Salt Lake City is, once again, looking to combine all of the resorts in the Wasatch region into one conglomerate, megaresort. This means connecting lifts would have to be constructed, or for Deer Valley and IRPC a simple drop of a boundary rope to connect the two resorts. Why now? The New York Times states, "In the last few months, Deer Valley's owner bought Solitude Mountain Resort, across the mountains, and Colorado's Vail Resorts bought Park City Mountain Resort after a long and nasty legal dispute...Supporters of OneWasatch say all seven resorts could be linked for roughly $30 million in private money."
According to The New York Times, "OneWasatch, as it's being billed, would be a colossus, with one ski pass linking more than 100 lifts across Utah's Wasatch Mountains, more than double the acreage of Whistler-Blackcomb in Canada, currently the continent's largest ski resort. Its backers say OneWasatch would offer an experience akin to Europe's linked valley-to-valley ski systems like Arlberg in Austria or Trois Vallées in France."
What does this mean for the avid Wasatch BC community? Grizzly Gulch, along with Chad's Gap and would essentially be no more.
Proposed Trail Map w/ Lifts
What is the draw for this operation? Obviously, money is one big draw for the resorts to combine since it makes a "ski experience in Utah that no one else in North American has, or could have," Nathan Rafferty, president and chief executive of Ski Utah states. The Wasatch Backcountry Alliance is one of many groups opposing this proposition. Reasons include; probable pollution of the watershed due to further construction that could result after the lifts are built, expected population increase in SLC which correlates with the already crowded Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, which is one of the five most-visited national forests in the country to be in danger even more, and finally the hundreds of acres of coveted Wasatch BC.
Jamie Kent, a real estate broker and president of the volunteer Wasatch Backcountry Alliance, said "the ski areas want a larger piece of a pie that's already completely spoken for." In conjunction with this, SLC residents have repeatedly stated how they do not want ski area expansion beyond existing borders.
Thankfully, no final decision has been made and one can only hope that the glorious backcountry the Wasatch region provides will remain unscathed.
Here are some of the more memorable moments from the Wasatch:
Pyramid Gap POV
Candide Sessions Chads
Durtschi Diaries - Chads Gap
14 yr old Kye Petersen sends Pyramid
Leave you thoughts in the comments below!
All quotes and information from here - bit.ly/RIPGrizzlyGulch