Around the mountains: Obama may pay visit to Park City | SummitDaily.com

Around the mountains: Obama may pay visit to Park City

ALLEN BEST
special to the daily
Summit County, Colorado

PARK CITY, Utah ” Park City is wondering whether it will be hosting President Barack Obama in June. The city’s Deer Valley Resort will be site of the Western Governors’ Association annual meeting. The governments last year met in Jackson, Wyo., and before that in Breckenridge, Colo. Typically, 8 to 12 governors attend the conference to talk about items of mutual interest, including energy and water policy. This year will be no exception.

Park City is no stranger to either presidents or, for that matter, presidential aspirants. Twice during the 1990s it hosted Bill Clinton on skiing vacations. Clinton also spent time in Vail, Aspen, and Jackson. Last year, it hosted Obama on a fund-raising trip, but also President George W. Bush. It is the part-time home of former presidential aspirant Mitt Romney.

Security for these visits is costly. The Summit County Sheriff’s Department spent $50,000 last year when Bush was in town to raise money for Republican candidates. David Edmunds, the sheriff, tells The Park Record he believes the cost for protecting Obama could be even higher. “We’re living in an increasingly hostile world,” he noted.

PARK CITY, Utah ” Deer Valley is built on land that was once used for silver mining. That historical antecedent created an unsettling moment for Bruce Rogers, who felt the ground give way under his heels as he paused while skiing in a seldom-visited off-piste area.

“It was thoroughly confusing,” the 50-year-old Rogers told The Park Record. “A bit bewildering for a momentary second.”

When the Lady Morgan Express lift was built, nobody noticed the mine shaft nearby. Erin Grady, a spokeswoman for Deer Valley, described the mine shaft as being in an “obscure area” and not on a designated ski trail.

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Rogers, an expert skier from Hailey, Idaho, located down-valley from Sun Valley, dropped to shoulder-level in the snow, and could see a dark hole below. With aid of another skier, he was able to extricate himself and, later on, retrieved his skis, too.

Resort officials say that mining shafts and adits have been discovered occasionally at Deer Valley, although nobody has ever fallen into one. As well, a sinkhole opening appeared last summer after a subterranean excavation collapsed.