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Are Park City and Vail Equals?

Have you seen the 1980’s movie Arthur starring Dudley Moore? It’s about a semi-lovable, rich drunk who is heir to a fortune. However, his father and grandmother decide that unless he marries a woman named Susan, who he doesn’t like, he will lose it all. While it’s not the greatest movie ever told, we’ve begun wondering if it’s perhaps a metaphor for Park City and Vail.

We were listening this morning to a Park City Planner on KPCW talking about Vail’s connection between PCMR and Canyons that’s coming. Leslie Thatcher bombarded the gentlemen with questions about the impacts of allowing the connection and every answer sounded like it had come straight out of Broomfield Colorado (the home of Vail). Ms Thatcher asked if this plan would bring more skiers to Park City. The response what that Vail said it would not. Ms Thatcher asked whether this would mean more parking is needed. The answer was no. To the casual listener, it was hard to keep one’s mouth from gaping in that “did he really say that” sort of way.

The interview started us to think about the relationship between Park City, Summit County, and Vail. Are the parties equals…. does one hold the upper hand? If you were to ask someone from our local government, we’d guess they would say we were all equals. Yet, we seem to remember that Vail gave over $500,000 to Park City non profits last year. We also have been told a $50 million investment will be made into the “New” PCMR. To us, that indicates who actually holds the upper hand.

Does that leave Park City a little bit like Arthur … someone who is tied to decisions made by the people with the purse strings? Like Arthur, could we stand up to our rich Grandmother and say NO? If we did, would she cut us off? Or would it end in a fairytale, like Arthur, who marries the woman he loves AND keeps the money. Doubtful.

We think it’s a good question to ask before we get too dependent on others.

This morning we heard that Park City Municipal wasn’t too concerned about the connection going over sensitive lands or that it exceeds height restrictions. Perhaps, like that lovable drunk, we are already dependent on our grandmother to take care of us. Let’s just hope in the future she doesn’t make us do something we really don’t want to do.


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