Ski Utah ONE Wasatch Ski Resort Interconnection Announced

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 20, 2014 2:18 pm

ONE Wasatch

Proposed Concept Map ONE Wasatch Photo: Ski Utah

Ski Utah and ski resort representatives today announced a concept to connect the seven Central Wasatch Mountain ski resorts via chairlifts and ski runs called ONE Wasatch.

Unlike the previously proposed transportation interconnections between ski resorts, ONE Wasatch would be an over the snow concept requiring you to use the mountain resorts and ski lifts, experiencing the different terrain and resort designs.

Video by ONE Wasatch. 

Utah’s central Wasatch Mountains are home to seven world-class mountain resorts in close proximity to one another. Connecting these resorts over-the-snow via chairlift and ski run would provide a skiing and riding experience unrivaled anywhere in North America. The coupling of these seven distinct resort personalities would allow access to over 18,000 skiable acres, 100 lifts and more that 750 runs and all on one lift ticket, all on the “Greatest Snow on Earth.”

“We do not have all of the answers at the moment as this is still a concept,” said Nathan Rafferty, President and CEO of Ski Utah. “The seven resorts we are visualizing connecting represent 80% of Utah’s skier day visits, but this concept benefits the entire state not just the ski and snowboard industry. We have great support from the State, the Office of Tourism, other resorts and more. The goal of ONE Wasatch is to establish a vision for a one-of-a-kind mountain experience by providing information, outlining the process, encouraging dialog and listening to feedback.”

Nathan Rafferty ONE Wasatch

 Nathan Rafferty President and CEO Ski Utah; ONE Wasatch Press Conference Photo: Tyler Tate/ T Squared Action Sports

Because of the close proximity of Utah’s Ski resorts, the concept to connect the seven resorts can be accomplished through four steps including three new connections:

·      Connect Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons

·      Connect Big Cottonwood to Park City

·      Connect PCMR and Canyons Resorts

·      Drop the rope between Deer Valley and PCMR.

“ONE Wasatch is a concept which has developed over many years and whose time has finally come,” said Randy Doyle, General Manager Brighton Ski Resort. “It will provide the opportunity for an experience unmatched anywhere in the country if not the world. With careful planning and collaboration the positive impacts from ONE Wasatch can benefit everyone.”

Randy Doyle ONE Wasatch

 Randy Doyle Brighton Ski Resort; ONE Wasatch Press Conference Photo: Tyler Tate/ T Squared Action Sports

At this time, resort partners have no specific execution timelines or chairlift alignments; ONE Wasatch is a concept, not a plan.

“The ONE Wasatch concept would be great for tourism, outdoor recreation and skiers within the State of Utah,” said Bob Bonar, General Manager Snowbird Ski Resort. “I’m hopeful and confident that with the appropriate studies, process and through careful consideration the dream of ONE Wasatch can become a reality, while at the same time preserving our wilderness areas, water quality and the significant backcountry areas we all highly value.”

Bob Bonar ONE Wasatch

 Bob Bonar Snowbird Ski Resort; ONE Wasatch Press Conference Photo: Tyler Tate/ T Squared Action Sports

Detractors of previous proposals to interconnect resorts have used environmental concerns as the basis of their arguments.

“Connecting seven of Utah’s finest ski resorts while preserving both our water quality and a pristine backcountry experience is not an impossible task,” said Rafferty, “With thoughtful planning and sincere cooperation, ONE Wasatch would add significantly to what is already one of the greatest ski destinations in the world. If we didn’t think we could accomplish this task with no harm to the environment, these seven General Managers would not be here in support of ONE Wasatch today.”

Jenni Smith, General Manager of Park City Mountain Resort echoed similar thoughts. “Together, Utah’s central Wasatch resorts pride themselves on providing a singular ski and snowboard experience. Sitting here with these other resort managers, all together with this vision is something so very exciting and something to look forward too. Most of us grew up recreating at these resorts and this is such a great way to give back to the locals. By connecting seven of the country’s greatest resorts, all within a few miles of each other, in an environmentally responsible manner, we can distinguish ourselves as a ski market unlike any other in North America.”

The estimated concept cost would be $30 Million Dollars, 100% of the money being privately funded, requiring $0 public funding, with the proposed interconnections being built on private land.

“Imagine a European style ski experience with over 100 lifts to ride in a single day, combined with the majestic beauty of the Wasatch Mountains and ‘The Greatest Snow on Earth,” said Dave Deseelhorst, General Manager Solitude Ski Resort. “Utah will become an unrivaled world class ski destination.”

“We have an opportunity to create a ski experience that is unrivaled,” said Mike Goar, General Manager Canyons Resort. “From an idea discussed with Governor Bangerter in 1985 to this concept now, the timing is good for us to bring ONE Wasatch to completion. Now is the time.”

Mike Goar Bob Wheaton ONE Wasatch

 Mike Goar (Canyons) Bob Wheaton (Deer Valley); ONE Wasatch Press Conference Photo: Tyler Tate/ T Squared Action Sports

Utah’s Ski and Snowboard industry currently experiences 4.2 Million skier day visits with an economic impact of $1.3 Billion dollars also employing 18,419 people.

For more information regarding ONE Wasatch please visit their website at www.onewasatch.com

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