Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Utah Ski News Keeps Coming From Ogden Valley and Park City

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THE NEWS

Expansion and development at the ski resorts in the Ogden Valley and the controversy surrounding Park City Ski Resort continues to unfold and create headlines for Utah's ski industry. 

Ogden Valley

Nordic Valley, formerly Wolf Mountain (after it was Nordic Valley for years) has announced that Denzel  Rowland, formerly the general manager at Snowbasin, has accepted the position of general manager at Nordic Valley.

In an article written by Cathy McKirtrick that appeared recently in the Ogden, Utah, Standard Examiner, Josh Richards, identified as "the mountain's new owner," states that "the runt of Ogden Valley's ski pack is about to become a real head-turner."  McKirtrick quotes Richards as saying, "they'll be cutting new ski trails on Nordic Valley's higher southern slopes that skiers will be able to access this upcoming ski season via snowcat.  For a small additional charge they can take a vehicle and ski some of the best terrain in all Utah.  It will change their opinion about this place forever."

There were other interesting observations conveyed by Richards in the article.  "By opening terrain where winter sets in earlier and lingers longer, Nordic Valley can turn its current lower-altitude weakness  into a strength.  At the end of March, half the family can mountain bike on one side while the other skies on the other."

"We went to France and looked at villages that have been around for 500+ years.  We're trying to combine what has worked for centuries with the style of our valley."

McKirtrick also quotes Roger Steed, Nordic Valley's chief marketing officer.  "Our long-term vision is to use the mountain for a lot more things." He related to McKirtrick that Eden Park Real Estate will start construction next spring on a 54-unit condominium project at Nordic Valley, and that half-a-dozen of these one-to-three bedroom ski-in-ski-out units have already been spoken for. McKirtrick reports that Steed went on to say that the Pine Canyon building will represent the first of what he described as a "very nice, boutique resort."

Richards and Steed intend to have zip lines and a single-rail mountain coaster at the resort by 2017, according to McKirtrick, and she quotes Richards on the single-rail system.  "We would be the first in the U.S."

Nordic Valley will host the Ogden Valley Balloon Festival August 15-17.

On the other side of Ogden Valley, Powder Mountain, now owned by the Summit Group, continues to make news.  At the Tuesday, July 22 meeting of the Cache County Council, Russ Watts, the Summit Group's development team head, urged Cache County to amend its current agreement with Weber County to include 12 36'x36' "nest pads" instead of the five that the Council had earlier agreed to.  Parts of the Powder Mountain Resort are in both Weber and Cache counties.

It has been reported that in a meeting of the Weber County Commission, as the commissioners reviewed the master plan submitted by Powder Mountain, one of the commissioners noted that the master plan was in fact the same master plan that had been approved for Snowbasin.  Apparently, Powder Mountain attempted to use a template of Snowbasin's plan...while neglecting to change the specifics, names, places, etc., to reflect their resort.

Park City

The judge presiding over the PCMR-Talisker/Vail Resorts legal battle signed an order on June 19th that clears the way for Park City Mountain Resort to be evicted from the mountain.  But he granted a reprieve from the eviction until at least August 27, when the court will make a decision related to continuing the reprieve.  The judge also ordered the parties to mediation in the interim.

This blog has reported in a number of earlier posts on the PCMR/Talisker battle.

For the residents of the Park City area, as well as the larger skier and boarder communities, the tension is ratcheting up as a final resolution may be near.  Does Vail Resorts take over the operation of the mountain?  Without access to the lower mountain and with the base lifts removed (as PCMR's owners have threatened)?.  Stay tuned!