Sunday, October 18, 2015

Utah's Ski Country - More Big News This Season?

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.

Search for Utah Mountain and Ski Resort Real Estate 

THE NEWS After the mega-deals and huge news from Utah's ski industry and resorts over the past couple of years, will this ski season bring even more consolidation, acquisitions and development?


Excellent question.  In Big Cottonwood Canyon Brighton would seem to still be in play as an acquisition target, but most of the conjecture is likely to be focused on the Ogden Valley and its three resorts - Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley (formerly Wolf Mountain after it was Nordic Valley for decades).  With Vail's acquisition of The Canyons and Park City, Deer Valley's purchase of Solitude, and the sale of Snowbird - the resorts just east of Salt Lake should make less news this season than over the past two.

The interest and intrigue surrounding Powder Mountain has to do with development rather than acquisition.  Since Summit Powder Mountain purchased the resort, development of infrastructure, a base village and homesites has either begun, been promised, or rumored.  Along the way, a controversial bond issue and struggles over water rights and use have both impacted and clouded the picture.  The planned development that has been made public is extensive, and when/if completed, should have a major impact on the local real estate market, both at Powder Mountain and in the Ogden Valley.  Stay tuned.

Nordic Valley was purchased out of bankruptcy a few years ago, and there were big plans released for its expansion and development.  Perhaps plans that were too big.  Nordic is now rumored to be for sale again.

And then there is Snowbasin, the proverbial 1,000 lb. gorilla in the room.  Host to the downhill, super-g and combined events in the 2002 Olympics, the resort has some of the most spectacular and diverse ski terrain anywhere, a fast, efficient lift system featuring two gondolas, elegant lodges with spectacular food...and very few lift lines.  All Snowbasin needs is the long-anticipated base village with lodging to catapult into the elite of US ski and four-season resorts.

There have always been plenty of rumors, even a highly detailed master plan and subsequent county approvals.  But no shovel in the ground, and no definitive, reliable start date to bank on.  When and if the development does happen...there is little doubt real estate activity and prices in the Ogden Valley will be significantly impacted.

Property prices continue to inch up in the Ogden Valley, but at around $150.00 pre sq. ft., the values are still exceptional.  There is a great deal of new residential construction underway, and with or without Snowbasin's development, it's just a matter of time before prices escalate significantly.