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Nearby landowner appeals approval of new Deer Valley lift

A rendering of the lift shown at Wednesday's meeting.
Deer Valley Resort
A rendering of the lift shown at the May 22 Park City Planning Commission meeting.

A property owner in Empire Pass is challenging the Park City Planning Commission’s approval of a new lift at Deer Valley Resort.

Last month the planning commission approved Deer Valley’s plan to build a new six-pack bubble lift on Park Peak.

The lift is one of nine the ski resort is planning to build by winter 2025-2026, as part of its major terrain expansion into Wasatch County.

This week the Bransford Land Company, which previously voiced opposition to the project during public meetings, filed an appeal of the lift approval.

The Bransford family owns land that Deer Valley leases for the Trump and Ontario runs. The Park Peak lift project also involves grading more than four miles of new ski trails, one of which runs directly along the Bransford property line.

In a letter submitted to the planning commission in April, company chairman Anne Bransford criticized the lift’s alignment and wrote that the proposed primary beginner trail is too narrow. She suggested Deer Valley use Bransford land to widen the run.

In a subsequent meeting Deer Valley President and COO Todd Bennett suggested the resort didn’t want to work with Bransford due to active litigation.

The Bransford Land Company is being sued by Mayflower, LLC over right-of-way access. During the May 22 planning commission meeting when the Deer Valley lift was approved, Anne Bransford claimed the land in question was not part of the lawsuit.

Mayflower, LLC is a subsidiary of Extell Development Co., which is constructing the new Deer Valley East Village base along U.S. 40 in Wasatch County.

Bransford also said she approached Park City Mayor Nann Worel last year with an offer to donate the 18 acres to the city.

Anne Bransford said she delivered the following letter to Mayor Worel and the city last year:

Park City spokesperson Clayton Scrivner confirmed an “informal proposal was suggested to the city, but those talks never progressed.” He said the offer was never denied.

According to the staff report for the May meeting, the 2023 approval of a rezone on the Bransford property established a ban on development outside of two single-family homes. The report says aligning a ski lift over the land would violate that ordinance. In appeal documents released by the city Thursday, Bransford Land Company disputes the findings of the staff reports done for the project.

The Bransford appeal of the new lift will now head to Park City’s three-member appeal panel, which is charged with determining if the planning commission acted appropriately in its approval.

In a statement, Deer Valley Resort said the project is “designed to add terrain for all skill levels while prioritizing skier safety, wildlife preservation, and managing the project's environmental impact to uphold our commitment to sustainable growth.

“We take great pride in being good community partners and will continue to work with Park City Municipal and our partners through the appeal process,” the resort said.