Utah Gay & Lesbian Ski Week Cancelled

While the Sundance Film Festival is a go, despite boycott threats, the decade-long Utah Gay & Lesbian Ski Weekend, which would have been last weekend, was canceled by organizers who didn’t want to dip their tips in Mormon virgin powder. No, we’re not making drug references. It just came out that way. In any event, Park City is sad-sad-sad that they, the most liberal part of Utah, are the one’s who bear the brunt of gay-anger at the Mormon Church. Perhaps they can sell the unused ski passes on Craigslist. It seems like a popular place for those kind of ads.

See, that’s a drug reference.

The Park City Record reports on the gay perspective of the story, saying that:

“One of the ski week’s organizers, John Harriot, a bisexual who lives in West Hollywood, Calif., said six people had registered for the trip. Approximately 50 would have signed up beforehand in a typical year, and 150 or so people would have attended. The ski week was canceled on Jan. 2. He estimates 20 people from the group might have ended up visiting Park City last week anyway, however.

“In the mind of the boycott organizers, the Mormon Church, basically, equals Utah,” Harriot said, describing that the group had “been treated well” during the past trips.

He acknowledged he was surprised the organizers were forced to cancel. He said he had expected attendance to drop by as much as 30 percent in 2009. He said the ski week could return to Park City in 2010. If people do not want to visit then, the organizers may move the event elsewhere, he said.

Had the full group traveled to Park City, Harriot estimated the visitors would have spent between $125,000 and $150,000 on lodging, lift tickets, meals and entertainment. An online itinerary for the canceled ski week lists days at each of the three local mountain resorts, organized lunches and dinners, nightlife options and a Saturday night party.

“The boycott worked and there was not enough people to do the group,” Harriot said.

The skiers had planned an evening at Kristauf’s Martini Bar on lower Main Street, where owner Lisa Christoffersen said they had stopped in during the 2008 trip. She said they probably would have spent a “couple grand” at Kristauf’s this year.

“To me, that would provide my payroll for two weeks” and pay several utility bills, she said, adding, “They spend well and they tip well. It’s a big boost for everyone.”