EDEN — The Nordic Valley ski resort would become a "destination resort" capable of comfortably handling 11,000 guests a day, 10 times more than it currently can, per a proposed expansion.

It would surpass Snowbasin Resort in size and become home to three mountain restaurants, in addition to the 4.3-mile mountain-crossing gondola linking North Ogden and Nordic Valley's existing facilities in Eden, the focus of previous community debate.

The resort would shift "from a small ski hill to a major destination resort that appeals to local families, travelers from the broader Wasatch Front and destination visitors from around the county and world," operator Mountain Capital Partners said in new development plan.

Nordic Valley plans came to public light last June and were the focus of a flurry of public meetings over the summer. Now Mountain Capital Partners has crafted a master development plan providing additional details and scheduled a pair of meetings for next week to give the public an opportunity to ask questions and sound off.

But already, the 86-page document and the new information within is spurring reaction.

By the reckoning of Dan Schroeder, conservation chair in the Ogden Group of the Sierra Club, an environmental organization, the expansion would require nearly 19 miles in new roads in the mountainous area, potentially marring the pristine zone.

Seeing details of the project in black and white, Meg Sanders of North Ogden, who's closely followed the process, worries the project will adversely impact the small city.

"Do you want to be a bedroom community or a resort community? How can that project be good for a little community like us?" she said, calling for more involvement from local officials in the process.

The public meetings are scheduled for Monday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the North View Senior Center, 485 E. 2550 North in North Ogden, and Tuesday at the same time at Snowcrest Junior High, 2755 N. Highway 162, Eden.

The plans have been submitted to the U.S. Forest Service for review, and James Coleman, managing parter of Mountain Capital Partners, will be on hand at next week's meetings to answer questions and hear comments. Coleman took part in the other meetings on the plans over the summer as well. Also present will be a U.S. Forest Service representative and officials from SE Group, the consulting firm that helped craft the Nordic Valley plans, according to Austin Isbell of Love Communications, helping Nordic Valley with communications efforts.

Though Nordic Valley's proposal has generated a lot of attention, massive change wouldn't necessarily be immediately in the offing. The Forest Service must review Nordic Valley's new plan since a big chunk of the expansion would be on Forest Service land and decide whether the initiative meets agency goals and objectives. If the Forest Service accepts the proposal, the plans would then be focus of even more scrutiny per the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, to determine whether Nordic Valley may operate in Forest Service terrain.

"Depending on environmental impacts analyzed and the scope of the analysis, the NEPA process could take several years," the Nordic Valley report says.

Ideally, though, Coleman, contacted by phone, said he'd like to get started sooner, within a year-and-a-half.

Many voiced questions and concerns about the project during the public meetings over the summer, but Coleman doesn't think they're necessarily representative of the majority of people in the area. "I think their are way more people who are for the project than are against it," he said.

Either way, the plans are ambitious. Per the new development plan:

  • The proposed 4.3-mile, two-stage gondola — focus of "NO GONDOLA" yard signs planted by some project foes in North Ogden — is the "centerpiece" of the plans and would be the longest system of its type in the United States.
  • The expansion would give Nordic Valley, now contained on 140 acres, more than 3,500 acres of skiable areas and a "comfortable carrying capacity," or CCC, of 11,380 guests a day. The CCC is a measure of how many visitors a resort can handle without being overloaded and the proposed figure represents a 10-fold jump from 1,030, the current number.
  • At full build-out, Nordic Valley would be bigger than Snowbasin, also in Weber County, which has around 3,000 skiable acres and a CCC of 9,600 people a day. Nordic Valley would still be smaller than Powder Mountain, Weber County's other ski resort, which has 8,464 skiable acres.
  • The number of aerial lifts at Nordic Valley would go from three to 15 and the resort would expand up the mountain, with the top elevation increasing to around 8,100 feet, up from 6,300 feet. New ski trails and lifts would be developed on both the Eden and North Ogden sides of the mountain dividing the two locales.
  • Facilities for recreation outside of the winter would be expanded.

Some in North Ogden have expressed concern about the impact to the city of the proposed expansion. The report said Eden, on one end of the gondola line, would serve as a "full-service base area, with all recommended programming and guest services," as well as ski schooling facilities. The North Ogden location, at the other end of the gondola line, would serve mainly as "a staging area," catering mainly to visitors going up the mountain and returning at the end of the day.

Still, the report also noted that transportation services and lodging could develop adjacent to the two base areas. "Again, this is based simply on looking a comparable resorts, and realizing that hotel brands and other possible developments would likely occur in the presence of a successful mountain resort," the report said.

Coleman said he's in the process of lining up investors. He didn't offer a comprehensive price tag, but said gondolas as proposed can cost around $25 million while ski lifts can cost around $5 million each.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

(14) comments

Sabbatical

C400..There is a difference between Climate and Forecast..these scientists know what they are doing. Ask the residents of Key Largo, islands disappearing in the Pacific, relocating villagers in Alaska..Ice sheets as big as Texas breaking off...

Regards, Mack

dvs1444

It's remarkable that the new 86-page master plan contains absolutely no information about the climate at Nordic Valley or on the mountain above: no data on historic snowfall, past opening/closing dates, average temperatures, etc. Given the low elevation compared to Utah's other ski areas, I should think investors would want to see that kind of data before risking even a dime on this project.

Let me also clarify that the "reckoning" of nearly 19 miles of roads, mentioned in the article above, was made directly from one of the maps that's in the new master plan. I simply traced every proposed road segment within the National Forest Roadless Area and added up the miles to get 18.9. There are proposed roads in Coldwater Canyon, on Lewis Peak, and along several miles of the existing Skyline Trail that traverses the ridge tops. New roads would also switchback up and down many of the slopes, cutting up wildlife habitat into small fragments.

Cessna400 Driver

I’m pretty certain that investors get much more than a master plan, and as an investor it is your responsibility to do your own research as well.

Cessna400 Driver

It astonishes me how a group of loud people can assume that 90% of the community is on their side with unsubstantiated babble. Has there been a vote that I somehow missed? As for global warming??? Personally I believe that the climate is cyclic and it just happens, regardless, if this developer wants to put his money into a project who are you or we to say he can’t. I’m pretty sure that there may be a reason he’s able to build multi-million $$$ resorts and is successful. Have you ever been to a resort that this man has purchased? I can tell you that it is impressive, furthermore the towns...like North Ogden prosper...mainly because of his vision. I live in Eden, it’s astonishing the opportunity and future that this beautiful part of Utah can offer...but for the closed minded people everything that can bring opportunity is protested and people with vision are run out of town and we are left with the same closed minded people who oppose everything. We don’t own these mountains, or this valley or this lake. It is here for the enjoyment of all...
The US forest service manages that land for...the United States Government...which is by default the citizens of the USA, not just us here in Eden or North Ogden.
I for one...and many people whom I know would love the development to move forward. I pray that the closed minded people in this area, who are the minority but the loudest to protest everything that represents progress are finally overuled by the majority who see the benefits of such a development for everyone.

jknock44

You sound like you have some skin in the game. With that said if you stand to profit, of course you will speak well of this idea. Which, by the way is a bad one.

Cessna400 Driver

Not in it at all...but having travelled the world I see the opportunity that knocks at our doorstep as the minority assembles Troops to ward off the next evil idea.
It’s a little out of control. If the man wants to invest his money and reputation into a business idea who are you or I to tell him he won’t succeed?
I’m pretty certain that he already has the Forest Service in his back pocket. When he purchased Nordic he already knew he would be granted use permits, this guy is no dummy and this isn’t his first rodeo.
Instead of trying to fight a losing battle, because this is a done deal IMO, why not work with them and develop something that benefits everyone?

gregoryunderscore

I've softened my views on expansion but the plan clearly isn't going to help North Ogden just turn us into a giant parking lot without any of the culture enhancements of being a "ski town". I wish they would be open, transparent and reasonable.

Prolawtrac3

In the 1940's a proposed gondola was voted down near 27th in Ogden. At that time it was a good idea that scared locals over taxation concerns. In California's desert those same gondolas have meant prosperity and tourism. I have hiked "The sky line trail" and found the vistas deliteful. A rotating resturante on the top O the mountain could be Utahs answer to Pikes Peak without the race way. Could this really happen in our backyard? Intriging!?

Sabbatical

P...I agree, well spoken!

preciousmud

James Coleman is completely wrong about many things. First , the community is NOT for this ridiculous land grab, for his own personal gain! I live here. I know that at least 90% of the people ar totally against this. Secondly, the elephant in the room is that climate change is changing everything especially for a tiny low elevation ski area, that wants to grow way beyond it;s boundaries into our public lands and roadless area./ water shed This is a ridiculous idea. There is to be no development on the west side of this mountain Period!!

gregoryunderscore

James Coleman is only a minority holder, he's the sales guy and is pretty nice! He's got to sell and we got to stop it! We need to focus our pressure on our elected officials!

Cessna400 Driver

And those of us who embrace progress should also make our voices heard.

Sabbatical

I agree Climate change is real!!

Cessna400 Driver

Sure is! Climate changes everyday.
Our weather forecasters (meteorologists) who are PhD scientists...can’t accurately predict the weather tomorrow, let alone decades into the future. When I was a kid we were slipping into the next ice age...now evil people and cars are gonna burn us up (Al Gore).
1.3 million Earths fit inside the sun. I’m pretty certain that the sun might have something to do with our climate, maybe a bit more than cars. I don’t understand how people can actually believe that we can change climate...then try to prove their theories with bogus science from researchers whose job depends upon the entire scam.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.