or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Two new lifts at Powder Mountain?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Two new lifts at Powder Mountain?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

Saw a writeup last month on Powder Mountain possibly getting two new ski lifts:

www.standard.net/Local/2016/08/10/Powder-Mountain-could-be-getting-2-new-ski-lifts-for-the-coming-season

 

Does anyone know if it's been approved will in fact happen for this season? What type of new terrain is it opening up? Any other thoughts on Powder Mountain and the new ownership's development plans?

post #2 of 46

I would doubt they could get lifts in at this point.

 

I also don't think the Summit Groups development plans,  will ever go far. 

 

Here's a private lot that's been on the market for years and it's much cheaper than Summits lots.  Check out the price history.

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Eden-UT/pmf,pf_pt/2115072373_zpid/4513_rid/41.385253,-111.775171,41.372195,-111.798238_rect/15_zm/

post #3 of 46

It looks like one lift would be ~600 vertical feet and the other ~900 vertical feet. Pretty short by Utah standards.

 

I don't know where the break-even point for the Summit development is, but I think it's got better prospects than most Utah ski developments. As I see it, there are two huge challenges in the Wasatch: 1) ridiculous oversupply of private land (Park City/Deer Valley, PowMow, Snowbasin, and Wasatch Peaks Ranch, plus tons of other mountain real estate that's not attached to a big ski area), and 2) essentially zero participation and little apparent interest in the market from anyone born after 1970. I think vacation homebuying among baby boomers has already peaked, and the coming years will see more and more people exiting the market without replacements entering the market, which means a constant availability of below-cost-priced secondhand homes. And if the market shows any signs of heating up, there are tens of thousands of potential homesites that will start flooding the market, keeping prices down.

 

To me, this indicates that the only chances for a profitable ski real estate development are 1) if you figure out how to artificially generate scarcity; 2) if you can differentiate yourself in the market in a way that actually motivates Gen-Xers and Millennials to buy; and 3) if your real business benefits enough from additional residents to offset low-margin or money-losing real estate deals (example--Deer Valley can count on each incremental real estate sale for a reliable stream of high-priced season passes, lift tickets, meals, etc., so they can sell that real estate relatively cheaply and still make a long-term profit).

 

Summit seems to have the best plan out there to tackle the first two strategies... advertising ahead of time how limited the real estate sales will be and separating the new village from the old PowMow development creates scarcity in that there's perceived value in being there, as opposed to a cheaper substitution good (like a condo in Eden or a home at the old PowMow development). And they've been working to build hype and interest among a set of rich young buyers that other areas would love to tap, but haven't been able to. If they can leverage these strategies successfully, maybe they can bootstrap themselves up to the point where the ski operation consistently pays for itself.

post #4 of 46

I agree with you on most of that, but the last paragraph.   I just don't see people embracing the village,  for 5X the price of another ski in/out lot and still having to ride a bunch of short chairs at a mediocre resort.

post #5 of 46

I have to admit I am kind of hoping Summit fails and goes away.  I take issue with Shredhead's calling Powder Mountain a mediocre resort.  It ain't steep, but it is a beautiful place to ski and it has a great, laid back, old school vibe.  We were thinking about buying there before Summit came along and we figured their plans would change that laid back feeling that we fell in love with.  

 

I agree they have a long way to go to build a village where people will pay a premium for real estate when they can buy on mountain for much less.  It's location 7 miles up a steep, snowy canyon road from the nearest grocery store or restaurant makes on mountain a bit inconvenient as well.  

post #6 of 46

Well, looks like the new lifts might actually be finished in time to be used for 2016-17.  According to a 10/15 report in Liftblog, concrete in done and towers and other parts are arriving.  I doubt folks who have no reason to go to the Village Center on the backside will end up using these lifts.

 

https://liftblog.com/2016/10/15/construction-continues-on-two-new-lifts-at-powder-mountain/

post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Well, looks like the new lifts might actually be finished in time to be used for 2016-17.  According to a 10/15 report in Liftblog, concrete in done and towers and other parts are arriving.  I doubt folks who have no reason to go to the Village Center on the backside will end up using these lifts.

 

https://liftblog.com/2016/10/15/construction-continues-on-two-new-lifts-at-powder-mountain/

 

Good for PowMow! And while the runs/new lifts are kind of an awkward way to access it, they do make access to some of the Raintree-side terrain easier. The summit of the new Mary lift will be at the top of the Yin & Yang runs, removing the hike/snowcat requirement for much of Cobabe Canyon. Riding four lifts and skiing down after each means this still won't be exactly convenient for lapping, but three of those lifts are high-speed. Anyone who's willing to do the fixed-grip > high-speed > Poma > moderate hiking setup in the past will have an easier time with the new setup, and others will be more willing to give that terrain a try.

post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Utah View Post
 

It looks like one lift would be ~600 vertical feet and the other ~900 vertical feet. Pretty short by Utah standards.

 

I don't know where the break-even point for the Summit development is, but I think it's got better prospects than most Utah ski developments. As I see it, there are two huge challenges in the Wasatch: 1) ridiculous oversupply of private land (Park City/Deer Valley, PowMow, Snowbasin, and Wasatch Peaks Ranch, plus tons of other mountain real estate that's not attached to a big ski area), and 2) essentially zero participation and little apparent interest in the market from anyone born after 1970. I think vacation homebuying among baby boomers has already peaked, and the coming years will see more and more people exiting the market without replacements entering the market, which means a constant availability of below-cost-priced secondhand homes. And if the market shows any signs of heating up, there are tens of thousands of potential homesites that will start flooding the market, keeping prices down.

 

To me, this indicates that the only chances for a profitable ski real estate development are 1) if you figure out how to artificially generate scarcity; 2) if you can differentiate yourself in the market in a way that actually motivates Gen-Xers and Millennials to buy; and 3) if your real business benefits enough from additional residents to offset low-margin or money-losing real estate deals (example--Deer Valley can count on each incremental real estate sale for a reliable stream of high-priced season passes, lift tickets, meals, etc., so they can sell that real estate relatively cheaply and still make a long-term profit).

 

Summit seems to have the best plan out there to tackle the first two strategies... advertising ahead of time how limited the real estate sales will be and separating the new village from the old PowMow development creates scarcity in that there's perceived value in being there, as opposed to a cheaper substitution good (like a condo in Eden or a home at the old PowMow development). And they've been working to build hype and interest among a set of rich young buyers that other areas would love to tap, but haven't been able to. If they can leverage these strategies successfully, maybe they can bootstrap themselves up to the point where the ski operation consistently pays for itself.

 

You need Gen-Xers and Millennials to be able to afford their primary house first...

post #9 of 46

My parents and many of their friends had second homes in mountain or beach resorts by their early 40s. I am in the same business as them (medicine) and neither me nor any of my friends own a second home. We are in the 45-55 range and none of us would dream of such a thing. Why?  Too expensive; too much hassle/responsibility; too many weekend kid activities at home; too restricting of that desire to see many beautiful places rather than commit to one; etc...

 

So if they hope to appeal to anyone under 60 their best strategy is to price the houses at $2million+ to suck in the Wall Street/High Tech crowd. This of course could ruin the character of the place, but if that's what it takes to keep powmow afloat then so be it. I really like skiing there and will be perfectly happy spending a couple of nights in Eden and driving up the canyon, as my group has done for years. Those hedge fund guys probably don't hike for the same lines as us anyway, so for my admittedly selfish purposes, it's a win-win. Sad to see Powder Mountain's charm destroyed, but that outcome is better than permanent closure.

post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post
 

too restricting of that desire to see many beautiful places rather than commit to one; etc...

 

 

I do wonder if this is a big part of it.  It may be totally anecdotal but I've noticed that my parents and people from their generation typically have a "vacation spot" that they go to often whenever they can get some time.  My wife and I as well as all of our friends generally like exploring new places on vacations and rarely go back to the same place.

 

This seems to hold with ski trips as well.  I do a ski trip every year for my birthday where I get to pick the spot and I pick a new resort every time even though I've really enjoyed some of the ones I've been to.  A lot of the older folks that I've met out at my local hill (Snowbasin) are people that are there for their annual winter trip to Snowbasin.  Younger folks I meet tend to be visiting for their first or second time and are eager to talk about how it compares to all the other resorts they've been to.

 

My wife and I have talked a lot about buying a vacation home but ultimately the thing we always come back to is that we worry we would feel obligated to use it any time we had vacation time rather than continuing to explore new areas.

post #11 of 46

I guess these are going to be ready.  From PowMow's facebook page:

 

Quote:
 Stoke levels are high as we approach this upcoming winter season. Tomorrow and Saturday we will be proudly announcing the new skiable terrain here at #PowMow
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

I agree with you on most of that, but the last paragraph.   I just don't see people embracing the village,  for 5X the price of another ski in/out lot and still having to ride a bunch of short chairs at a mediocre resort.

 

Agree. They should have kept the old chairs and invested in new terrain.

 

I don't buy the "old school" vibe. Hey, I love A Basin, MRG and the other authentic "old school" places, but PowMow 's just old and decrepit with boring terrain.

post #13 of 46
Once the concrete is done it's surprising how quickly a lift can go in.

This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Utah View Post


It looks like one lift would be ~600 vertical feet and the other ~900 vertical feet. Pretty short by Utah standards.

......... low-margin or money-losing real estate deals (example--Deer Valley can count on each incremental real estate sale for a reliable stream of high-priced season passes, lift tickets, meals, etc., so they can sell that real estate relatively cheaply and still make a long-term profit).

It's not about vertical, it's about length........600 or 900' of vertical isn't necessarily gonna be a short lift.

Deer Valley real estate isn't cheap by any measure.
post #14 of 46
Looks like the towers are in...



BTW, both these lifts serve new terrain.



you gotta pay to play with the cool kids
post #15 of 46

4ster, any idea on what the new terrain will be like? And how much of it there will be? I love PM. 

post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post

4ster, any idea on what the new terrain will be like? And how much of it there will be? I love PM. 

They are opening up some of the previously private Cat terrain, Lefty's & Mary's. They say it will be 1000 acres if you combine it with a single Cat ride. Sounds like the Cat rides will be like what they have always done on Lightning Ridge, last year it was $20 dollars a pop. I have skied Lefty's before but never Mary's. Some nice short shots in Lefty's but like most of Pow Mow, not very steep & not very North. Mary's is supposed to have a bit more pitch.

More terrain can't be bad cool.gif
Edited by 4ster - 10/31/16 at 6:21am
post #17 of 46
I just love it. I have skied in many countries and states and provinces and this area is the very best for teaching a newby to handle the pow. Hats off to Powmow. I always come back and bring others to learn the black art of skiing the pow. The name says it all. Powder Mountain.
post #18 of 46

This is a pretty big power move this late in the season. I can only imagine the liquid cash it took to make this happen. If the owner is able to spend this much this quickly I would say the future is looking bright for this resort!

post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post

This is a pretty big power move this late in the season.

"Late" in the season? It hasn't even started yet.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utahski View Post


"Late" in the season? It hasn't even started yet.

Pretty sure he means lift building season, not ski season. 

post #21 of 46

I guess since the new lifts are on private land, the construction and approval process is different than for U.S. Forest Service land.  As noted in the August article in Post #1, clearing for the lifts had started before Weber Country approved the lift construction.  The lifts are being built by SkyTrac, which is based in SLC.  So presumably they understand the weather constraints pretty well.

post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vcize View Post
 

 

I do wonder if this is a big part of it.  It may be totally anecdotal but I've noticed that my parents and people from their generation typically have a "vacation spot" that they go to often whenever they can get some time.  My wife and I as well as all of our friends generally like exploring new places on vacations and rarely go back to the same place.

 

This seems to hold with ski trips as well.  I do a ski trip every year for my birthday where I get to pick the spot and I pick a new resort every time even though I've really enjoyed some of the ones I've been to.  A lot of the older folks that I've met out at my local hill (Snowbasin) are people that are there for their annual winter trip to Snowbasin.  Younger folks I meet tend to be visiting for their first or second time and are eager to talk about how it compares to all the other resorts they've been to.

 

My wife and I have talked a lot about buying a vacation home but ultimately the thing we always come back to is that we worry we would feel obligated to use it any time we had vacation time rather than continuing to explore new areas.


I'm 63 and firmly in the camp of not wanting to be tied down to the same place for vacations.  It's individual preference and not generational IMHO.

 

The new lifts serve primarily south facing terrain that is relatively flat.
 

Quote = badfahts:

 

I have skied in many countries and states and provinces and this area is the very best for teaching a newby to handle the pow.

PowMow in general yes. But that new terrain, only midwinter and even then not after a couple of sunny days.

post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

The new lifts serve primarily south facing terrain that is relatively flat.
 

PowMow in general yes. But that new terrain, only midwinter and even then not after a couple of sunny days.

 

I have skinned Lefty's post season for some great corn!  This was May 2, 2014, not exactly a big snow year...

 

Just sayin' ;)

post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

 

The new lifts serve primarily south facing terrain that is relatively flat.

 

The new terrain is south-facing. But the new lifts also serve tons of terrain off the east rim of Cobabe Canyon, which is primarily north-facing and previously required a hike or snowcat ride.

post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utahski View Post


"Late" in the season? It hasn't even started yet.

Late in lift building season. Most resorts building lifts started at the very end of ski season. Lifts are extremely large sinks in cash with a very vague return in cash to say the least. Even a resort as well known as Grand Targhee took years to raise the capital for the new Blackfoot lift and is trying to get Teton County to pay for it's new peaked lift. LiftBlog.com is a great place to check out for all information regarding ski lifts in the U.S. and abroad.

post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

........As noted in the August article in Post #1, clearing for the lifts had started before Weber Country approved the lift construction.  The lifts are being built by SkyTrac, which is based in SLC.  So presumably they understand the weather constraints pretty well.

You're right. The lift people aren't dummies.

Here in the mountains we have two seasons, winter and construction. Construction keeps going until winter shuts it down. Sometimes we'll get snow in Sept. and most always in October. But that's irrelevant to what'll happen in November. Winter gets here when it gets here and it isn't here until the first big blizzard. From then on it's winter.......like flipping the winter switch. That first nasty front can come in at any time but there's nothing forecast for at least the next week. New lifts are often finished around this time of year.
post #27 of 46

Would be really interesting to see the total cost of the project!

post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utahski View Post


"Late" in the season? It hasn't even started yet.

Late in lift building season. Most resorts building lifts started at the very end of ski season. Lifts are extremely large sinks in cash with a very vague return in cash to say the least. Even a resort as well known as Grand Targhee took years to raise the capital for the new Blackfoot lift and is trying to get Teton County to pay for it's new peaked lift. LiftBlog.com is a great place to check out for all information regarding ski lifts in the U.S. and abroad.


How much do you know about the current owners of Powder Mountain?  Fair to say it's an unusual situation in terms of the ability to pay for improvements that are planned in the near future.  When the purchase happened a few years ago, it didn't take very long for the money needed to be raised.  Price was something like $40 million.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/fashion/powder-mountain-the-ski-resort-that-crowdsourcing-built.html

post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


How much do you know about the current owners of Powder Mountain?  Fair to say it's an unusual situation in terms of the ability to pay for improvements that are planned in the near future.  When the purchase happened a few years ago, it didn't take very long for the money needed to be raised.  Price was something like $40 million.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/fashion/powder-mountain-the-ski-resort-that-crowdsourcing-built.html

Neat article. One line jumped out at me: "you could have been a billionaire from Northern California, or you could have been Gerry Erasme from Harlem." Yes, but I think those NoCal billionaires vastly outnumber Mr. Erasme--Summit's done a good job of bringing together aspiring movers and shakers graduating from Stanford & Berkeley or working for the tech giants. They strike me as filling a mutual advancement role comparable to what the Ivy League's secret societies have in past decades, only focused much more in California instead of the northeast.

 

If they'd already sold ~100 homesites a year and a half ago, with the cheapest priced at half a million, it sounds like they've got the cashflow to pay for these improvements without borrowing. I'd say it bodes ill for @crank's secret wish for them to fail. But on the other hand, that means they've also had more than enough cash on hand to replace the funky old lodges, but they've left them alone for the most part. Everything I've seen indicates that Summit genuinely values the PowMow vibe, and is working to keep it mostly intact.

post #30 of 46
But have they really sold 100 lots?

I just can't fathom a village, that will support an "artisanal retail experience"up there, when the valley below is overstocked with cheap real estate.

Snowmass was developed in the 60's. It has thousands of homes, tons of employee housing and over a million visitors a year. It's still pretty quite in the off season and feast or famine, for the retailers.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Two new lifts at Powder Mountain?