Utah leaders back ski lift connection

PAUL FOY Associated Press Published:

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce is organizing a coalition to push for a ski lift that would connect two Utah resorts if Congress goes along with a sale of national forest land.

The chamber is enlisting notable Utah figures who say it's the start of something big -- the first lift connection among the cluster of Wasatch resorts. Together they could make for North America's largest skiing complex.

Jake Garn -- former U.S. senator, Navy pilot and astronaut -- says a gondola connecting the Canyons and Solitude resorts would allow people to ski both sides of the Wasatch mountains without driving around.

The LIFT UTAH coalition was announced Tuesday as 40 backcountry skiers and environmentalists stood outside the Salt Lake chamber to protest the development of high alpine terrain where the snow piles deep.