Coming soon: America's first new ski resort in 40 years
Mega-developer Extell is building the country's first new ski resort since the 1980s.
Why it matters: It's not located way up north or at the top of some giant peak. It's at relatively low elevation — in water-parched, fire-imperiled Park City, Utah.
What's happening: An affiliate, Extell Utah, is investing at least $2 billion to build Mayflower Mountain Resort, adjacent to Deer Valley Resort.
- It'll feature about 15 lifts and a gondola for about 115 trails.
- The resort is planning a soft launch in the 2024-25 season, with a grand opening slated for the following season.
Details: Extell plans to retain ownership of the resort but to lease the property or its operation to a third party — almost certainly Alterra Mountain Company, which owns neighboring Deer Valley Resort.
- "Extell is working in good faith with Alterra in hopes to have a mutually beneficial ski operations deal, which would include leasing the land to the operator," Kurt Krieg, executive vice president of resort development at Extell Development Company, writes in an email.
The intrigue: The resort's base is 6,500 feet — not the lowest elevation, but modest in the Intermountain West, in the context of warming temperatures from climate change.
- An EPA-funded study in 2017 concluded that elevation is a critical factor for resorts' climate resilience.
What they're saying: "Yes, these are hurdles. But just this year, everyone was saying, 'We're never going to see snow again.' We just had more snow in the last two weeks than we had in all of January," Krieg says.
- He adds that the resort's orientation brings "colder temperatures than other areas," enabling further snow-making.