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Sundance Mountain Resort Aims to Upgrade Facilities and Amenities, Keep Its Independence

Sundance Resort
Sundance Mountain Resort

Robert Redford, after more than 50 years owning Sundance Resort in Wasatch County, sold the independently owned ski destination late last year – and its management says the change in ownership won't change the culture and mission of the resort.


General Manager Chad Linebaugh hopes guests see that the change of ownership will offer the best of both worlds. They'll have funding to improve the facilities but still maintain Redford's values he infused into the operation back in the '60s when he bought the resort in the foothills of Mt. Timpanogos.


"So much work and time was put into finding the right next steward and owner of this place,” Linebaugh said. “Robert Redford really himself led that effort, and there was no shortage of people and companies who were interested in purchasing this. And he personally selected the next stewards because it's a group of people who really want to keep Sundance the way it is." 


Linebaugh said the improvements would include a new high-speed quad chair and expanded amenities like dining, lodging, and skier services.


At this stage, Linebaugh said they have no plans to join any multi-resort passes like Vail Resorts’ Epic pass or Alterra’s IKON, which have driven larger and larger crowds to Utah’s resorts.


"You know, we have a unique market,” Linebaugh said. “We're unique in many ways and I think because of that, I don't think we feel that we fit in that type of program as well. And so, I don't see that happening in the near future. It's not to say it would never happen, but there's no plans right now."


Linebaugh said they have a five-year plan, and eventually, they may expand terrain. Right now, they'll focus on replacing Ray's Lift, which is one of the main ways up the mountain from the base area, making for a speedier ride.


“It's a 26-year-old fixed-grip lift that has two midway stations,” he said. “So, you know the average lift ride time on that is 20 to 22 minutes. Replacing that now is a high speed detachable that has one midway station and will turn that into a 7-minute lift ride."  


He said they have also decided to extend the new detachable quad a couple of hundred feet higher to the Mandan Summit at the last minute.


"Which is about 200 feet higher than Ray's Summit and offers much better views of Timpanogos,” he said. “And it also reopens some ski runs that haven't had lift access since 1995."


They'll expand parking which will serve a need in winter and summer as they have a full outdoor theater season. Linebaugh said climate change had made their need for snowmaking more urgent. They're updating the entire two-decade-old snowmaking system with new blowers, water lines, and a new pond.


“Most importantly, we'll be adding a reservoir up on the mountain,” he said. “We have water rights to draw water right out of that stream that runs through the village, but this will allow us to have a reservoir system up on the mountain."


They'll renovate the entire Creekside Lodge, turning the upper level into food and beverage services. Linebaugh said the building has a beautiful view corridor of Mt. Timpanogos.


Like many operations in the area, Linebaugh said the business had held its own through the pandemic. He said the night skiing they offer four times a week has been successful. They are hoping to host the outdoor theater and the Blue Bird Café concert series this summer. They'll decide summer scheduling later next month.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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