Well the issue was actually really simple. You can not just plow off a field in a residential neighborhood, and start running commercial flights into it every 15 minutes. It is the same rules that prevent you from opening an auto repairs shop, or a strip club, or a bar in a residential neighborhood. The only way they might have had a chance at that was to not charge at all, and even then they would be in violation of noise ordinances. You can't just do whatever you want in a residential neighborhood for very good reasons, such as keeping all of the neighbors from killing each other. You are allowed to operate a small home based business, with 2 or less employees, that does not take customer visits (i.e. a store front) in a residential neighborhood.
If Uber had applied for a permit, or even worked with the county, before pulling off this stunt, they probably would have been accomadated in a commercial zone. The sheriff's office considered allowing them to use their EMERGENCY helipad as a stop gap, but once they thought about it they realized that could interfere with their ability to respond to an actual emergency. I know, as I have worked with the sheriif's office and used that helipad. It is not designed for commercial flights every 15 minutes. The debris alone there can be hazardous on a chopper landing, and we would have to walk it before one came in.
On the first day they ran, they also violated the minimum altitude rules flying over my house on approach, as they used a loose approximation of AGL ignoring the mountain peaks. I had helicopters a few hundred feet off my roof ALL DAY long. You try working under those conditions.
The other story you don't hear about is the locals hate Sundance, myself included. It attracts the most pretentious, self righteous, jerks you have ever seen. I literally have had people push me out of line in the grocery store because 'They were late for their film'. Mistake to do to a local as we push back :-).
Uber blew it. They didn't even try to work with the local government, nor the locals, to come up with a reasonable plan. The drive from SLC airport to Park City is only 35 minutes. It is actually quicker than taking the uber from the terminal, to the helipad, then wait for the helicopter, then land in a neighborhood, then drive in from there. They also could have landed at Heber airport, that is setup for private jets even, and is only 15 minutes away. They were selling an image to a bunch of pretentious wanna bes, and Uber got caught. Blade only joined in after the announcement by Uber.
The other thing they did not mention that I have not seen in the news is they originally planned to land within Park City limits. They knew the city would enforce every rule on them immediately, and were told so by the city government, so they moved just outside of city limits last minute. Generally, the county is more lenient, but obviously decided it was in their best interest to enforce the rules after that game. Uber got what they deserved, and should now actually be forced to pay a fine as they cost us tax payers a bunch of money for law enforcement and attorney fees.