In response to traffic and parking congestion in Big Cottonwood Canyon, as well worsening air quality in Salt Lake County, Solitude Mountain Resort is making a commitment to encourage carpooling and the use of public transportation when traveling to the resort. For the 2019/20 winter season, Solitude will be introducing a variety of initiatives to address these concerns while creating a more positive experience for guests.
“We are using every tool at our disposal to encourage our staff and guests to use public transportation and to develop carpooling habits,” says Solitude’s President & COO Kim Mayhew. “We are committed to reducing congestion in Big Cottonwood Canyon in order to preserve our canyon’s delicate environment.”
“Last winter was one for the record books, but there was some frustration around the number of cars on the road. We can leverage technology to cultivate a habit of carpooling and make public transportation more feasible. Our goal is to maximize the space we have and get everyone to the slopes safely and without delay.”
New for the 2019/20 season, paid parking will be implemented at Solitude’s parking lots with fees as low as $5 per day for multi-occupancy vehicles. Tiered pricing and preferential parking will be offered to encourage carpooling. To magnify Solitude’s actions in improving Utah’s air quality, a portion of parking proceeds will be donated to Breathe Utah, a clean air advocacy organization. Full details on the new parking system are available at https://www.solitudemountain.com/transportation.
Solitude will be utilizing a piece of their private property on the west end of the Moonbeam parking lot to accommodate approximately 200 more vehicles. These additional spaces will help ease parking congestion on Highway 190 near the resort as well as reduce erosion that can be harmful to the Salt Lake City watershed. The spaces will be served by a shuttle to move guests to and from Moonbeam Lodge.
Carpooling & Public Transportation Options
For guests who want to find a carpool partner, Solitude is investing in a ride-sharing app to allow skiers and snowboarders to share available space in personal vehicles by offering or joining a ride to Solitude. The app will include incentives for teaming up to reduce pollution and congestion. More details will be announced later this fall.
Solitude will lease four 15-passenger shuttle vans from the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to transport staff seven days a week, taking up to 60 cars out of the canyon each day.
To make it easier for guests to use the UTA Ski Bus, Solitude has added over 100 new guest lockers, located on the ground levels of both Moonbeam Lodge and the Snowsports building. Solitude has long provided free UTA Ski Bus access to its season pass holders. That benefit has now been extended to all Ikon Pass holders for the entire season.
Solitude continues its long and productive relationship with UTA, advocating for expanded service and increased ridership in Big Cottonwood Canyon. In the past three years, UTA has increased Ski Bus frequency and made trips faster by consolidating and shortening routes. UTA Ski Bus now offers seamless transfers from TRAX, and park-and-ride convenience and capacity continue to expand.
Solitude plans to open on Saturday, November 23, 2019 – conditions permitting – and will close on April 19, 2020.