Article based on original reporting done by KPCW
As construction begins and trails are being cut at Mayflower Mountain Resort, Utah’s newest billion-dollar ski resort, negotiations are going on behind the scenes to partner with neighboring Deer Valley Resort. An agreement has yet to be made, but administrators say the two resorts could strike a deal soon.
To achieve the goal of a soft opening in 2024, the operators of Mayflower need to partner with a lift operator, with Deer Valley the primary option.
“We’re making great inroads. We have great communication going with Extell and Mayflower, and the Mayflower project is something that we’re very interested in — only if it’s additive to Deer Valley.”
– Mark Brownlie, Deer Valley interim Chief Operating Officer and COO of parent company Alterra
If guests could move between the resorts, would that mean that snowboarders would finally be allowed at Deer Valley? Unlikely, Brownlie confirmed.
“We’re very committed to Deer Valley being a skiing resort, and we think it’s part of the brand. And that’s what we hear from our people.”
– Mark Brownlie
Extell, the real estate firm behind Mayflower, is under no illusion that if the companies partner to run the ski lifts, Deer Valley will call the shots.
“You know, if we do something with Deer Valley, they are going to run it, they are going to be in control of all things skiing. We’re not going to tell them what to do.”
– Gary Barnett, Extell Development Company founder and chairman
The Wasatch County Council heard an update at their meeting last week on the proposed work for the new Mayflower Mountain Resort (MMR).
Although skiing is not targeted to open until late 2024, the New York-based real estate firm Extell Development Company (EDC) is moving ahead with construction on some of the trails; 14 skiing and 11 hiking and biking trails, to be exact. These trails only mark the beginning of the process. There’s estimated to have close to 1,000 skiable acres with 15 lifts and one gondola when it is finally completed.
According to the VP of Development for Extell-Utah, Brooke Hontz, many of the trails are still in the planning stages and are yet to be cleared. This newest trail construction (or maybe deconstruction is more appropriate?) will traverse the Dutch Hollow and Bonanza areas. According to the original development agreement, all of these trails will be for public use. Speaking more about these trails and their intended uses, Ms. Hontz reports in a recent article by KPCW,
“I’m hoping that it’s a benefit. Now, we’re putting a connected trail through private property, which you weren’t supposed to be on before, that were allowing public, free access to, to get through not only the thousands of acres of trails that we’re going to have trails on- the 50 miles minimum of trails – but you can cross through this property and actually enjoy it.”
MMR’s master plan includes not simply a ski resort with summer trails but a massive new state-of-the-art base village with even potential for a later connection with Deer Valley Resort, at least according to the possibility under the 199-year agreement between EDC and Deer Valley Resort owner/operator, Alterra Mountain Company.
At MMR, Extell is working alongside the Military Installation Development Authority (an agency created to develop military land in Utah) to build a luxury 5-star property and three hotels. At least 100 of the rooms will be discounted to military personnel as a way of giving back to veterans and honoring the military and their service. The base village will also include a ski school and a 70,000-sq—ft—multi-level convention center with a ski beach. Kurt Krieg, Extell-Utah Vice President for Development, anticipates a late 2025 opening for retail businesses.
Krieg believes this will be a one-of-a-kind resort. Speaking with a KPCW News reporter, he says, “This is designed to be a pedestrian-based village where you come from and park your car. You have everything within walking distance.”
“So your activity during the day will be focused on the ski beach. So you know, your outdoor dining, watching the skiers come down and really partaking. And then during the afternoon, it really shifts after après and goes to the village core, where you have fire pits and your retail and your outside seating, or outdoor dining for the restaurants.”
After first breaking ground in 2021, it looks like the new MMR is genuinely starting to take shape with the first trails being cut. With several of those runs North-facing and slotted expert terrain and a majority of the resort planned for intermediate and expert terrain, this may be the start of something special. We’ll be sure to follow along as this story unfolds.