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Nordic Valley resort is focus of proposed ski village development

By Tim Vandenack - | Oct 24, 2021

Image supplied, Weber County Planning Division

A rendering of potential changes around the Nordic Valley ski resort. A ski village would be added to the resort as part of the plans, shown in the bottom right-hand corner of the rendering.

EDEN — Developers of the land where the Nordic Valley ski resort sits have put forward an ambitious plan to develop the recreation area that calls for creation of a small ski village and, over time, the addition of condominiums, townhomes, cabins and, perhaps, a hotel.

Still, those involved emphasize that the plans are in their infancy and are the focus of a proposed rezone that Weber County officials will have to consider. The proposal, the latest of many to emerge over the years focused on Nordic Valley, could morph and change over time.

“It’s just an idea. This might be adjusted, changed,” said Laurent Jouffray with Skyline Mountain Base, owner of much of the 510 acres that’s the focus of the proposal and the main driving force behind the plans. Nordic Valley, the ski resort, is a separate entity, operating in part on Skyline Mountain Base land but owned by Mountain Capital Partners.

At any rate, the vision presented in documents submitted to the Weber County Planning Division is big. Planners received the proposal earlier this month and they will probably review them and, eventually, hold hearings on the plans to get public feedback. News of the plans comes in the wake of the announcement last month by Snowbasin, another Weber County ski resort, that it plans to add a hotel and implement other upgrades.

The Nordic Valley proposal is “in its early stages,” said Rick Grover, Weber County’s planning director.

BEN DORGER, Standard-Examiner

Skiers and snowboarders ride the chairlift at Nordic Valley Resort on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020.

A controversial Nordic Valley proposal to add a 4.3-mile, mountain-crossing gondola linking North Ogden and the resort was shelved in 2019 after community backlash. The new proposal, by contrast, sticks to the east side of the mountain. Renderings provided by the developers as part of the plans show a cluster of commercial and residential structures along 3500 East, Nordic Valley Way and Nordic Valley Road, east and southeast of the resort’s main base area on the west side of 3500 East.

“The village core will include hotels and resort-oriented condominiums for overnight accommodations at the existing base of the mountain as well as a mix of townhomes and mountain chalets for full- or part-time residents,” reads the proposal submitted to county officials. A retail corridor is envisioned along both sides of 3500 East.

In all, according to a supporting documents, developers envision up to 693 to 763 housing units, mostly condominiums; 210 hotel rooms; and 38,200 square feet of commercial space. Additional areas within Nordic Valley landmass could also be developed, beyond just the area east of the main base area, but the vast majority of the 510-acre resort footprint would be left undeveloped.

“We are very early on. But if you want to make that happen at some point, we need to start now,” said Jouffray. He provided no potential timeline for the development proposal.

Brandon Fessler, general manager of Nordic Valley, expressed excitement over the plans. “We believe that with everything that’s going on, people want to be outdoors,” he said, alluding to the COVID-19 pandemic and experts’ contentions that the virus is less transmittable in outdoor settings.

Jouffray, similarly, senses demand for increased outdoor recreational offerings, particularly in light of anticipated population growth along the Wasatch Front. “We need more resort areas and here we have the perfect place for that,” he said.

Whatever change comes about, though, the focus on keeping costs in check for skiers would likely remain. Nordic Valley is regarded as a more affordable alternative to Weber County’s other ski resorts, Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. “We are doing everything in our power to keep this affordable,” said Fessler.

Getting the proper zoning to allow for the development of the ski village and housing and commercial cluster is only one part of the process. Plans to address water and sewer needs, along with other infrastructure questions, would also have to be addressed.

“This is very, very conceptual,” Fessler said. The owners of the land where Nordic Valley sits are Skyline Mountain Base, Nordic Valley Land Associates and Solution Enterprises.

Jouffray didn’t provide a cost estimate for the plans as they’re in the early stages and subject to change — but he said there are investors potentially interested in the plans.

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