Can a ski town survive if the ski lifts stop running?
The question is gripping this mountain town where celebrities gather each winter for theSundance Film Festival and summer days glide by as placidly as kayakers on the nearby reservoir. Beneath the calm veneer, a ski resort’s eviction battle over land, leases and millions of dollars has erupted into a full-on civic crisis.
Businesses and town leaders worry that the festering dispute could, in the worst case, end up shuttering one of Utah’s most popular ski resorts for this winter, crippling a tourist economy that needs the chair lifts to run. Instead, those lifts could be uprooted from the mountains.
“Park City prides itself on its comity,” said Myles Rademan, a longtime resident and former town official who carried the Olympic torch when the Winter Games were held in Utah in 2002. “We worked hard to build our reputation as a place that gets along. This is all kind of a shock to our system.”