As our 50th season approaches, Park City Mountain Resort and the Park City community are taking the time to reflect on the rich history of Park City, Utah. Before Park City was famous for its world-renowned ski resorts, it developed its roots in silver mining. Silver ore was originally discovered in Park City in 1868, which led to a silver rush that developed numerous mining companies in the area, and most prominently, the Silver King Coalitions Mines, Co. which was once one of the world's richest mines.
The Silver King Coalition Building, the famous icon that marked Park City for decades, was originally the bottom terminal for the Silver King Coalition Mines aerial tramway, located where Town Lift Plaza now sits. The building and tramway was constructed during 1900 and officially began operating on June 1, 1901. During its operation, it carried 2,700-3,000 tons of ore each month.
Eventually, silver mining in the area declined, and the Silver King Coalition Building ceased operations in the 1950s, but remained standing throughout the town's transition to a ski destination. It served as a reminder of the town's mining history and how important it was to Park City's development.
In 1982, tragedy struck. Three men from Salt Lake City travelled to Park City for a concert, and spent the night in the vacant Coalition Building where they built a fire on the floor to keep warm. While they claimed the fire was out before they left, the entire building caught on fire and it burned to the ground. Luckily, no one was injured.
The Town Lift was built a few years later, connecting Park City Mountain Resort directly to the town. The lift line follows the path of the aerial tramway, and you can ride the lift and see the old tramway towers as you access the mountain. So next time you ride Town Lift or see our 50th logo, remember the mining history of Park City and thank those silver prospectors who discovered this town in the first place.
Originally from the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania, Travis found his way to Park City three years ago and is now our grooming manager. When not in snowcat you can find him skiing or snowmobiling in the Utah backcountry or enjoying the skiing here at Park City Mountain Resort.
Nicole Roundy is a world class snowboarder on the US Paralympic Team. She is a cancer survivor, inspiration seeker, crossfit training, Park City riding superpower blogger. Follow her adventures right here. You can also spy her on twitter (@nicoleroundy) and Instragram (@nroundy)