Just because the dust has finally begun to settle in the PCMR vs Vail dispute, don’t think for a minute that other things in the state of Utah have also settled down.


Questions still abound on numerous fronts:  

*What does the future hold for a combined Park City and Canyons  Resort? 

*Have the snowboarders made any headway in their lawsuit against  Alta? 

*Does new ownership at Snowbird mean any significant changes are  afoot? 

*What are the details and timeline for Deer Valley’s aggressive  expansion plans? 

*What is the status of the “One Wasatch” proposal to join all  the ski areas?


PC Epic

The big news of immediate importance is that Park City is now part of the Epic family, which is arguably one of the best deals in all of Skidom.  The Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass will be valid at PCMR. All PCMR passes for the 2014-2015 ski season will continue to be honored and can be exchanged or upgraded for a season pass that will also be valid at Canyons. The majority of all lift tickets sold at either resort will be valid at both PCMR and Canyons.  The Epic Pass is also good at numerous other big name resorts in Colorado and California.  

Vail Resorts agreed to keep all PCMR employees and announced plans to hopefully join the two resorts with a new lift by the 2015/16 season, thus creating the largest ski area by acreage in the US and the second largest in N. America behind Whistler Blackcomb. The company will be making further comments on PCMR and future plans in its investor conference call on September 24.  We’ll post an update here when we hear any pertinent details.                                                     

(FWIW Powder Mountain, just up the road from Park City, also claims @7000+ acres of terrain, but lift access is somewhat limited)


Snowboarders-File-Lawsuit-Against-Alta-Ski-ResortOther than Mad River Glen in Vermont, the only other resort in the nation besides Alta that still bans snowboarders is its neighbor Deer Valley, which lies on private land.  Alta lies on Forest Service land, and there in lies the rub.  In their lawsuit snowboarders are claiming that this land is public and should be accessible to all.  So far, the judge hasn’t really seen it this way.

Ski-Snowboard duelAlta cites some rather nefarious reasons of “safety and terrain” issues for its refusal of snowboarders and states the exclusion is central to their business plan, as it attracts a particular clientele.

Whatever.  At this point in time it continues to more or less languish in the morass of the US court system, which probably works in Alta’s favor.

Well, I guess it’s not languishing after all, this just in:

9/24/14 Judge tosses lawsuit over Alta’s snowboarding ban


Dick Bass

Dick Bass

While the Cummings and POWDR may have totally bungled and lost Park City Resort, they have recently gained Snowbird, a greater prize in many purist’s eyes. Snowbird founder Dick Bass (84) sold it to the Cummings family for an undisclosed amount, but he remains on the board of directors. 

The only public claim is the generic “This partnership will enable Snowbird to achieve more rapid growth and even greater benefits for our guests” and to be more specific, “the management team will remain intact and the company is proceeding with plans to break ground in July on the two-year Hidden Peak project, to build more biking trails on the mountain, and to renovate the Snowbird Center and Cliff Lodge.” Nothing too exciting here, maybe just POWDR licking its wounds for now…


Deer Valley may be feeling some pressure from its new mega-neighbor “New Park Canyons City” and the response is booyah!!!  


With no worrisome forest service permits to fret about, it’s embarking on an agressive 1000 acre expansion program. The new terrain will include 5-6 new ski lifts and give Deer Valley more than 3,000 total acres of skiable terrain. 

As shown on the map, the newly added terrain will be located east of the ski resort just below the Sultan Express & Mayflower Lifts.  It’s hoped this new area will drive more skiers to access Deer Valley from the highway 40 side of Park City, thus easing traffic congestion in down town Park City.  Another appeal is that you could drive from the Salt Lake City International airport without hitting one stop light, and be skiing within 30 minutes.

The project could take a total of 5 years to complete and is expected to start in 2017.

And the news just keeps on coming: 

(10/3/14)  Deer Valley Purchases Solitude Mountain Resort


1 Wasatch

It may be only a small step forward in a project that is likely many years away from coming to fruition, but last week the marketing firm Ski Utah released a new conceptual map (above) showing possible lift locations (4) for One Wasatch“. This plan would combine seven (now six with the joining of PCMR and Canyons) Wasatch ski resorts into one Euro style mega resort of over 18,000 acres, 100+ lifts, and 750 runs.  It may be tricky to combine resorts of very differing sizes and amenities under one pass, but they claim to have the technology to do just that.

7 resorts

Joining the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons may be the easier part, since Alta/Snowbird and Brighton/Solitude have had mutual connections for some time now.  OTOH, Deer Valley has always prided itself by offering an exclusive level product, and Vail Resorts is already such a big fish it may not really see the need. But One Wasatch claims executives from all seven resorts are onboard with the project.

As you might expect, various environmental groups such as Save Our Canyons, the Sierra Club, and backcountry enthusiasts have aligned against the project.


So there you have it.  Interesting times ahead for sure in the Beehive State.  In the meantime, let’s forget about it all and just go shred some of that world famous Utah pow!