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SkiLink project appears to be on hold for now

SALE LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – The proposed gondola between Canyons and Solitude ski resorts might be dead. The SkiLink project requires the Forest Service to sell land along the ridge between the two resorts, but as it appears right now none of Utah’s federal lawmakers plan on reintroducing the legislation.
SALE LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – The proposed gondola between Canyons and Solitude ski resorts might be dead. The SkiLink project requires the Forest Service to sell land along the ridge between the two resorts, but as it appears right now none of Utah’s federal lawmakers plan on reintroducing the legislation.

A one hour drive or an 11 minute ride, that's what ski link is said to offer.

The proposed SkiLink would connect Canyons Ski Resort to Solitude and more than 6-thousand acres of resort terrain. Those in favor of it say it would create a quick trip between the resorts without having to drive.

Jack Amiel supports the SkiLink. During a hearing last March he told ABC 4 Utah, "I think that it's ridiculous that you've got peaks that are thousands of yards away from each other and we can't access them. And that we go all the way down to Salt Lake all the way around, we go through half a tank, three-quarters of a tank of gas to get to the powder."

In November of 2011, Representatives Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, as well as Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee introduced the Wasatch Range Recreation Access Enhancement Act. It would require the Forest Service to sell 30 acres in Big Cottonwood Canyon for the gondola project. The legislation made it through a house subcommittee in 2012, but never made it to the full congress. Now it appears none of Utah’s federal lawmakers plan to reintroduce it anytime soon.

Representative Rob Bishop's office says he hasn't given up on SkiLink, but right now he's busy with other issues.

Press Secretary Melissa Subbotin told ABC 4 Utah, "To say that everyone's completely backed away from it isn't a fair representation. We just have a couple of other legislative priorities that are on our list right today."

Another big issue is the company that started the SkiLink idea, Talisker, has leased the operations of Canyons to Vail Resorts for the next 50 years, and Vail is holding off on saying whether or not they're going to pursue the idea.

Back in May when Vail Resorts took over operations of Canyons, Vail CEO Rob Katz said SkiLink is "something we're going to have to study and get up to speed on."
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