According to Susie English, communication director at Ski Utah, the recently announced Deer Valley expansion will bring more out-of-town skiers to Park City.
The expansion is slated to add 1,000 new skiable acres to Deer Valley, bring the total to 3,000 acres. The project will also add a new lodge and dining areas. There is also the possibility that new lodging accommodations will also be added.
The new acreage will be located on the eastern side of Deer Valley below the Mayflower and Mountain Sultan Express lifts on Bald Eagle Mountain. The expansion is expected to start in 2017 and be completed in approximately five years. The projected will cost approximately $50 million.
Along with the expansion, a new gondola is planned that will provide skier transportation between Main Street and the Silver Lake Lodge. This gondola project is slated to start in about two years and will cost about $10 to $12 million.
When questioned why the area needs more runs and chairlifts, English responded that Utah is still behind Colorado, and that the expansion will attract many more skiers and snowboarders to the state.
Utah ski resorts keep their eyes on Colorado. Last ski season, approximately 14 million skier visits were recorded by Colorado, while Utah recorded about 4 million visits—this number up approximately 5% from the previous season.
Alternatively, California received about seven million visits. Interestingly, the Los Angeles area is a hot market for Utah ski resorts. According to English, there are more than 35 non-stop flights originating in South California providing easy accessibility to Salt Lake City. Also, once in Salt Lake City, ski visitors have 11 resort options within just an hour of the airport.
When looking at other major cities, about 5.7% of ski visitors come from New York, 4% from Los Angeles, and the remaining out-of-state visitors mostly coming from Boston, Atlanta, and San Diego.