Politics

Deer Valley’s 6-pack discussion to continue April 24

PARK CITY, Utah — At a recent meeting to discuss Deer Valley’s proposal for a six-person bubble lift to be installed on Park Peak (the high point between Flagstaff and Bald Peaks), planning commission members announced they would delay a decision about the lift until the next meeting and public hearing scheduled for April 24. 

On Monday, town officials announced there will be a site visit to view the proposed location of the new lift, which is being called “Lift 7,” and the two buildings being proposed as part of the development of Park Peak, which is being touted as a future mecca for beginner skiers. 

The site visit will be open to the public and is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 15. The group will meet on the west side of the Sterling Express lift, ride to the top, and meet at Cushing’s Cabin, where a brief presentation will be held. After that, the pod will ski down the Ontario trail and walk to the area where the lift base and proposed buildings would be built.

Deer Valley is seeking a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the project because plans for the Lift 7 area are not listed in the massive development plan to greatly expand Deer Valley’s skiable terrain. 

The proposed area of Park Peak and Lift 7 is listed as a “crucial” wildlife habitat for many species, including black bears, ruffed grouse, moose, mule deer, rocky mountain elk and snowshoe hare. According to the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, a “crucial” designation means the local population of these species depends heavily on the area for survival, and there are no alternative habitats in the area.

The Planning Commission will discuss the Flagstaff Open Space Management Plan as well as wildlife impact at the April 24th meeting

 

Beginner’s mecca is promised alongside Park Peak development

The focus of the meeting held Wednesday centered on how building a six-person bubble lift on Park Peak would vastly improve beginner terrain at Deer Valley. 

Garrett Lang, Director of Deer Valley’s Mountain Operations, spoke to the project’s effect on the entire resort. 

“We really liked this plan of having skiers higher up on the mountain. Those who have skied Deer Valley know that a lot of beginner areas are lower on the mountain and this gives a great benefit for those beginners to get a little bit higher up into the alpine environment,” he said. 

Steve Graff, VP of Mountain Operations at Deer Valley, added that many of the other green, or beginner, terrain at the resort serves as a conduit for skiers of all abilities to move between advanced terrain. One example is Bandana, a green trail that is the main access for skiers headed to the Empire Express lift, which accesses terrain such as the Daly Chutes and Empire Bowl.

Deer Valley officials also said they would comply with the state forestry board’s conditions of appeal to remove dead vegetation in an area equivalent to the area of disturbance the development would cause. They also stressed their stewardship in the mitigation of invasive species and promised to reseed areas where excavation would occur with a tailored blend of native grasses. 

Graff indicated that they would approach the Planning Commission in six to nine months to propose a “second phase” for the 8,483-square-foot terminal building.

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