Mayflower Mountain Resort is anticipated to generate 4,000 daily visits
Officials plan for new resort’s impact as work continues
With a fresh quarter-billion dollars in the bank, foundations dug into the earth and timber framings rising into the air, Mayflower Mountain Resort continues to progress on the eastern flank of Deer Valley.
And while the weekend’s expected snowfall is exciting for some local skiers, it’ll be at least two years before they’re able to ride those slopes. In the meantime, officials are planning for how the new resort will impact the area, recently revealing some preliminary numbers that give a sense of the project’s scope.
“We are looking at probably 4,000-plus visitors within the area daily. That would be more geared towards, obviously, our peak season,” said Heather Kruse, the area project manager for the Military Installation Development Authority, the state agency that controls thousands of acres around the Jordanelle Reservoir.
Her comments came at a joint meeting Tuesday between the Summit County and Wasatch County councils and the High Valley Transit District, which is trying to convince Wasatch County officials to join the district to expand regional transit service.
Kruse cautioned that the numbers were high-level estimates but indicated the data was important for planners trying to manage the impacts the resort will create.
“We’ve got significant growth that’s coming into a very concentrated area. We just want to make sure that we are looking at it appropriately to help mitigate what could be potential traffic issues,” Kruse said in a subsequent interview. “We don’t want to not plan.”
She also told officials the resort will require an estimated 2,300 workers as its first stages are completed.
“We are also looking at employees and getting employees into the area, living there, commuting there and how are we going to plan for that as this comes to fruition,” she said.
Kruse said the teams are considering where to set up transit connections and how to ensure guests and workers can easily access the resort. She said officials are currently considering a dense, mixed-use development planned just across U.S. 40 from the resort as the site for a key transit center, with possible future transit connections to Heber or Park City.
As for housing workers on site, two high-ranking officials with the New York-based development firm that is building the resort, Extell Development, said the resort would provide workforce housing for as many employees as possible.
Extell has established a Utah subsidiary called Ex Utah Development LLC. Its Senior Vice President of Development Kurt Krieg and Vice President of Development Brooke Hontz detailed recent improvements being made to the site and their strategy for housing workers.
They also said negotiations with Deer Valley Resort about operating Mayflower’s ski terrain remain unchanged, with no agreement in place. And they slightly updated a timeline for the resort’s opening, saying the resort was targeting a first connector lift to open in December 2023. That lift would access Deer Valley’s terrain as well as Mayflower trails, but the balance of the lifts and trails would likely open the following winter, in December 2024.
The five miles of hiking and biking trails are set to open next spring after being shut down recently to avoid conflicts between trail users and construction equipment on the mountain.
The development agreement requires 95,000 square feet of workforce housing, and the officials said about 9,500 of that is currently being used to build 17 workforce housing units.
Hontz said the resort would try to house as many employees as possible, but that it wouldn’t be home to every employee, some of whom will likely rather live elsewhere.
She and Krieg said the resort is planning to build a variety of employee housing styles. They said they weren’t ruling out dorm-style housing like what is being built at the Canyons Village base area, but the resort wouldn’t rely on that exclusively.
The 17 units under construction are one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as studios.
Krieg and Hontz also detailed a $1 million low-interest rate loan program to help employees afford a down payment for a house. They indicated it was targeted to managerial-level staffers and would provide bridge loans between the amount the staffers have saved for a down payment and the figure needed.
Hontz said that a relatively small portion of the overall density in the resort core would be occupied by the resort’s employees.
A foundation has been dug for the cornerstone hotel at the resort’s base, known as the morale, welfare and recreation facility, which will be home to a block of 100 rooms reserved for U.S. Air Force service members.
That hotel, some 600,000 square feet in total, is slated to open in the spring of 2024. Another two hotels are in the works, including a high-end resort referred to as the five-star hotel, and a massive 1.6-million-square-foot skier services hotel. That’s the approximate size of the entire development sought at the Tech Center site, a new neighborhood proposed at Kimball Junction.
The first building to come online is expected to be open next September, part of a four-building project at the Pioche base area on the northern end of the resort.
Those in opposition to the Tech Center project argue Kimball Junction, which is already congested, will be negatively impacted by more people living and traveling to the area. Supporters say it could ultimately help fix the community’s traffic issues while also addressing concerns about workforce housing.
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