Snow Park Resort: A labor of love.

written by: Vanessa Conabee

Long before Deer Valley Resort was voted the number one ski resort in North America, it was a family-run ski hill called Snow Park built by two friends. Sports and outdoor enthusiasts Otto Carpenter and Bob Burns worked for Park City Mine Company—Carpenter as a skilled woodworker and Burns as a machinist. When many families left Park City in the downturn of the 1940s, a love for the outdoors and winter sports kept the two friends local. Tired of driving to Alta and Brighton for skiing, they fashioned their own lift with cable from the mines and an old Hercules truck engine, building a T-bar affectionately called the Ottobahn. Opening day was always free, with daily tickets priced at $2.50 for adults and $1 for children, although, when times were tight, kids rode for free. The entire operation was a family affair, with wives LaRue Carpenter and Rintha Burns serving 25-cent hamburgers and chili from a snack shack at the base. Despite competition from Treasure Hill (now Park City Resort), Snow Park remained open until 1969, when the Mine Company refused to renew Carpenter’s lease. Reminders of Park City’s first ski resort include the Snow Park Lodge, Carpenter Express and Burns Lift at Deer Valley Resort.

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