Saturday, March 10, 2012

Will Powder Mountain Beat Snowbasin to the Development Punch?



Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics: Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market.  This data is organized by ski resort area


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The News

Powder Mountain and Snowbasin Development
According to two business blogs, Powder Mountain is close to being purchased by a group that has plans for significant development at the Ogden Valley resort, and that could well have the resources and vision to carry through with those plans.
Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/summit-series-the-exclusive-retreat-for-big-shots-is-trying-to-raise-money-to-buy-a-mountain-2012-2 reported on February 22, 2012 that "Summit Series, the exclusive retreat for entrepreneurs, innovators, and all around-big shots, is raising a pile of money to buy a mountain, according to multiple sources."  The blog goes on to say, "Specifically, it has its eye on Powder Mountain in Utah."  Also quoted is a pitch from Summit Series which includes the following pronouncement,"Summmit Series is in the process of acquiring some permanent space; we are buying Powder Mountain, UT."
On March 1, 2012, Betabeat
http://www.betabeat.com/2012/03/01/summit-series-bought-powder-mountain-utah-40-million-03012012/ reported in an article by Nitasha Tiku that "Two sources have confirmed to Betabeat that Summit Series - the haute entrepreneurship conference attended by high-net-worth types like Peter Thiel, Evan Williams, Richard Branson, Chris Sacca, Sam Lessin, and Dave Morin - has raised $40 million to purchase a mountain."  The article goes on the state that "One of our sources said the Summit Series, which is based in Malibu, purchased Powder Mountain Resort in Utah." Betabeat quotes Forbes as referring to Summit Series as "The Hipper Davos." 

The Ogden Valley, which sits below Powder Mountain and Snowbasin, has been filled with a few facts and many rumors about development at the two resorts since Snowbasin hosted the Olympic alpine speed events in 2002.  Significant development at either resort would have far-reaching implications for the Ogden Valley, Ogden, and the Utah Ski/Resort industry as a whole.  There were great expectations for development of a village/hotel/residential units at Snowbasin following the Olympics, but ground was never broken.  Powder Mountain was sold in the middle of the decade and an overly ambitious master plan and subsequent creation of a new town to circumvent the local planning commision's reservations resulted in a Hatfield and McCoy's type feud that lasted for a number of years.  The new owners never followed through with any of their plans and it now looks as if there will be new ownership once again.

Meanwhile, after years of nothing but rumors, Snowbasin published a detailed, 50 page master plan a couple of years ago, and moved to secure the necessary permits to start construction in Weber and Morgan counties, where the proposed development will occur.  They hosted an open house for the public in order to present the plan, and it appeared the company was ready to finally move forward.  Since then nothing related to the development has been announced and ground has not been broken.

So...just when it looked like Snowbasin's methodical and highly professional approach would trump the chaotic past expansion developments at Powder Mountain - we now have what appears to be viable information that Powder Mountian might beat Snowbasin to the punch after all. 

Utah Home Sales Up
According to Housing Predictor Utah's home sales are up significantly, while prices overall in the state continue to drop.  As home sales approach their highest point in years, a tight mortgage market, numerous foreclosure and bank short sales, low consumer confidence, and still significant unemployment are keeping prices on the decline. 
    
News Flash!!   www.utahskicountryhomesland4sale.com has partnered with Ski Utah and is now linked to the home page of the Ski Utah websiteThe website provides a comprehensive listing of Utah ski resort properties for sale, along with a wealth of information on owning or building in an alpine/mountain environment, google maps, resort information, etc.  The go-to site for researching and locating Utah ski property, UtahSkiCountryHomesLand4Sale will now be available through a click to Ski Utah's 150,000 monthly visitors.  And property seller's will for the first time have a way to advertise their property to these 150,000 visitors.

Ski Magazine Rankings
Ski Magazine http://www.skinet.com/ski/galleries/2010-2011-resort-rankings ranked Deer Valley as the continent's #1 ski resort for an unprecedented fifth straight year, Park City #5, and a number of Utah's other ski areas in the top thirty-five.  No other resort had ever won the prestigious top spot more than three years in a row.

The Canyons was awarded the #18 ranking, Snowbird #19, Snowbasin #27, Alta #28, Brighton #29, and Solitude #30.  Snowbasin was ranked #2 for food, and Alta was #1 for powder/snow quality, followed closely by Brighton, Snowbird, and Powder Mountain.  Park City was also awarded the #1 ranking for family vacations.

The following are changes and upgrades at Utah's resorts for the 2011/2012 season.

ALTA SKI AREA
Starting this season skiers can skip the ticket window and head straight to the powder at Alta using the resort's new Smartphone application, which will allow skiers to reload their Alta Card for skiing directly through their phone.  The popular Corkscrew run, which brings skiers to the base of the mountain, is also being modified to ease the pitch and fulfill the promise of a blue run from top to bottom.
The resort is also proceeding with planning for stage one of a two-pronged base upgrade. Alta is working with architects and environmental consultants to design a LEED certified building, which will include a ticket office, ski shop and other skier services. Construction on the project may occur as early as summer 2012.
Alta's surrounding community has launched a new nonprofit, The Alta Chamber and Visitors Bureau, which aims to attract new visitors through focused marketing and a new website: http://www.discoveralta.com/.

BEAVER MOUNTAIN Family friendly Beaver Mountain in Logan, Utah has added a new Little Beaver lift for the 2011-12 season. The new lift is a triple chair, 400 feet longer than the previous lift providing access to additional beginner terrain with increased capacity.

BRIAN HEAD Brian Head Resort, in Southern Utah, is adding the new Chair 9 Deli & Pub and real-time snow alert texting options. The resort is also launching a new website and expanding its demo and high-performance rental packages. Additionally, a new United Express nonstop flight between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the new St. George Airport (SGU), only a 90-minute drive to Brian Head, provides easier access to the resort.

BRIGHTON RESORT Brighton is investing $500,000 in snowmaking upgrades and $20,000 in terrain park features for the 2011-12 season. Additionally, the resort will add new high-end equipment to their demo center.

CANYONS RESORT Canyons will open the 2011-12 season with the first phase of their resort re-creation totally complete. Myriad additions to the resort appeared throughout last season including two new chairlifts; including the Orange Bubble chair with heated seats, more than 300 acres of new terrain, a completely remodeled ski-beach base area and a number of new restaurants and services. Additionally this season, Canyons will offer heli-skiing from the resort in conjunction with Wasatch Powderbird Guides.

DEER VALLEY Deer Valley is redesigning the beginning/learning area on Wide West ski run and installing additional Sunkid conveyor lifts. The resort is also opening a new children's clothing retail outlet in the Snow Park Lodge. Forty-one energy efficient air-water snowmaking guns will also be purchased for the 2011-12 winter season.

EAGLE POINT Eagle Point is sprucing up for their second season with 200 additional skiable acres. The terrain will add incredible tree skiing and steeps to the resort. Additionally, the resort has added new amenities to the Canyonside Lodge with an outdoor hot tub garden and spa services.

PARK CITY MOUNTAIN RESORT Beginners of all ages will enjoy a new dedicated learning zone featuring two new conveyor lifts. New Snowmamas (real moms from around the country) will be chosen this fall to share and assist with the ins and outs of creating unforgettable winter family vacations. A new zip line will also run through both the winter and summer seasons. Park City will also see improvements to its terrain park experience, overhauling 3 Kings lift, which will double skier and rider-carrying capacity. Dirt work conducted over the summer will enable the resort to open the 22-foot Eagle Superpipe even earlier in the season as well.  Finally, a functional wind turbine, solar panels and an interactive kiosk devoted to educating visitors on the resort's commitment to exploring renewable energy sources will be located at the top of Silverlode lift.

POWDER MOUNTAIN With over 7,000 skiable acres, visitors to Powder Mountain are offered several ways to transport themselves to the resort's many peaks. As the use of snowcats continues to grow in popularity, Powder Mountain will expand their single-ride snowcat terrain by 50 percent with the addition of 350 skiable acres and an additional snowcat. The resort's trail crew has also gladed additional terrain, adding new tree skiing to Powder Country, Backcountry "DMI" Tour areas as well as the Snowcat Powder Safari Zones.

SNOWBASIN Snowbasin is warming up their season with a new outdoor gas fireplace on Earl's Patio. Slope modifications on School Hill will increase the efficiency of building the Resort's 22-foot Dew Tour regulation halfpipe. The resort will host the winter Dew Tour once again February 9-12, 2012. Two new additional snowcats will be added to Snowbasin's already extensive grooming equipment. The resort will also add seventeen light posts to Earl's Base Area and the upper parking lot.

SNOWBIRD The completion of The Cliff Spa and Aerie Restaurant will mark a complete remodel of Snowbird's flagship hotel, The Cliff Lodge. The Aerie Restaurant will also feature a new chef and manager.
The resort's mountain school is introducing three new programs: Expedition Team for youth ages 10-15 who are expert skiers/boarders, with sidecountry camps and backcountry skills training, and an Adult Adventure program for parents of Adventure Team kids. The School is also implementing the Flaik system and equipment so children and parents can track the terrain and vertical feet they cover.
Snowbird also recently unveiled version 2.0 of its free iPhone app, featuring snow reports, live mountain cams, road conditions, and even allows users to brag about how many days of skiing they've logged at Snowbird throughout the season.

SOLITUDE Solitude Mountain Resort recently unveiled free Wi-Fi throughout all of Solitude Village. The resort aims to keep families and friends connected through the use of popular social media and Smartphone tools.  The Thirsty Squirrel will be expanded for this season as well. This expansion will give visitors the elbow space needed for more animated story-telling, high fives and backslaps. The bar will feature live music throughout the season as well.

SUNDANCE Sundance Resort is expanding its terrain park for the 2011-12 winter season. This move is primarily focused on putting the terrain park in a location that would allow it to remain open during night skiing operations. The resort will not only move the terrain park but will expand its size and number of features. Additional lights will be added to enhance the night riding experience in the park. Sundance is also expanding its pass options this winter to include both a 5-punch and 10-punch pass in addition to the All Seasons Pass.

WOLF MOUNTAIN Utah's best kept family skiing and boarding secret, Wolf Mountain, has once again made improvements to the resort. The 2,700 foot long Wolfdeedo lift cable was replaced this summer to provide even better uphill transportation to its guests. Wolf Mountain has also improved a handful of the ski runs, added additional snowmaking machines and improved some of the physical features of the lodge. New daily ticket pricing options will also be added this year to accommodate