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Extell unveils ski trails undergoing BLM review; public input wanted

Visible from U.S. 40, the Mayflower Mountain Resort has already cleared tracks above its main construction area. On Wednesday, the resort developer will propose making 14 more.
Ben Lasseter
Visible from U.S. 40, the Mayflower Mountain Resort has already cleared tracks above its main construction area. It's only a small portion of the 4,000 acres of skiable terrain planned at the resort.

Actual skiing is an estimated two or three years out at the Mayflower in Wasatch County, but the resort’s trails plan is taking shape.

At a regular meeting Wednesday, the Wasatch County Council heard an update on 14 skiing trails and 11 hiking and biking trails planned on Bureau of Land Management land at the Mayflower Mountain Resort.

“I’m hoping that it’s a benefit,” said Brooke Hontz, vice president of development for Extell Utah, the resort developer. “Now, we’re putting a connected trail through private property, which you weren’t supposed to be on before, that we’re allowing public, free access to, to get through not only the thousands of acres of trails that we’re going to have trails on — the 50 miles minimum of trails — but now you can cross through this property and actually enjoy it.”

Hontz said those trails and 11 summer trails there will traverse the Dutch Hollow and Bonanza areas. All are for public use, according to the development agreement. The ski runs are largely planned as North-facing expert trails.

Skiing still isn’t expected to start until a soft opening in late 2024 at the earliest. While many of the trails are still in planning stages, Hontz said construction on some is underway and moving quickly.

Extell needs a green light from the federal government before it can start building the trails it described Wednesday. As part of the environmental review process, the BLM is holding a public comment period on the trails Extell proposed.

While they’ll only make up about 2% of the resort’s 4,000 acres of skiable terrain, a couple of them will be visible from the Heber Valley at the intersection of River Road and U.S. Highway 40.

Drivers on Highway 40 who pass the construction site at the Mayflower exit can see several trails already cleared on slopes near the base area.

There will be 15 ski lifts at the Mayflower. Hontz said the resort intends to offer a selection of trails similar to nearby resorts, with a majority of intermediate and expert trails, as well as beginner options.

Hontz said a clearer timeline of when the resort will open, and how much terrain might be ready when it does, will be available after Extell reaches an agreement with a ski lift operator. She said she expects that to happen this summer.

The BLM’s taking public comments until July 25. To visit the public comment page, visit this link.

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