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New lifts, private terrain coming to Powder Mountain

Skier looks over the terrain at Powder Mountain.
Ian Matteson
Powder Mountain
Skier looks over the terrain at Powder Mountain.

Powder Mountain north of Snowbasin is undergoing a major renovation in the coming years. Privatizing part of the ski area will pay for the changes.

Last year Netflix Co-Founder Reed Hastings bought a controlling stake in Powder Mountain, which now boasts over 12,000 acres of skiable terrain near Eden.

With the new boss came a new management strategy similar to Big Sky’s Yellowstone Club: make thousands of acres available for private members who own on-mountain real estate and pay a membership fee costing tens of thousands of dollars.

Privatizing parts of the resort will leave just 5,000 skiable acres accessible to the public. That’s a reduction from over 8,000 last winter. Hastings has acquired land in the area since taking the helm.

Park City resident and Powder Mountain’s new Chief Development Officer Brooke Hontz said terrain that is currently out of bounds will be made public.

“In addition, we’re adding terrain that hasn’t necessarily been traditionally skied, and certainly not by lifts, that will be eventually turned into private terrain,” Hontz said. “In my mind, it’s the best of both worlds. You’ve got this element and ability, if you so desire, to buy into the club and real estate and take part in private skiing. Or you can ski one of the largest in the country’s ski resorts that’s available and open to the public.”

Money generated by the privatization model will be invested back into the resort in the form of capital improvements.

Hontz said Powder Mountain is currently replacing two lifts, and plans to build two new lifts this summer after Cache County issues building permits.

“And then next summer, you’ll see a lot more activity,” Hontz said. “We intend to install more lifts… you’ll see some foundations and work being done on residential units and a clubhouse.”

Hontz previously served as Chief Development Officer for Extell, the firm leasing Deer Valley Resort the land for its new East Village expansion.

As the new head of Powder Mountain, Hastings has also adopted a new season pass model, which involves increasing prices with demand. He removed the cap on the passes that was previously in effect. Walk-up lift tickets will continue to be limited.

Learn more about Powder Mountain’s undergoing transformation.