The Jackson Town Council on Monday approved the construction of a gondola at Snow King Mountain Resort. The council again tabled a zip line proposal after the 2 1/2-hour meeting specially called to deliberate the Snow King issues.
Councilors voted 4-0 to approve the gondola, which will run from the mountain’s summit to a base in Phil Baux Park. Councilor Jonathan Schechter was unable to attend the meeting due to a prior commitment.
The gondola comes with a $3,000 per month lease Snow King will pay to the town for the use of the land in Phil Baux Park for the gondola’s base and a ticketing facility.
The gondola itself was already approved in general terms, as it was included in the town council-approved Snow King master plan, so most of the discussion Monday regarding its approval centered on its hours of operation.
While Snow King sought for the council to allow the gondola to run as late as 1 a.m. to service a planned observatory at the summit, council members instead opted to allow it to run until 10 p.m. in the summer and 9 p.m. in winter until the observatory is actually built.
“We will have the chance to amend [hours of use] ... in the future,” said Councilor Hailey Morton Levinson, who suggested the operating hours align with available recreation activities on the mountain, such as night skiing.
The zip line issue garnered heated debate amongst council members, as it also has in public comment to the council in the lead-up to Monday’s meeting. While council members discussed possible operating hours for the zip line — the Town of Jackson would only have one of a proposed network of summit-to-base zip lines under its purview — Councilor Jim Stanford implored his fellow elected officials to vote against the zip line. Stanford insisted that the noise emanating from the zip lines would be too much for neighbors to bear.
“If you build an amusement park, it’s going to sound like an amusement park,” he said.
Ultimately, Morton Levinson moved to table the matter until their next meeting on Monday, Aug. 3, and the motion carried 3-1. Stanford was the lone nay vote.