OGDEN -- By teaming with Weber County in a public-private partnership, Summit-Eden developers claim they can deliver the kind of four-season Powder Mountain resort that could never occur on its own.
In August, Weber County commissioners approved a $17.6 million special assessment bond that Summit will pay off over 20 years starting in 2016. And last week, the county OK'd a community development area plan to allow a portion of new property tax revenues generated by the 6,772-acre development to return to Summit to help fund costly infrastructure and other amenities on the mountain.
"It's very complex and very technical in many aspects, and we're proud of that plan," said Douglas Larsen, executive director for Weber Economic Development Parnership.
"We want to ensure that people understand what the plan is proposing and what the numbers mean," Larsen added.
To that end, plan details will be posted on the county's website, www.co.weber.ut.us, by Friday. People can also view the plan in 3rd floor offices of the Weber Center at 2380 Washington Blvd., Larsen said.
The commission's CDA approval triggers the negotiations among Weber County, Weber School District and Powder Mountain Water and Sewer District about the amount of new tax revenue that will flow back into the project. The plan asks for 75 percent in the first 10 years and 50 percent in years 11 to 20 -- to total just over $98 million that would boost Summit's ability to install gas lines, fiber-optic cable, more electric power and other all-season amenities on the mountain.
Last May, Summit closed on its $40 million Powder Mountain purchase, having convinced dozens of well-heeled investors to join the daunting high-elevation project.
"Before we closed, we knew the project wasn't doable without the public-private partnership on both the assessment bond and the CDA," said Greg Mauro, principal and manager for Summit Mountain Holding Group.
The four-phase project will add 500 ski-accessible home sites around a village core of boutique hotels, lodges, condos, retail space, eateries, education and mini-conference venues.
About two dozen single-family homes currently dot the mountain, Mauro said, netting the county about $10,000 each year in property tax.
According to the plan's analysis, after tax increment financing is subtracted, the project is expected to increase the county's take to $1 million per year in the first decade and $3 million annually during years 11 to 20.
The $17.6 million special assessment bond, separate from the CDA, is being used to install a new road plus water and sewer systems. Once built, those amenities will be publicly owned. The county's backing helped Summit nab a sub-5 percent interest rate, but that's where the help ends, Mauro said.
"We're the ones who will make all the principal and interest payments," Mauro said, noting that as the development proceeds and more residents populate the mountain, they join the special assessment district and help pay down the bond.
The first $1.5 million annual bond payment will not be due until 2016.
Summit is also setting aside $3.7 million in reserves to give the county a 2-1/2 year cushion to line up a new owner if calamity occurs.
By essentially cosigning on the bond, the county would be on the hook for payments if Summit went into default, said Weber County Treasurer John Bond.
However, Mauro said that Summit has three revenue streams it can tap to cover the bond debt: the development itself, the ski resort and Summit's flourishing event business.
The project's high-end home sites will be about one-third the price of upper Deer Valley, Mauro said, attracting a younger crowd of "creatives" from the San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York markets.
Contact reporter Cathy McKitrick at 801-625-4214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @catmck.