Park City History Bits - October 10, 2013

Oct 10, 2013

Did you know Park City’s first ski resort was actually started by two ski buddies? 

This is Bill Redeker with your weekly Park City History Bit.

“Snow Park”, as the resort was called, was built in the summer of 1946 where lower Deer Valley Resort is today and was named after the local ski club. The founders were two friends, Otto Carpenter and Bob Burns. 

The original lift, called the Ottobahn, was a T-bar. When the T-bars were unoccupied, they would drag in the snow, get caught and start pulling down the lift. 

Wives LaRue Carpenter and Rintha Burns made and sold hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chili, hot and cold drinks and candy bars at the resort’s warming hut. 

Snow Park only operated weekends and holidays, charging $2.50 for adults and $1.00 for children. In 1954, Burns sold his share to Carpenter, and later in 1963 the opening of Treasure Mountains Resort (now Park City Mountain Resort) slowed the business. When Carpenter was denied renewal of the lease of the land, owned by the mine company, he quietly closed Snow Park in 1969. 

Reminders of Park City’s first ski resort today include the names of Snow Park Lodge, Carpenter Express and Burns Lift at Deer Valley Resort. In 1981, Burns was killed by an explosion in his machine shop. Carpenter died in 1996 at the age of 92.

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