Utah Ski Resort Property – Huge Variations in Price per Square Foot

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS The variation in price per square foot between properties in different Utah ski resort areas is jaw-dropping.  Some of this variation is understandable; but some seems to defy logic.

Perhaps the most valuable and enlightening price comparison between properties, whether in the Utah ski resort market or any other market, is price per square foot.  Whether trying to compare prices and values between properties in a single area or from one area to another, it is a quick and accurate gage.  In the real estate industry, “substitution” is the widely accepted principal holding that, unless there are special circumstances, a buyer will not pay more for a property than they will for a similar property.  This principal is also the basis of most residential appraisals and the comparative market analysis (CMA).

The Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics tracks price per square foot from month to month, and looking back through the numbers, there is some very intriguing information.  At the top of the price per sq. ft. ladder, a sweepstakes win for those wishing to sell and a losing ticket for those looking to buy, is the Park City/Deer/Valley area.  No surprise here.  This area gets the most exposure, does far more promotion and advertising than other areas, has 3 ski resorts and the famous, fun, restaurant and bar-loaded town of Park City and the luxurious, service-oriented Deer Valley.  Over the past couple of months median price per square foot has approached $400.00.  The Canyons, just ten miles down the road and often thought of in conjunction with the Park City/Deer Valley area, has had a median price per sq. ft. in the neighborhood of $275.00.  The Canyons and Park City Ski Resort will be joined by a chair lift for the 2015/2016 ski season.

At the low end of the spectrum for the major resort areas, and a true gift for property buyers, is the Ogden Valley.  Home of world-class ski areas Snowbasin (2002 Olympic venue for downhills, super-Gs) and Powder Mountain, the low per sq. ft. prices here are a bit of a mystery. $ 120.00 per sq. ft. is 1/3 of the property prices in the Park City/Deer Valley area and 1/2 that of The Canyons.  Granted, the Ogden Valley doesn’t have the number of top-notch restaurants and bars that are found in Park City, but it doesn’t have the traffic and congestion either.  The scenery is spectacular, with jagged peaks rising out of a lush, green valley with a recreational lake that covers much of the valley floor.  Think Switzerland. Magnificent, un-crowded skiing and riding on “the greatest snow on earth”, boating, golf, hiking, fishing, etc., etc.  There isn’t a traffic light in this idyllic valley, but it’s only a fifteen minute drive to Ogden, a city of 80,000, with a Home Depot, Costco, Walmart., and a good-time “Historic 25th Street”.  Another forty minutes and you’re in  Salt Lake or at the SLC International Airport.  And then there is the “Valley Lifestyle” – touted by the locals.

Another great value is per sq. ft. prices is the Beaver Mountain area, at around $90.00 per sq. ft.  Beaver is a small resort, reached through a spectacular Canyon out of Logan, Utah.  But it’s less than 30 minutes from Bear Lake, a large recreational lake with perhaps the most spectacular color of clear, turquoise water you’ll ever see.

Take a look at the Utah Ski Country Comparative Statistics for comparisons in price per sq. ft. (and other property statistics).  This is invaluable information for anyone thinking of buying property, and it may well cause you to expand your search. 
 

Utah Ski Industry Acquisitions, Alliances Should Affect Property Sales

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS The summer real estate sales season, traditionally the strongest sales period of each year, is about to get underway at Utah Resorts and surrounding markets. This will be the first summer season following the dramatic ski industry acquisitions and new alignments affecting the Park City/Deer Valley and Canyons resorts.  

There is much anticipation, and more than a little speculation, about what effect the new landscape of the ski industry in Utah will have on property sales.  Here’s a quick recap.

Vail bought Canyons and Park City Resort, and plans to connect the two with a lift for the 2015/2016 season.  They also plan significant additional development at and around the base village of Park City.  Folks with the Epic pass in Colorado, Utah, etc., will now have access to both Utah resorts, as well as all the Colorado, California, and European resorts on the pass.  Deer Valley purchased Solitude, and the individual entity that previously owned Park City and lost it to Vail purchased a majority ownership in Snowbird.  Deer Valley and Park City have announced they are considering a lift that would connect the resorts in the town of Park City.

So how will this flurry of acquisitions and alliances affect the real estate market in these and possibly other Utah ski areas?  Excellent question.  And, again, the subject of much speculation.  Epic Pass season ticket holders outside of Utah through Vail Resorts will have access to Park City and The Canyons, and Epic Pass holders in Utah will have access to the numerous resorts that are a part of the Epic Pass.  This will undoubtedly be an incentive for property ownership in the Park City/Deer Valley and Canyons area, and result in a population (or at least property ownership) increase.  On the other hand, some long-time residents of the Park City area might want to escape the increased crowds and traffic and move on to a more serene, hassle-free environment.  Perhaps the Ogden Valley?  With superb, un-crowded skiing at Snowbasin and Powder Mountain, stunning scenery, little traffic and low prices (price per sq. ft. 50% of what it is in much of the Park City area) – the Ogden Valley might indeed attract some to the great deals on quality properties and the “Valley Lifestyle.”

The Canyons acquisition of Solitude could have an impact on property sales in Little Cottonwood Canyon and the Salt Lake City bench, depending on changes at the resort.

Real estate sales and prices are already robust in the Park City/Deer Valley and Canyons areas heading into the summer selling season.  It could turn out to be a very good summer for sellers and buyers with all the new, additional amenities that Utah’s resorts now have to offer.

Utah Ski Resorts Real Estate Strong with Escalating Numbers

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS Activity continues to be strong related to real estate units sold, median sales price, price per square foot, and average days on the market, in a number of Utah ski resorts and surrounding areas.

The Deer Valley and Park City area leads the Utah ski property markets with some eye-popping numbers. Median days on the market are down, while the median sales price of all properties sold skyrocketed to $1,235,000.00.  The” Vail Effect” (Vail recently purchased both Park City and The Canyons and will connect them next season with a lift) is likely having a significant impact on the property market.

Units sold increased at The Canyons and days on the market decreased.

The Salt Lake City Bench around Little Cottonwood Canyon and Alta and Snowbird had an increase in units sold, median sales price, ratio of asking price to sales price, median sales price per square ft., and a decrease in days on the market.

The Ogden Valley, home to Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley, saw units sold increase, as well as the median sales price of all properties sold.  But as the median sales price in the Ogden Valley is only 30% of the median sales price in the Deer Valley/Park City areas – there are numerous, terrific deals available.

The Ogden Bench, only a 20-30 minute drive from Snowbasin, and 30-40 minutes from Powder Mountain, also saw an increase in units sold and a decrease in days on the market.

Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics will give you detailed statistics on the real estate markets in each of Utah’s resort areas.

An article that appeared on April 10 in the New York Times, authored by Andy Isaacson, is creating plenty of buzz in the Utah ski community, and especially the real estate community.  Much of the information in the article has been reported before, but there were timelines, progress reports, and names of investors, that have raised some eyebrows.

Huge Sale of Multiple Ski Resorts, Including Brighton, Utah, A Possibility

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS 16 Ski Resorts owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties, including Brighton in Utah, may soon go on the sales block. 

In an Associated Press article written by David Sharp, it is reported that the real estate investment trust (a REIT) that owns the resorts is considering leaving the snow sports business and trying to put together a sale of all the properties to a single buyer or entity.  The resorts include Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine, Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, Okemo Mountain in Vermont, Crested Butte in Colorado, Sierra-at-Tahoe in California, and Brighton in Utah.

According the Sharp’s article, “if CNL sells them all to one buyer, industry officials say it would be the largest single ski resort transaction in the history of the sport – though skiers might not notice the sale at all.”

Sharp reports that CNL Lifestyle Properties was valued as high as $3 billion in 2012, when they owned more than 100 water parks, ski resorts, marinas and senior housing developments, before the value dropped in the aftermath of a real estate downturn.  The REIT is nearing the end of its projected lifespan and anticipates having an “exit strategy” in place by the end of the year.  Last June, CNL agreed to sell 48 golf properties for $320 million and in December announced an agreement to sell its senior housing for $790 million.

The resort operators long-term leases will remain in place if the properties change ownership, so any sale should not have a significant impact on skiers and boarders at those resorts.

There is a dynamic that could emerge from the numerous, significant mergers and purchases affecting so many of Utah’s iconic resorts that would have a noticeable effect on property sales.  With almost all resorts now offering multiple free ski days at multiple resorts with their season pass, prospective property owners may well buy close to a resort that offers the best season pass alliances for their preferences at the best price.

Property sales and median prices still remain strong at Deer Valley, Park City and the Canyons, although the torrid pace has slowed a bit.  Activity continues to heat up around the Ogden Valley resorts of Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley, but the low prices have been slow to move upward, and there are still plenty of great deals available.  Comparisons of median prices, units sold, and numerous other statistics are available on this blog at Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics.

Huntsville, Utah Awarded Title of Best Ski Town for Real Estate Investing

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.
 
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THE NEWS  Realty Traca real estate information company and online marketplace for foreclosed and defaulted properties, has ranked Huntsville, Utah, as the best ski town in the US for real estate investing. 

Huntsville is located in the Ogden Valley, just east of Ogden, Utah, and less than an hour drive from Salt Lake International Airport.  The Valley is home to three ski resorts.  Snowbasin, a world-class ski mountain, hosted the Downhills, Super-Gs, and Combined events at the 2002 Winter Olympics, and has some of the most stunning and elegant lodges, efficient gondolas and lifts, and varied terrain that can be found anywhere. Powder Mountain has close to 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, and gets as much snowfall (500+ inches) in most years as powder legends Alta and Snowbird, and Nordic Valley is a small, but terrific mountain for families, those learning to ski or board, and racers looking for an excellent training site for slalom and giant slalom.

A large recreational lake, Pineview Resevoir, covers much of the floor of the idyllic Ogden Valley, and the surrounding mountains and craggy peaks offer numerous hiking and bike trails.  There is a top-flight golf course and a number of trout streams.  The scenery is spectacular.

Realty Trac listed the median price of distressed properties in the town of Huntsville as $169,950.00.  Median prices of all properties in the Huntsville area, as well as all of Ogden Valley, are considerably higher – but still much less than other ski towns.  And residents of the Valley and those who have second homes here consider it a true paradise.  The primary reason for the irony – the Ogden Valley is still undiscovered.

A major base development was planned (and apparently still is) for just after the Olympics, but has never been built.  Because of this, there has been very little marketing and advertising of Snowbasin outside of the local Utah area.  Powder Mountain is just now starting a multi-phase development, and again, national and international advertising and promotion have been lacking.  Numerous articles have appeared over the past few years touting the lifestyle, amenities and values available in the Ogden Valley, and also the town of Ogden.  But until there is a major national and international marketing and promotional campaign, good deals are likely to remain.  The conventional wisdom is that as soon as a shovel goes into the ground at Snowbasin for their base development, real estate prices will jump quickly and dramatically.

The city of Ogden, only fifteen minutes from the Ogden Valley through a spectacular canyon, and less than thirty minutes from Snowbasin and Powder Mountain, also offers remarkable value in the real estate market.  Lovely historic and contemporary homes on the “bench”, which offer walking access to mountain trails and scenic views of backyard peaks and across the Great Salt Lake, can be purchased for less than $100 per sq. ft.  For investors, the rental market is strong, with attractive returns due to the low property prices.

Locals and property owners who love the lifestyle marvel at how long the area has remained undiscovered.  It won’t last.  Nothing this good does.  If you’re in the market for property at or near a four-season, mountain resort(s), whether for your use or as an investment – contact a local realtor now.

December Real Estate Activity at Utah Ski Resorts Remains Strong

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS  Real Estate activity and sales in Utah Ski Country remained relatively strong over December’s holiday period, and there are encouraging signs for the months ahead for both buyers and sellers.  

The major markets of the Park City Area, the Cottonwoods and the Salt Lake Bench are still very active with prices that make sellers smile.  But at the same time, the Ogden Valley, home to Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley, has property and prices available that will make buyers smile just as much.  There are still a number of great deals ready for the taking.

Highlights included the Brighton/Solitude/Big Cottonwood Canyon/Salt Lake Bench areas, where unit sales were slightly up over November and the median sales price jumped from $279,000.00 to $360,000.00.  Units sold at The Canyons were also strong and the median price per sq. ft. rose from $219.00 to $275.00.  By contrast, the median price per sq. ft. in the Ogden Valley was $148.00.  Click here for the complete list of December’s Utah Ski Country real estate comparative statistics.

On the development front, most of the news over the holiday period came from the Ogden Valley.  The Summit Group, owners of Powder Mountain, opened a new restaurant, North Fork Table and Tavern, in the building that previously housed Harley & Buck’s and the Wolf Creek Golf Course Pro Shop, and they are still dealing with challenges related to whether their development’s water requirements and new wells will lower the aquifer that provides water to communities downhill from Powder.  Nordic Valley had their approval for planned condos tabled by the Ogden Valley Planning Commission because the building(s) did not meet height restrictions.
   

Utah Ski Resort Development, Changes Back in Holiday News

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS  After a month of relative quiet, revelations of more development and expansion at Utah ski resorts are again in the news, as key executives voice their thoughts.

Bob Wheaton, the president and general manager of Deer Valley, in a briefing for Park City leaders reported by the Park Record, presented his thoughts on ambitious expansions, including the idea of a gondola that would link Deer Valley and Old Town in Park City.  He also discussed a planned development in Wasatch County overlooking the Jordanelle Reservoir, and development of the parking lots outside Snow Park Lodge.

John Loomis, the general manager of Snowbasin, in a wide-ranging interview with KSL.com, mentioned the resort’s plans for “a village with boutique hotel, retail stores, residential dwellings and a new portal to the resort.”  This is not new news.  Snowbasin published a master plan, which includes a mountain village, a couple of years ago, and recently received the final approvals from Weber and Morgan counties necessary to start the development.  But until the article on KSL.com, no one in authority at Snowbasin had mentioned the development for some time; and there has been a great deal of conjecture about why the resort has not moved forward with the village – particularly in light of the major acquisitions, consolidation, and development plans announced over the past six months by just about every other major Utah resort.

These developments and their effect on the resort real estate market will be reported on in more detail in coming posts of this blog.  But for now, we’re going to leave the keyboard early so we can finish Holiday shopping and wish every one of you a…

                                     Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

No Big News for a Month in the Utah Ski Industry is Big News

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS The big news is that there is no big news related to new acquisitions, partnerships and development among resorts in the Utah Ski industry since the last posting of this blog a month ago.

In the previous six months there seemed to be an unending stream of major developments involving Vail Resorts purchasing Park City, Deer Valley purchasing Solitude, Powder Mountain starting their resort development, and Nordic Valley (formerly Wolf Mountain) announcing significant development plans.  For this past month – all has been relatively quiet

The most notable news and issue of continued interest, other than the fact that as this is being written it is snowing in Utah, cold, and most of the resorts will be open on or before Thanksgiving – is the brightening prospect of One Wasatch (www.onewasatch.com) becoming a reality.  One Wasatch would be an interconnect of lifts that would connect up to seven resorts in the Park City and Cottonwood canyons areas, and create by far the largest interconnected, lift-served.terrain in North America.  Vail Resorts has already announced plans to move forward with a lift that will connect the Canyons and Park City resorts.  This would be the first link and optimists are now mentioning five years as a possible target date for completion.

The Utah ski industry’s landscape has changed dramatically over the past few months, but the completion of One Wasatch would have an additional, huge impact.  Skiers and riders from around the world would be motivated to experience first-hand the Wasatch’s incredible snow quality and depths, the wide variety of resort personalities and offerings, and the ease of access to it all.

Once folks come and sample the wonderful lifestyle available, a significant number will inevitably purchase property, either as a vacation home or to live the dream.  The next five to ten years should be an exciting time in the Utah ski resort and mountain real estate market.

Real estate markets at the major Utah resorts have slowed their dramatic comeback somewhat, and there are still bargains to be found, particularly in the Ogden Valley, home to Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley.  Both Powder and Nordic are underway with major developments, and speculation is that Snowbasin may be close to starting their long-awaited resort village.   With all the new alliances and development among their competitors, it would seem logical they would want to take advantage of the heightened interest in Utah resorts.  In any case, the good deals are sure to vanish before uch longer.  In the Park City/Deer Valley and Canyons area – it’s anybody’s guess when and how much the recent major developments will affect the real estate market.

Deer Valley to Purchase Solitude as Utah Ski Resort Acquisitions, Consolidation Continue at a Stunning Pace

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS

Major Utah ski resort consolidation and acquisitions are continuing at a stunning pace as Deer Valley announced on October 3 an agreement to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort.

According to a press release from Deer Valley, Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort, was quoted as stating, “Solitude is an incredible resort and provided a huge opportunity for us to expand our offerings right here in Utah.”

Dave DeSeelhorst, owner and general manager of Solitude Mountain Resort, was also quoted.  “The DeSeelhorst family has enjoyed being a part of Solitude’s history for almost 40 years.  We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish at the resort and in our mountain community.  We feel fortunate for the opportunity to have worked with so many amazing people in our industry and most importantly being able to work with our incredible staff at Solitude over the years.  It is exciting to pass on this unique and beautiful resort to one of the best resort operators in the country, Deer Valley.”

Deer Valley will begin operating Solitude on May1, 2015.  For the upcoming season, according to the press release, the DeSeelhorst  family will continue to operate the resort.  Select Deer Valley staff will work alongside the Solitude staff during the next six months to evaluate resort operations and gain knowledge about the Solitude brand and culture.

The press release addressed other key issues and questions that many are sure to have related to Deer Valley’s acquisition of Solitude Mountain Resort.  Excerpts from the press release are as follows.

How will the purchase change the experience at Solitude?

It will be business as usual, run by the DeSeelhorst family, for the upcoming 2014-15 season.  Deer Valley recognizes Solitude’s unique position in both the local and destination markets and acknowledges that we have much to learn about the current operation and brand position.  Consequently, we will have select Deer Valley staff work hand in hand with Solitude staff this winter to share knowledge.

Will it become a mini-Deer Valley?

Although Deer Valley will bring some of our service oriented and operational philosophies to the resort we do not plan to rebrand Solitude as another Deer Valley.

Will snowboarding still be available at Solitude?  How about the Brighton Connection:

Deer Valley plans to continue allowing snowboarding at Solitude and keep the Brighton Connection in place.

Will there be a reciprocal arrangement for skiing benefits between Solitude and Deer Valley?

Season pass holders at both resorts will receive four ski days at each respective resort.  Deer Valley midweek pass holders will be given two passes valid Monday through Friday at Solitude for the upcoming season.  Holiday restrictions will apply December 24, 2014 – January 2, 2015; January 17 – 19, 2015, and February 14 – 18, 20215.

Will lift ticket, locals and season passes increase dramatically due to the purchase of Solitude by Deer Valley?

There will be no changes to the lift and season pass rates announced by Solitude for the 2014-15 season.  Moving forward, Deer Valley Resort will analyze past resort performance, operational expenses and projected revenue potential prior to setting rates.

Will Deer Valley bring more capital and marketing investments to Solitude?

Deer Valley will take the next six months to analyze operational and marketing/brand opportunities prior to announcing any capital investments.  In addition, Deer Valley will begin promoting the great experience and resort jewel Solitude currently is in the spring of 2015.

Will Solitude be added to the Wasatch Benefit program?

Deer Valley anticipates the Wasatch Benefit program will remain as announced in September with shared lift privileges for select season pass holders between Alta, Deer Valley and Snowbird.

It’s hard to imagine that Deer Valley’s purchase of Solitude will not have some upward pressure on the real estate market in and around Big Cottonwood Canyon…as should Vail’s recent purchase of Park City Mountain Resort (reported in earlier posts of this blog) have on the Park City/Deer Valley/Canyon’s markets.  Once more, stay tuned!!  Significant changes and trends in Utah’s resort real estate market will be announced here as they happen

Vail Buys Park City – Big Changes for Utah Ski Industry and Property Sales?

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Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS

A headline posted on ParkRecord.com exclaims “Vail Resorts puts Park City Mountain Resort in its Epic lineup.”  The article, which appeared on September 12, goes on the explain the basics of the deal and mention some of the anticipated changes that could occur.  And of course there are other possible changes caused by the sale that were not mentioned that could have wide-ranging effects on the Utah Ski Industry, property transactions, and demographics.     

The ParkRecord article states “The Cumming family, which played a major role in establishing Park City’s reputation as a world-class destination resort and Olympic venue, has sold its flagship ski area, Park City Mountain Resort, to Vail Resorts, for $182.5 million.”  Nan Chalat Noaker, the author of the article, reports that the “agreement includes the base facilities, parking lots, ski terrain and lifts, water rights and snowmaking equipment owned by Greater Park City Company and an independently owned strip of land on the terrain just above the base held by Ian Cumming.  It does not include Powdr’s Gorgoza Tubing Park located on Interstate 80 near Kimball Junction.”

The sale, anticipated for some time, ends a bitter lawsuit between Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) and Talisker Land Holdings LLC, resulting from PCMR missing a lease renewal date and Talisker subsequently refusing to renew its’ lease to operate the resort.  Talisker is aligned with Vail Resorts, and many local residents and ski industry insiders have thought the sale inevitable once Vail Resorts took over the management of The Canyons and PCMR could not renew their lease.

In the article, Vail CEO Rob Katz states that the near future will include a chairlift that will connect the Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort, and he hopes it will be operational for the 2015/2016 season.  When completed this would create the largest ski resort in the United States.

 An immediate benefit to season ticket holders at PCMR and Canyons will be that their season passes will not only be honored, but can be upgraded to the Vail Epic season pass and its’ 20 additional resorts.  Holders of the Epic pass in participating areas will also be able to use the passes at PCMR and Canyons.

As for possible and rumored developments related to the sale, there are more than a few.  Will Vail add significant development around the resort and fulfill some locals’ fears of more congestion and crowds?  Will this cause a number of residents to move to quieter, less crowded areas (The Ogden Valley and Snowbasin/Powder Mountain?) when the added congestion arrives?  Or will they leave just on the probabilities?  In any case the real estate market in a number of markets might well be affected. Will the Epic Pass cause Salt Lake City and other Wasatch front residents to switch their allegiance to the Park City ski area…or away from it?  Will the availability of the Epic Pass affect the season pass strategy and prices at other Utah ski resorts?  There are hard feelings among some current Park City residents that are not likely to soften quickly.

According to Noaker, Vail’s Mountain Division President Blaise Carrig “is serving as interim chief operating officer until a new resort president is named.”