Ogden Valley Ski Resort Development Update
Dec 21, 2023
Jan 26, 2024
Ogden Valley Ski Resort News
Ogden Valley continues to grow as a ski town in Utah, attracting patrons locally and from all over the country. Growth often comes with challenges, and we’ve seen our fair share of growing pains. From public outcry regarding overdevelopment, searching for a viable path toward incorporation, and new ownership of Powder Mountain, 2023 has been a year of change. Here is an update on the three major ski resorts in Ogden Valley — Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Nordic Valley, and their impact on our community:
After Snowbasin pulled out of the Club Med deal, the resort’s been a little quiet but has continued to make on-mountain improvements. This season they launched a brand new lift, DeMoisy Express. This will be a wonderful addition for the ski community and take some of the pressure off of the Strawberry Gondola, which usually experiences crazy lines when that part of the mountain opens. Additionally, they’ve expanded parking and increased bus routes to the mountain as well.
Just like pretty much everything else in the current economy, there has been a price increase on lift tickets. Snowbasin continues to offer unlimited season passes and the resort is included on the IKON Pass — a ski and snowboard pass with access to some of the most iconic mountains. Already known for their excellent bathrooms (seriously!), this season visitors can enjoy new bathrooms where the old ticket window used to be. The ski team has also been moved from the Old Day Lodge to a yurt.
Regarding Snowbasin’s future development, the comprehensive plan has been approved by both Weber and Morgan counties and they’ve hired a development partner, East West Partners. However, anything beyond the Snowbasin development plans released a few years ago is yet to be seen.
The exciting announcement that Salt Lake City has been invited to host the 2034 Winter Olympics will likely motivate the Holding family, the resort’s owners, to initiate construction on their recently released Base Area plan. There is still a need for infrastructure improvements, but watch for that to be the first step. The Holding family’s high net-worth would enable quick action once they decide to start construction. While we aren’t sure when exactly something will happen at Snowbasin ski resort, the resort has acquired all the land needed and moved several development units up to the mountain years ago.
When Snowbasin decides to move forward with their comprehensive plan, it will have a massive impact on the communities of Ogden Valley and Mountain Green.
It was big news around Ogden Valley when Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix, stepped in as principal owner of Powder Mountain Ski Resort this year. There’s been a lot of speculation on what is going to happen, and now he has announced several major changes that would seem to be a good balance between the ultimate skier experience Pow Mow has to offer, and becoming a financially viable mountain.
By next year, both Mary’s and Village Lifts on the eastern flank of the resort (highlighted in yellow on the trail map), which support the new development access, will become private. Additionally, a new private lift, Raintree, will be built for future real estate homeowners to access black diamond runs in Cobabe Canyon.
The resort isn’t just taking away lifts though, as plans were announced to have three new public chairlifts installed. One will run up Lightning Ridge (highlighted in green on the trail map), which was previously only reachable via snowcat service or a 15 minute hike, and has some of the steepest terrain on the mountain. The other two will replace Timberline and Paradise lifts—some of the oldest in the state, eliminating the fears held for years that they would be in the next viral video of ski lifts gone bad. Overall, the public part of the mountain will gain 280 additional lift-served acres.
The newly unveiled "Relay" art installation, a sun tunnel magic carpet at the Sundown Lift, replaced the old Tiger tow rope. It acts as a multi-colored sundial and will surely inspire groms as they begin to explore the mountain.
Other changes include updated bathrooms and the resort’s announcement that they’re embracing man-made snow this season. This is an important improvement for early season operations, as there have been years that the mountain couldn’t open until early January.
Real estate prices at Powder Mountain were set at roughly $950 – $1K per square foot when the Summit Group first developed the mountain. That value remains flat even with the massive increase of demand Covid had on ski towns and Ogden Valley. It could be argued that those prices were high to begin with, especially considering the amenity package that was offered on the mountain. Properties were sold based on what future improvements were coming, and most have not come to fruition, but the epic skiing has remained the most important amenity. Currently, Powder Mountain real estate sales are paused as the new plan develops. Expect to see an updated amenity offering for owners and likely a better public experience, if Lightning Ridge is an indicator of the direction the mountain is going.
For recent years, the mountain has been under financial duress. The commitment to not having a crowded mountain comes at a price. With the waiting list for public season passes rumored to be around 5,000, it’s obvious the demand for Powder Mountain’s epic snow and terrain is high.
With Hastings at the helm, the financial instability is gone. Look for increased amenities and this year the day pass is $229 but night skiing is a steal at $19. Becoming another crowded resort or private ski mountain are both dire outcomes for Powder Mountain and community, so for now the future looks optimistic.
Nordic Valley, Ogden Valley‘s awesome little hometown ski hill, has been making moves toward their comprehensive plan that has been approved with Weber County. Nordic Valley ski resort appears to have secured water for the project with a new well. They also acquired land located in one of the village nodes in Liberty, designed to be receiving zones for density, possibly for employee housing.
The sewer solution is not clear at this time, as sewer tends to be a pretty hot topic up here. Because the plan includes over 500 development units, it is suspected that they’ll do their own.
Nordic Valley’s development plan includes a new base area with a commercial node, and high-density condos and townhomes that transition out to a small-lot area of single-family homes. This is a well-funded hybrid project that is progressing forward.
The Apollo lift is currently undergoing a comprehensive restoration project, and is temporarily closed. However the resort has resourcefully added two Alpina Sleds that essentially act as a snow bus, each with 15 seats in tow to pull skiers and snowboarders over to the recently added Nordic Express.
On the Express side, two new runs are debuting — the advanced run My Backyard, and the intermediate run Berserker, featuring some very fun fall lines. Additionally, 200 parking spots have been added to the resort, making it even easier to come shred at this family-friendly mountain.
If 2024 is anything like 2023 has been, Ogden Valley may start to look very different in the years ahead. With all of the excitement surrounding plans for the resorts and the Winter Olympics on the horizon, one thing is for sure, skiing will remain a focal point for the area.