Powder Mountain Resort

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An alpine village is under construction atop Powder Mountain Resort.

By Kat Zeman

At roughly 8,600 feet above sea level, an alpine village is slowly assuming form in Utah. Located in the quiet mountain town of Eden, the village is being built atop the largest ski resort in America: Powder Mountain.

The village is being designed to become a mountain town focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, art and altruism. “It’s a true alpine town in the spirit of some of the towns in Switzerland, but with a focus on sustainable development,” General Manager Mark Schroetel says. To date, Powder Mountain has invested roughly $40 million into the multi-phase village development that is expected to take shape within the next three years. The first residential units broke ground last year.

Active Core Village

The development will consist of more than 500 ski-accessible residences connected to a village core that will include cultural amenities and miles of walking and biking paths. “We want it to feel like an organic village and to be much more intimate than a lot of the resorts we compete with,” Schroetel says.

Powder Mountain ResortPlans call for a mixture of higher-density apartment buildings and condos as well as small homes. The village core will center on a main street with a variety of eateries, juice bars, shops, public art and boutique hotels. “Possibly even a culinary school,” Schroetel says. “We want to make it an active village core.”

Unlike other mountain towns that feature traditional concrete-based structures, the village will have a more modern feel with lots of natural materials. “There’ll be wood, lots of organic shapes, flat roofs, and one of the unique things you’ll see is that our architecture will blend with the surrounding landscape,” Schroetel says.

Powder Days

When it comes to ranking ski resorts, one of the most important factors to consider is their powder – fresh, ungroomed and untracked snow. That’s what diehard skiers desire most. Powder Mountain is the largest ski resort in the United States with a skiable acreage of 8,464 acres. To make sure each skier has enough powder, the resort limits its density. It recently restricted its lift ticket sales from 2,000 to 1,500 per day. “That means each skier has almost four acres to themselves,” Schroetel says.

PowderMountain1 copyThe lift ticket sale restriction has allowed Powder Mountain to claim the lowest skier density of any major ski resort in North America. “Most resorts are skied out by 11 a.m. or noon on powder days,” Schroetel says. “But we actually have powder days, not powder hours. We’ve always been known as the secret powder stash.”

Lowering the density is among the various enhancements made by Summit, which acquired Powder Mountain in 2013. Since taking over, $6.5 million to $7 million has been invested into improving ski lifts, Schroetel says. “There’s a lot of money going back into ski operations,” he adds.

Powder Mountain is a year-round destination for an ongoing program of events and activities. The resort has 144 main runs, snowcat skiing, side country skiing, backcountry tours and two terrain parks. It does not use artificial snow. “It’s a true and authentic skiing experience,” Schroetel says. “We don’t have a lot of nightlife or a ritzy spa. You come here to experience an authentic skiing environment with a super-friendly staff. It’s not overcrowded and you don’t have to fight for your line.”

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