NORTH OGDEN — They came, they sought answers, some clamored and at least one said the proposed expansion of the Nordic Valley ski resort was a great idea.
Reps from Mountain Capital Partners, owner of Nordic Valley, sponsored a meeting Monday in North Ogden to give the public a chance to ask questions about the project proposal, which came to public light over the summer. Most on hand seemed to have questions about the ambitious project, and viewed it with a measure of skepticism.
Indeed, at the meeting’s outset, Councilman Phillip Swanson called for order as some started hollering queries to James Coleman, managing partner of Mountain Capital Partners. Most in attendance, Swanson said, probably opposed the project, but he beseeched them to keep the tone civil.
“No matter how emotional we are, we don’t have to be ugly about it,” he said.
Nordic Valley reps offered no formal presentation at the gathering, timed with the recent completion of a master plan outlining the ski resort expansion published online but still subject to U.S. Forest Service review. Rather, Coleman spoke informally with those present, responding to individual queries as others reviewed charts highlighting the Nordic Valley plans around the meeting locale at the North View Senior Center.
Whatever the case, the seeming skepticism of some in the North Ogden area came through. Nordic Valley officials tout the plans — more ski runs and a gondola — as a means to bolster the local economy and expand tourism in Utah. But many have questioned whether the site is viable for skiing without depleting water reserves for snowmaking or changing the relatively quiet character of North Ogden.
“I guarantee you it’s a stupid, stupid, stupid plan, if it’s even a plan,” said David Della Silva. He cited the limited snowfall around the Nordic Valley location in the Eden area where the resort is located and further west over the mountain closer to North Ogden, where the expansion would occur.
Bob Werth said the development, as proposed, doesn’t fit with North Ogden. “I didn’t move here for that,” he said.
When Meg Sanders, who’s petitioning against the project, loudly entered the meeting site offering “NO GONDOLA” signs to those present, even Coleman seemed surprised. The plans call for a mountain-crossing, 4.3-mile gondola connecting North Ogden to the west with the original ski resort location to the east near Eden.
“I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with protestors before,” he said.
At least one man on hand, though, was on board with the plans, said he thinks many others are as well, but aren’t as passionate as the foes and skeptics. The project is “the epitome” of what Utah tourism boosters have been trying to do in the state, said Carson Jones of Pleasant View. “Being able to use the mountain like this is awesome. It’s just fantastic,” he said.
Mountain Capital Partners has scheduled another meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Snowcrest Junior High, 2755 N. Highway 162, Eden.