SAM Magazine—Park City, Utah, Aug. 13, 2019—Extell Development Company is building a new mountain resort located right next to Deer Valley Resort outside of Park City, Utah. Extell has purchased roughly 5,600 acres of private land in recent years, including the 2,300-acre Mayflower property where Mayflower Mountain Resort and Village will be built.
The property has been master planned for a base area village with a total of 3.2 million square feet of space, which will include a 300-room military recreation facility along with three other luxury hotels, 250,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, and a 68,000-square-foot recreation center. The convention center is slated to be built first, and will include 100 subsidized rooms with discount rates for active duty and retired military personnel and their families.
The military piece is key. Wasatch County has designated the Mayflower Resort area as one where Utah’s Military Industrial Development Agency could build a recreation hotel. The MIDA designation returns some property tax to the developers in exchange for reduced fees for military personnel.
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According to reports, the plan calls for several new ski lifts and about 1,000 acres of ski terrain. But Extell founder and chairman Gary Barnett said, "We're actually in the midst of studying exactly what kind of skiing we can provide, and I think will determine that in the next several months," Barnett said.
Extell has already begun building some roads and clearing for others, and has also cleared some ski routes. The company says it could be ready to open some facilities for the 2021-22 season.
Deer Valley Connection
A notable aspect of this new development is the connection—physically and financially—between Extell and Deer Valley. Extell's purchase includes land that Deer Valley’s Mayflower and Sultan lifts are located on. Deer Valley owner Alterra and Extell just signed a 199-year land lease that allows Deer Valley to continue operating those lifts.
Barnett told Park City NPR affiliate KPCW, “We have the right to access Deer Valley with one lift currently. Okay, that’s the Sultan’s nose area. It’s a good area to land in. But this is still in flux. I don’t know where it’s going to land.”
Deer Valley senior communications manager Emily Summers confirmed the lift connection, telling SAM, “There is a lift planned that will connect Deer Valley to the new Mayflower Mountain Resort, and the resorts would be connected through this lift. However, to ski at Deer Valley, a guest would need a Deer Valley Resort lift ticket.”
Despite the close connection, the new land lease doesn’t include an operating agreement for Deer Valley to run the ski operations at Mayflower Mountain Resort. Barnett left open the possibility of teaming up with any operator “who could run a high quality resort.” However, he also said he hopes to have a long-term partnership with Deer Valley as Extell develops its Mayflower land assemblage.
Deer Valley president and COO Todd Shallan told SAM, "We are certainly open to partnering, and have had some discussions," but there haven't been "more than a few conversations."