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.