Letter: Let’s count the ways the gondola supporters are misguided

(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) An anti-gondola banner displayed by protestors at the Little Cottonwood Canyon Park and Ride on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

In response to those favoring the Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola, their endorsements are misguided for several reasons:

• Yes, others of us have visited Europe and witnessed the numerous gondolas there, and don’t agree they’re attractive, but contribute to a clutter-up of the scene. They were installed when ski resorting was on the rise, and not like today with its popularity waning, due to increasing ticket pricing and shorter ski seasons due to climate change. It may happen that, when completed in the far future, the need for the gondola’s use would be on the decline, and we would soon be stuck with a useless, invasive dinosaur, much like the derelict lift one encounters entering Moab.

• Here, in Little Cottonwood Canyon, the road already exists, and will always be needed to service the canyon. Most of the avi-delays can be alleviated with the proposed snow sheds. The road alternative can be developed gradually, the design and bus system of which can be re-designed as needed, unlike the gondola which must be installed all at once. The road routing and scheduling is infinitely more flexible to service more of the canyon users by the day, week and season.

• For those wanting a tourist attraction in the canyon, one already exists with the snowbird tram. It has great base and top facilities, has great views and is not too long a ride or expensive. It’s also off to the side of the canyon, much less intrusive than the proposed gondola would be.

• The development of the bottom tram terminal would increase traffic on Wasatch Boulevard and further clutter-up the area surrounding it, just what we’re trying to avoid.

• Finally, we the taxpayers don’t need to finance a huge project that benefits just two businesses, and may be a start towards further destruction of the wild lands above.

John Kennington, Cottonwood Heights

Submit a letter to the editor