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Bransford Land Company withdraws appeal of new Deer Valley lift

Park Peak can be seen from Bald Mountain, July 2023.
Parker Malatesta
Park Peak can be seen from Bald Mountain, July 2023.

A nearby landowner challenging the approval of a new Deer Valley lift has withdrawn their appeal.

On Monday Bransford Land Company told the Park City planning department it is withdrawing its appeal of Deer Valley’s new six-pack bubble lift on Park Peak.

In an email to the department, company chairman Anne Bransford said her company “respects the efforts” of city staff and the planning commission, but cited no reason for the withdrawal.

Bransford did not immediately respond to a request for comment from KPCW Tuesday.

In a statement, Deer Valley Resort didn’t comment on Bransford’s move to withdraw the appeal, but said the project is a “crucial part” of its expansion efforts, which involves adding nine new lifts by winter 2025-2026.

Bransford filed an appeal in an attempt to block the resort’s project, which was approved by the planning commission unanimously.

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, 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.

Deer Valley Vice President of Mountain Operations Steve Graff previously said the resort chose its plan because it’s within its existing lease and was identified by their consultant SE Group as “one of the best alignments.”

Deer Valley President and COO Todd Bennett also 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. A hearing is scheduled for June 18.

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.

According to a timeline provided by Bransford in appeal documents, Extell offered the family $2 million for 40 acres of their land in 2017, but it was declined.

Deer Valley plans to begin construction work later this year after securing a building permit, but lift towers won’t be installed until summer 2025.