Letter: Let’s not contribute half a billion taxpayer dollars for gondola to the playgrounds for the rich

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A plot of land along Highway 210, pictured below center on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, could be the future location of a gondola base station to take people through Little Cottonwood Canyon. The land is owned by Snowbird, one of the resorts located in the canyon.

When our family moved here from back East in 1989, the price of an all-day lift ticket at Alta was $14. Now it’s $139 - $159. (Snowbird’s prices are similar.) This 1000% increase cannot be blamed entirely on inflation; the U.S. cost-of-living index has risen only 237% during this time. Nor can it be attributed to enhancements at the ski area itself, which have been modest.

Instead, it appears to be due largely to profiteering on the part of these ski areas’ owners. They have effectively transformed these two local treasures into playgrounds for the rich.

Now they want to draw even more high-end customers by building an intrusive gondola!

In our capitalistic society, they may have the legal right to do so. But they don’t have the moral right to scar all the rest of Little Cottonwood Canyon with 40 enormous towers and service roads — especially if we taxpayers are forced to help pay for it!

Jacob Scholl’s recent investigative report in The Tribune indicates that if this scheme is approved, we taxpayers would be forced to contribute more than half a billion dollars, with the profits going only to the private interests pushing it behind closed doors.

I say, “No way!”

Tom Huckin, Salt Lake City

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