“SkiLink is DEAD” – Interview with Deer Valley’s Bob Wheaton

After all of the turbulence we’ve seen in the Central Wasatch ski world over the past few years – from the threat of SkiLink, to the protracted legal wrangling over ski resort ownership in Park City, and now Deer Valley’s acquisition of Solitude – change is here. And overlaying all of this change is the audacious ONE Wasatch proposal to create one mega resort spanning the entire Central Wasatch.

We’ve been fired up – from active participation in the Mountain Accord process to lawn signs, to online comments, public meetings, and rallies … we’re trying to protect what we love about the Wasatch and the last of the winter wildlands left here. Wasatch Backcountry Alliance was formed to provide a voice for the backcountry community and to respond to threats to these scarce, and amazing mountains we call the Central Wasatch.

Deer Valley's Bob Wheaton
Deer Valley’s Bob Wheaton

It’s in this setting that we are excited to share a candid conversation we had recently with Deer Valley President & General Manager Bob Wheaton. We’re thrilled Bob accepted our invitation for a podcast. We’re thankful of his willingness to be a part of a recorded interview, where he didn’t know the questions, and with what could be considered a hostile audience. It is important to note Wasatch Backcountry Alliance supports our world-class resorts, but we do not support the ONE Wasatch concept. While we don’t agree with all of Bob’s positions, we believe that this type of open dialogue is important.

Here are some of the highlights of the podcast:

SkiLink is DEAD.

[We] really are committed to ONE Wasatch.

People can expect to see the same level of stewardship we’ve demonstrated at Deer Valley [at Solitude] …

Guardsman itself would cost in the neighborhood of $150 million [in improvements to be able  open it in the winter] not including maintenance costs … our position is: that’s a whole lot of money.

The full interview & podcast is about 30 minutes, so we tried to break the conversation up into some different sections – you can listen to the entire interview, or just specific sections:

Full Podcast Interview with Deer Valley’s Bob Wheaton (30:52)

SkiLink & ONE Wasatch (9:10)

Solitude Resort (7:17)

Resort Development Plans (2:27)

Backcountry Users (3:14)

Mountain Accord, and ONE Wasatch (5:45)