The Summit Group is moving forward rapidly with their unique development concept for Powder Mountain, and this endeavor could be the impetus for, and the beginning of, the long anticipated arrival of the Ogden Valley as one of the elite ski and four-seasons resort destinations in the US. When this pristine valley, with three ski resorts, limitless recreational opportunities, stunning vistas, and 50 minute access to an international airport, finally is mentioned in the same league as Park City, the Vail Valley and Aspen – real estate prices will undoubtedly take off. Three scenarios may well be about to intertwine to make this rise in values a reality.
A second meeting with the local community was recently held by the Summit Group, at which time they revealed their Master Plan for Powder Mountain(Powder Mountain PRUD) and much more detail related to their proposed development than in their earlier, previous presentation. There was more emphasis and discussion on home sites, condos and lodging that will be available for purchase to the public than in the first meeting, when they emphasized the village that would be exclusive to Summit members. Some eyebrows were raised and a few pointed questions generated after the group’s managing partner, Greg Mauro, mentioned an eventual, self-imposed limit of 1400 units and limited access to some hiking trails which have been used for years by locals (even though they have long been on private property). However, the consensus of those present appeared to still be positive, albeit with a wait-and-see attitude. If the Summit’s young entrepreneurs can pull off their significant, but low-key plans, which they consistently state will always show a reverence for the history and traditions of Powder Mountain, as well as the environmental and community impact of each aspect of the development – most locals seem to agree that the Valley and its residents will only benefit.
Russ Watts, the builder for the Summit Group’s Powder Mountain development, gave a thorough presentation of what the various aspects of the project will entail, and his presentation was also well-received.
As the Summit Group waits for the final board and commission approvals for the initial stages of the development, which could come within the next month, the real estate market in the Ogden Valley continues to show significant signs of recovery. This is the second piece of the puzzle. The majority of bank-owned properties and short sales, which dominated the market and kept prices low over the past four years, have largely disappeared. Prices have begun to rise, more properties are being sold, and there are many more folks looking…more potential buyers. There has been a great deal of recent, positive, national press about the Ogden area and the Ogden Valley, and it is being felt in both an increase in skier days at the Valley’s three ski resorts (Snowbasin; Powder Mountain; Wolf Mountain) and the upswing in the real estate market. The recent national jobs report showed a large increase in construction jobs and home prices are climbing significantly across the country and in Utah. A strong real estate recovery in the Ogden Valley should continue.
The third factor, and what would surely be a major force for the development of the Ogden Valley and a spike in real estate prices, is the date Snowbasin finally breaks ground on its base village, lodging and property ownership options. Snowbasin, the site of the 2002 Olympic downhills, super-gs and combined alpine events, with its huge and diverse mountain, stunning lodges and world-class lift system and infrastructure – is still the gorilla-in-the-room related to the evolution of the Ogden Valley into an elite level resort destination. According to reliable sources, their master plan, released to the public over two years ago, is in the final stages of the necessary approvals from Weber and Morgan counties.
Snowbasin hired a new general manager for the 2012/2013 season and beyond, and he is an extremely knowledgeable industry veteran who oversaw the development of the base village at Northstar, a Lake Tahoe area resort. The Holding family, who owns Snowbasin and Sun Valley, are notoriously tight-lipped, but speculation is rampant that the long-anticipated base development at the resort is just around the corner. When it does happen, it will be huge news in the ski and snowboard industry, and could set off a land rush of sorts in the Ogden Valley.