Snowbasin Resort's master plan, which envisions future hotels, a diverse selection of homes, more trails, golf, a retail center and a prominent east access to the resort, is exciting news.
Market conditions will ultimately determine how much Snowbasin expands, but we think there will be less resistance to Snowbasin's plans than Powder Mountain has experienced. The former has worked with local community leaders to devise a plan that steps on fewer toes.
In fact, in Weber County, Snowbasin's plan will keep 80 percent of 3,800 acres in Weber County as open space.
As Snowbasin grows over the next half-century, Ogden's role as the major city closest to the resort will become important. Junction City has positioned itself as a winter sports business and recreation location. Not every effort by the administration of Mayor Matthew Godfrey has succeeded. A hoped-for gondola to a planned recreation area in Malan's Basin long ago lost steam. Snowbasin officials made it clear they are not thinking of any gondola connection to the resort.
However, Ogden is consistently rated as a good place to raise a family and bring business. In an interview, Godfrey had only positive words for Snowbasin, citing the resort's strong track record in seeking ideas from its surrounding communities. "Snowbasin really cares about the environment," said Godfrey, adding that is one reason Snowbasin is received well by interest groups.
Godfrey believes that Ogden will experience growth in population and businesses along with Snowbasin. "(There's) a lifestyle component. People will come ... for the resort."
Ogden needs to position itself as an alternative lodging, dining and entertainment spot for recreationists visiting Snowbasin as it expands. Junction City needs to offer less expensive lodging, less expensive dining and quality entertainment.
An efficient transportation network from Ogden to the resort is a must-have component. Visitors are not going to want to drive to Ogden for a night of dining, etc., and have to drive back to the resort.
Snowbasin will never be another Park City. That is not something that the residents of Ogden Valley or Morgan County want. Ogden can provide ideal affordable shopping for tourists and valley residents who live by the resort.
Ogden city officials have worked hard to make the city a name in winter business and recreation. If the economy allows Snowbasin to grow, we are optimistic Junction City will grow as well.