Controversy Dogs Reopening of Elk Meadows

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SAM Magazine-Beaver, Ut., Oct. 5, 2006- CPB Development has proposed a $3.5 billion plan to local planning authorities for a Yellowstone Club-style resort at Elk Meadows, which hasn't operated for four years. Resort property owners, who would lose their access to the mountain, are rising in opposition.

The resort, which opened in 1971, went into bankruptcy in 2004. It has 420 skiable acres and 1,400 feet of vertical drop, served by one quad, one triple and three double chairlifts. CPB wants to transform this into a gated luxury community, the Mt. Holly Club, featuring 1,200 homes and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Much like the Yellowstone Club, homeowners would have to meet stringent conditions including a minimum net worth.

Though the reopening of the resort would provide an economic lift for the region, the approximately 200 people who currently own homes and condos at the area would be effectively shut out. The developer proposes to buy and raze the existing homes; remaining homes would be walled off from the club. The skiing and snowboarding would be restricted to members only.

"They're trying to take over the mountain and kick us off," Victoria Spicer, a condominium owner, told the St. George Spectrum newspaper. Added fellow property owner Filip Askerlund, "I find it very offensive as a person that has lived in the West all my life to have someone come here and tell us what to do with our mountain."

The future of Elk Meadows is on the agenda of the Beaver County Planning and Zoning Commission on Oct. 28. Stay tuned.



I have skied most major resorts in the west Rockies and Mt. Holly is among my very favorite. Absolutely the best powder-steep perfect fall line skiing anywhere. I for one would go out of my way to get to Elk Meadows. Too bad someone can't figure out a way to keep this thing going. Looks like the best kept ski resort in the west will stay just that - a secret.

If those who have the passion to keep this thing going can pull together, consolidate and come up with resources and a vision for the area, perhaps you can get back your mountain. It wouldn't be easy, but it would be a lot better than sitting around and submitting posts about the big, bad developers that want to take over. To me, that means some developer has more vision than the masses. If I were a current home owner with a bleak outlook for the near future, I think I would swallow my pride and sell out - take the money and run.

Whaddya say -Frank Bender, John Staats, R Thompson? Is even the remotest of possiblities to move forward worth the dialogue?

Not many options left for Elk Meadows

It was only a matter of time until Elk Meadows was discovered by a developer. I was Mt. Manager there for two years (88-90) and I've always known that this day would arrive. The developer and property owners better work this out or it will be a loss for everyone. For Elk Meadows to succeed, a lot of money will be involved and a few concessions to have a consensus. Otherwise the Elk Meadows we know and love will slowly fade away.

What about the law protecting property rights?

Ethics aside, I don't see how they could possibly get away with it. Real property laws usually protect the rights of property owners to continue using their property in substantially the same way as they have been. If they "wall off" certain property owned by those who refuse to sell, that changes the nature of the use and should be illegal. Maybe Utah has different laws though and they think it will fly.

It's a real shame for those who own property there though. First the ski area shuts down and then they have to fight to keep their property. If the ski area wasn't on private land I would think the best option would be for the current property owners to band together to run the ski area as a club themselves.

I also don't know how popular it would be as a private club, being over 200-miles from the nearest airport with commercial service, and with only 1,400 vertical. Still, if the current ski area owners want to do it, why don't they try cooperating with the local property owners? That usually works best.

Ski industry Growth

It is investors like this, YSC, Tamarack, and Bitterroot that are spurring on ski industry growth. If they want to reinvest in the industry, thru the development of private ski slopes, I say let them. isn't better than the ski area sitting there bankrupt?