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Displeased with Utah (aka Mormon bigots), gays cancel a big ski trip

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It's not always easy to get people to give up a favorite vacation spot. This is great, I'm really quite impressed of everyone out there who chose not visit the Hate State this year.

A group of gays had planned long ago to be on the slopes of Park City's mountain resorts last week.

They had been coming each year since early in the decade, and Park City, seen for years as one of the friendliest places in Utah to gays, had been hospitable to the group But the 2009 edition of what had been dubbed Utah Gay & Lesbian Ski Week was cancelled.

An organizer told The Park Record many of the gay skiers indicated they would not visit Utah in order to show solidarity with those who have called for a boycott of the state stemming from the passage in California of Proposition 8, the ballot measure against gay marriage supported by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The cancellation of the gay ski week, which had been scheduled Jan. 7-11, is the first substantive evidence of Park City's economy suffering from the boycott. There had only been scattered concern in Park City that gays would refuse to visit. Local leaders had hoped gays and their supporters would consider Park City an open-minded enclave in Utah....

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."

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