Progress on Mayflower Mountain Resort continues while developer seeks financing for military hotel
$170 million invested in project’s infrastructure
Work has continued this winter on the planned Mayflower Mountain Resort beyond the eastern border of Deer Valley Resort, with nearly $70 million worth of infrastructure installed and another $100 million in borrowing soon to come, officials said, to pay for things like road retaining walls, sewer pipe and snowmaking infrastructure.
But the biggest ticket item other than the ski area itself remains unfunded, a 640,000-square-foot hotel and conference center with 100 rooms dedicated to the U.S. Air Force that was the ostensible reason to build the entire project.
“The reality is the hotel industry was hit hard by the pandemic,” said Kurt Krieg, senior vice president of development at EX Utah Development, which is developing the new resort. “However, mountain resorts have a foothold, and we are making progress, albeit slow.”
Krieg said his team “resurrected” conversations with two global lenders late last month to finance the roughly $350 million hotel project.
The broader first phase of the development will incorporate around $1 billion in vertical construction, developers have said.
Mayflower Mountain Resort aims to be the newest ski resort in Utah and its developers claim it will be the first brand-new resort in Utah in decades. It sits next to Deer Valley on land that has long been envisioned as that resort’s eastern portal.
Plans call for a half-dozen ski lifts, three hotels, 1,560 residential units and 250,000 square feet of commercial space.
State officials have been integral in the efforts to get the resort off the ground, including the involvement of the Military Installation Development Authority, or MIDA. Utah Senate President Stuart Adams chairs MIDA’s board of directors.
MIDA controls thousands of acres on the western side of the Jordanelle Reservoir, including land on which the resort is planning to build. The New York-based developer indicated the project would not have happened without MIDA’s involvement.
Legislators also passed laws shaping the borrowing mechanism the developers are using to issue debt for the project.
It is the public improvement district, or “PID” that is in the process of issuing $99.8 million of bonds, Krieg said.
While the larger lending talks continue, Krieg said it was possible the ski resort could open before the hotel does. That means that there is still a potential the resort opens for the 2023-2024 winter, a date that was already pushed back by a year after the pandemic struck.
It’s still unknown whether Deer Valley would operate Mayflower Mountain Resort, as had been originally envisioned, or whether the developer would strike an agreement with another operator like Vail Resorts.
Krieg said talks to determine an operator are ongoing.
Interested neighbors wondered whether the resort had gone dormant this winter and whether the developer had pulled out.
But Krieg reported there has been substantial work done to prepare for construction, including installing 30,000 two-ton retaining blocks, building nearly a mile of primary roads with underlying infrastructure and plans for 4 miles of trail to be built by September.
The master plan includes two distinct base areas separated by a ridgeline, one featuring the 12-story military recreation hotel with financing still in question, and the other single- and multi-family homes across from Deer Valley’s Jordanelle gondola.
Progress on the latter base area is further along, and Krieg said he anticipates vertical construction starting this spring. He anticipated the construction process would last roughly a year and a half.
The other big recent milestone is the completion this winter of the Jordanelle Parkway, which connects U.S. 40 with S.R. 248 along the northern edge of the Jordanelle Reservoir.
Krieg reported that the Utah Department of Transportation is continuing its work constructing two portals running underneath U.S. 40 and connecting the planned resort with the reservoir area.
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