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  • ☁️ Today's weather: Hazy with a high of 42°.

Situational awareness: The USMNT tied Wales 1-1 in their opening game of the World Cup.

  • Next up: England on Friday at noon.

Today's newsletter is 847 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Little Cottonwood gondola math

A rendering of a gondola tower in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Image: Utah Department of Transportation.

The proposed gondola up Little Cottonwood Canyon likely would need taxpayers to foot a bigger share of its costs than Utah's other public transit options do, FOX 13 reported.

Why it matters: The $550 million gondola has already been criticized as a taxpayer giveaway to Alta and Snowbird ski resorts — the only destinations it would serve.

Details: To entice riders and alleviate traffic in the canyon, the gondola would have to cost significantly less than the projected road toll of $25-$30 per car, UDOT has said.

By the numbers: The cheaper the gondola tickets, the larger share taxpayers would have to cover for the construction and operating costs — the latter of which could total $7 million per year.

  • Assuming the gondola is full each morning and afternoon, the lowest total cost per rider would be about $90, an Alta city official told FOX 13.
  • But UDOT acknowledges the gondola won't be full every day, and Alta City previously estimated the per-rider cost would be closer to $111, FOX 13 reported.

Reality check: Virtually all public transit costs more to operate than is collected in fares.

Yes, but: Fares normally cover a bigger share of the cost of public transit in Utah. UTA in 2019 collected about 16% of its costs from fares paid, a BYU civil engineering professor told FOX 13.

  • By comparison, a gondola rider would have to pay $17 to cover 16% of an actual per-rider cost of $111.

2. St. George's drag show fallout

The drag queen Eureka O'Hara poses in a desert during an episode of the HBO reality show "We're Here." Photo courtesy of HBO.

The showrunners behind HBO's reality drag show "We're Here" say a pending episode in St. George produced the most extreme political fallout they've seen in three seasons.

Catch up quick: The series stages professional drag shows featuring locals alongside its team of drag stars, mostly in conservative cities where LGBTQ+ communities historically don't have much support.

  • St. George city manager Adam Lenhard resigned under pressure last month after he issued a permit to the show to stage and film a drag show for 2,000 people this summer in town square for an episode that will air next month.
  • Amid right-wing protests against the show, Lenhard said in messages obtained by the St. George Spectrum that denying the permit would violate the First Amendment and lead to costly lawsuits.

Driving the news: In an interview with Axios, executive producer Steve Warren said the retaliation against city staff for permitting a town square drag show is "very, very disturbing."

The latest: After The Salt Lake Tribune reported Lenhard's confidential $625,000 settlement, crowds again gathered this month at city hall, some protesting anti-LGBTQ bigotry, and others complaining that the "pride community" is too "welcomed" in St. George.

Yes, but: Warren said southern Utahns have told him that the show, with "all those people in that park, ignited a movement there."

What's next: The episode will air Dec. 9, with the show's team returning to St. George on Dec. 7 for a fundraiser screening with Pride of Southern Utah.

Go deeper

3. 🚗 Your Thanksgiving travel guide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

UDOT officials say travelers should plan for and expect delays on the road ahead of Thanksgiving.

The big picture: Nearly 55 million people nationwide plan to travel more than 50 miles from home, AAA's forecast estimates.

  • That's up 1.5% from last year.
  • It's projected to be the third-busiest Thanksgiving travel season since AAA began measuring it in 2000.

Details: State transportation officials project 10–15 minute traffic delays on I-15 in Salt Lake and Davis counties and near Nephi and Cedar City, in the late afternoon and early evenings Wednesday-Sunday.

  • They also say drivers should expect traffic near malls or shopping centers on Black Friday.
  • Construction on most UDOT projects will be suspended.

Meanwhile, Salt Lake City airport officials expect thousands of visitors to travel through the airport this week.

  • Wednesday and Sunday will be the busiest, with more than 30,000 people on each of those days.
  • Officials recommend travelers arrive at the airport two hours before their domestic flight departure and three hours earlier for an international flight.

4. Fry Sauce: Snack on this news

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The founder of a group that protested HBO's drag show in St. George and accused trans people of "grooming" children once resigned from a teaching job after complaints of "inappropriate" and "intimate" contact with students. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

🏳️‍⚧️ On Transgender Awareness Day yesterday, Utah's LGBTQ community mourned victims of the Colorado nightclub shooting (Deseret News)

🚨 The University of Utah denied rumors of an active shooter situation in a residence hall. (FOX 13)

  • It’s unclear what prompted the misinformation to spread over the weekend.

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5. 💭 Pic du jour: Dreams

Dreams are written on colored paper and hung from a tree at Dreamscapes in Sandy. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

Erin here! Dreamscapes — an immersive art exhibit in Sandy — has become a November tradition for my family.

How it works: The art tells a story from room to room, and ends with a room-sized "tree" where visitors write down their dreams and hang the papers like leaves.

Why it matters: The dreams read like a communal diary, with family prayers, personal ambitions, and hopes for the whole of humanity.

Zoom in: My favorite dreams tend to be those written in children's handwriting.

  • Whoever wanted "to be a unukoron" — I hope it happens for you!

Here's one romantic dream to go.

A paper reads "To marry the girl beside me" and the paper next to it reads "to love him forever."
Two dreams. Hopefully, they belong to the same couple. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios.

🦃 Erin is rewatching Thanksgiving episodes of "Friends."

  • Not everything about this show has aged well, but Rachel's English trifle is forever.

🎥 Kim was inspired by watching "She Said."

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copyedited by Natasha Smith.