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Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Updated: August 16, 1:26 PM ET
Utah lawmakers pass interconnect bill

By ESPN Action Sports
ESPN.com

Solitude, Utah, seen here, could one day be connected via lifts to Park City.

On Monday, the Utah State Senate passed a resolution that could connect four ski areas in Park City with three ski resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons.

Utah Senate Republicans out-voted the Democrats 22 to 7 to endorse the bill, SCR10, whose chief sponsor is Republican senator Wayne L. Niederhauser. The Senate's seven Democrats voted against it.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the resolution with a 58 to 16 vote, and the bill is currently on the desk of Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

The proposed link would ultimately connect Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Brighton, Solitude, Alta and Snowbird through lifts, runs, or other measures.

Supporters of the bill say that the resort interconnect would enhance the ski and snowboard resort industry's contribution to Utah's economy, jobs and tax base.

"Utah is uniquely positioned to create a ski and snowboard experience available nowhere else in North America," said Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty. "This resolution urges interconnection of the seven Salt Lake and Summit County ski resorts using best environmental practices."

Rafferty says the plan would bring a European-style feel to Utah skiing. "Although widely seen in Europe, a connection of this scale does not exist in North America," added Rafferty. "From a marketing and skier experience perspective, this would be a game-changer."

Opponents of the plan, which includes Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, say it is too premature and further studies need to be conducted.