you by the Park City Museum, and their newest exhibit, “Miners to Moguls: 50 Years of Park City Skiing”, and is sponsored by Julie Hopkins of Keller Williams Real Estate.