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2019-09-10 10:05:21
Park City's New Billion-Dollar Ski Resort

There’s a new ski resort coming to the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Or maybe, just maybe, Deer Valley is about to get a lot bigger.

It’s too soon to tell but what is known is that The Mayflower Mountain Resort has been announced, a 5,600 acre resort with somewhere between 400 and 900 skiable acres. The new slopes would be located on the backside of Deer Valley Resort, next to the gated Deer Crest subdivision. They would face the expansive Jordanelle Reservoir that lies outside of Deer Valley, with a hefty luxury commercial base area along U.S. 40.

Yes, it’s being touted as a new ski resort, but of scale and size that has not been seen in the United States since Beaver Creek opened in Colorado in 1980.

At this point, Mayflower’s developer, Extell Development Company, best known for Manhattan trophy real estate, is planning a development that includes three hotels, with at least one them of five star caliber, for a total of around 800 rooms. One hundred of those hotel rooms will offer reduced rates to military personnel, since the projected is being developed with the assistance of Utah’s Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA). The incentive for Extell for working with MIDA is that they’ll receive a portion of the property tax generated from development in exchange for those reduced fees for the military.

Then there’s the residential real estate: initially 55 condos, as well as townhomes, and single-family homes. In time, the resort could expand to more than 1,500 residential units.

There will also be a convention center and what Extell is calling the world’s largest ski beach. There are plans for a 68,000-square foot public recreation center, with a bevy of bars, restaurants and retails stores encompassing some 250,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. There will also be 95,000 square feet of housing dedicated to Mayflower workers. 

On the slopes, the ski resort is planning to construct five to seven new lifts to serve the area. The recreational possibilities that are being floated include Nordic skiing, an Alpine Coaster and an ice skating rink.

One thing that is known: this is a tremendous state for skiing, with a history of big winter storms that can leave a lot of powder. Park City is already a major Utah ski center, with Deer Valley, Park City and the former Canyons Resort all within a couple of miles of each other. A bit further to the south is Sundance Resort. Salt Lake City International Airport, which itself is undergoing massive redevelopment, is about a 40 minute drive to the West.

In short, there are already a lot of people who come here to ski, and the developers are betting that many more will come for a chance to ski at a brand new resort next to Deer Valley, which has long set the gold standard of the sport in Utah.

Then there are those who see this mega development as part of Utah’s bid for another Winter Olympics in 2030 or 2034. The state has already expressed strong interest in hosting the games again after the very successful 2002 Winter Olympics.

While the Mayflower has been announced as a new resort, a new deal means that they could eventually connect to Deer Valley. Extell  and Deer Valley’s owner, Alterra Mountain Company, signed a 199-year lease this month which would enable a connection between the two resorts in the future. There are plenty of rumors afoot that in time, Mayflower could operate as a satellite base area for Deer Valley Given how rampant consolidation is in the industry that could make a lot of financial sense. In the meantime, Mayflower is projected to open in time for the 2021-22 ski season.

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