18,000 acres of skiing, 100 lifts, one lift pass. Sound good? That’s Ski Utah’s plan for the future of northern Utah. While the outcome is not yet certain, resort partners are working together to offer visitors truly unrestrained access to the mighty Wasatch mountains.
Tourism amounts to $7 billion in revenue a year for Utah, 20% of which comes from skiing. The One Wasatch concept would connect seven ski areas (Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, Canyons Resort, Solitude, Brighton, Alta, and Snowbird) in three different drainages (Park City, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon). Were the concept to be fully realized, Utah would be the only place in North America to offer a similar experience. One Wasatch would allow Utah and seven of its leading, unique resorts to offer more options to visitors.
Further, having taken into consideration various concerns voiced by local backcountry skiers and ecologists, the new concept has been designed to protect popular backcountry terrain, watershed areas, and minimize ecological footprint. In a meeting with Berkshire Hathaway Utah Properties this morning, Nathan Rafferty, President and CEO of Ski Utah, shared, “Connecting seven of Utah’s finest ski resorts while preserving both our water quality and a pristine backcountry experience is not an impossible task. With thoughtful planning and sincere cooperation, One Wasatch would add significantly to what is already one of the greatest ski destinations in the world."
Ski Utah and its champions will continue to work closely with Mountain Accord to ensure that the public is made aware of any developments pertaining to the concept and that our pristine environment is kept that way.
The concept would be funded entirely by private parties, costing the general public nothing. Statistical studies support the belief that the concept would build upon the already robust Utah ski industry, which amounts to 4.2 million visits a year and 18,000 jobs.
We look forward to the future of Utah's ski industry. It's thrilling to watch the constant evolution of our Wasatch playground.