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Good Ideas from Wasatch and Sawtooth

Good Ideas from Wasatch and Sawtooth

All ski areas have great ideas and solutions.  Following the Rocky Mountain Lift Association conference at Grand Junction, CWSAA spent an afternoon running through 8 ski areas in the Wasatch east of Salt Lake City, and Sun Valley in Idaho.

Park City, Utah, as much as anywhere has built a robust summer with Sky Rides, downhill ziplines, luge, ropes course, climbing wall, mini golf, bungie and much more.

Park City’s luge helps utilise uphill capacity and diversifies downhill fun.
There were a couple of Sky Ride chairs in the Wasatch.
Sundance offered downhill zip lines.
Like many successful destinations, Sun Valley has paid significant attention to trail development in the surrounding countryside.
Sun Valley built a pavilion with a large lawn for chairs and blankets, and the terraced seating immediately in front of the stage is build with stone from Rome…a la Coliseum.


Snowbird has a robust wind proof stage it erects in its village centre.
Deer Valley has an extensive summer music programme.  The narrow valley allows the resort to gate access, and host ticketed events on the sloped grounds in front of the a base lodge.
The sound board pit is excavated into the slope.
Deer Valley uses small crush around the stage area to avoid mud. Small crush is used so equipment can be moved or rolled across its surface. Drainage is also important in the spring.


Park City uses a very large and clear numbering system for is 6-pack lift to lessen confusion as patrons approach the loading area.
Lift engineers love the 45 degree turn in the Park City-Canyon gondola.
Treated logs are used to frame the trails maps at Deer Valley and create a polished look.


Park City and Snowbird lift boards.

In addition to an inherent risk message, Park City (and other ski areas) has a municipal ordinance regarding reckless skiing and snowboarding.
Park City has printed instructions by its lift window on Buying a Lift Ticket. For a first time guest, buying a ticket is an unknown process. The first time golf equivalent is perhaps like teeing off in front of the Pro Shop with range golf balls. Who knew?



Complimentary day and overnight ski storage was common at several ski areas. This improves convenience, and removes barriers to seeking services (eg: restaurants) in the village.
QR codes may have seen their day, but Sundance makes their digital trail map easily available. The code was posted on the large trail map by one of its chairlifts.


Mapping is always a challenge. Deer Valley offers a clean and crisp presentation.
Deer Valley activates its sponsorships with presence at the skier unloading zone and in its village centres.

Overhead international flags was used for colour and decor inside multiple buildings and ski areas.


Gotta love a big chair with boots. Street animation in Sun Valley (Ketchum).
Snowbird increased revenues (and guest convenience) by adding an incremental hole in the wall F&B outlet on a patio. It shares the same lodge services.
Covered bus shelters helps service the ski bus link between ski areas and Salt Lake City.
Sun Valley (Ketchum) offers 2-hour middle of the street parking during the day. It allows for incremental parking and assists with snow removal.
Ski baskets are located on the front of the shuttle bus at Snowbird.
Roadside parking signage was clear in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons in the Wasatch Range.


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