listen to the full NPR story
The headline of this article seems like exaggeration, but it isn’t. 50 young entrepreneurs closed a $40 million deal to purchase 10,000-acre Powder Mountain in April, 2013.
Their plan is to build a village around the old ski resort consisting of 500 homes, a retail village, and ‘rotating residences for artists.”
Who are these 50 young entrepreneurs?
“Count plenty of cool kids among the mountain’s 50 investors: PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Olympic-level snowboarder Danny Davis, the founders of Wiredmagazine and pop music hit maker Dr. Luke, responsible for songs like “Since U Been Gone” and “I Kissed A Girl,” each pitched in anywhere between $500,000 and $2 million to invest in the mountain purchase. In return, they can opt to build a mountain home.” – Elise Hu/NPR
Powder Mountain’s history is a bit of mystery for most of us.
“For decades, Powder Mountain was owned by sheep farmers who barely put up ski lifts on the mountain, much less a resort. Skiers and snowboards do enjoy Powder Mountain, but it’s been a well-kept backcountry secret that’s not as easy to get to as other Utah attractions. You can only get to Powder Mountain by winding through two-lane roads and canyons. No fancy amenities are available. On peak days, the number of people who ski Powder Mountain don’t even make up a tenth of the skiers who take to Telluride. Locals like it that way.” – Elise Hu/NPR
This owner’s group is called Summit:
“Summit is a company that until now has specialized in putting on invitation-only-event experiences, gathering boldfaced names from across various fields. It started as a way for young tech founders to get together and share ideas, but it’s grown to include leaders in business, entertainment and philanthropy.” – Elise Hu/NPR
This plan to develop Powder Mountain is expansive and ambitious. The town of Eden, Utah and Powder Mountain have struggled to attract skiers and vacationers. It will be interesting to watch and see if this gamble pays off. Buying an entire mountain in Northern Utah is no small risk in today’s market.
Read the full NPR Powder Mountain Story here: “Why Buy a House When You Can Buy a Mountain”
QUICK POWDER MOUNTAIN HISTORY:
- Powder Mountain opened with Sundown Lift.
- Ski School began.
- Main Lodge opened.
- Sundown Lodge opened.
- Timberline lift opened.
- Hidden Lake Lift added.
- Shuttle service for employees and for Powder Country started.
- Powder was the first Utah resort to allow snowboarding.
- Hidden Lake Day Lodge opened.
- Sunrise Lift opened.
- Paradise Lift, a quad, opened up an additional 1300 acres (5.3 km²) of lift accessed terrain.
- Cat skiing moved to Lightning Ridge accessing an additional 700 acres (2.8 km²).
- Powder Mountain became the resort with the most skiable terrain in America.
- Hidden Lake lift replaced with a high speed lift.
- In 2012, Summit announced its plans to purchase Powder Mountain with the goal of preserving the throwback character of Powder Mountain while creating a permanent home for the Summit community.