I had the opportunity to visit Austria this winter with my fiancé, my sister and a few friends. We skied outside of Innsbruck at a fun resort called Axamer Lizum and then traveled to Kitzbuhel to ski and enjoy the Hahnenkamm Downhill where my brother Forest Carey was coaching.
This was my first trip to the Alps. What an eye opening experience on so many different levels. Think heated 8 pack chairs, the best beer on the planet, fun friends, world cup ski racing, and tons of food. We enjoyed our time so much, our group will be heading back to the Alps next January to ski and watch the FIS Ski World Cup.
After a great week in the mountains, we took an early morning flight out of Munich and saw the sunrise over the Alps. It was there that I wrote down some great thoughts, including this one:
If Utah wants to be the main North American ski destination, then it needs to do a few things and fast!
Connect all Wasatch Resorts
We will look back at how Utah use to be run (today) and won’t believe on the opportunity we missed out on. The economic impact, press exposure, and pure awesomeness will be so strong. Utah will truly be the place to ski in North America and the world.
Utah needs to connect all the Wasatch ski resorts via ski access/trail and high tech gondola/chair system. In Europe, they know how to move people and they move people in luxury. Think 8 person, heated seats high speed chairs, big gondolas with tall ceilings, leather seats that can whisk you away. It will be key while connecting the resorts that skiers don’t have to take 8 lifts just to leave Park City, Salt Lake or Heber City. The big connecting lifts would start at the resort bases and have drop off spots along the way.
Not only would this create a skiing utopia, it would greatly cut down on car driving and pollution, which leads me into second point.
Mass transit needs to happen now
Trains need to connect the ski resorts. A train system would take passengers from SLC to Park City, Heber City, Provo, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons with direct access through the mountains. These high speed, technology advanced train systems would change the behavior of visitors and locals. Automatic toll systems for normal roads would create bigger benefit to riding in trains, not just convenience and time.
As a bonus benefit, all of this would help out Salt Lake pollution. This needs to be backed 110% by state and local governments.
Pollution? The environment? Global warming? This is another BIG topic that I am extremely passionate about. If we are to see the above vision come true, we need to Protect Our Winters and we need to do this now. I will save this topic for my next blog post.