Deer Valley Reaches Agreement to Operate Mayflower Mountain Resort

The Buck just got bigger. Deer Valley Resort, its owner Alterra, and EXTELL Development (the owner of the burgeoning Mayflower Mountain Resort) have reached an agreement to have Deer Valley operate Mayflower when it opens for the 2024/25 winter season. The move is an enormous expansion for Deer Valley that more than doubles its total skiable acreage, and it gives Mayflower experienced, successful leadership and management, which should help it navigate the complexities and challenges of resort operations.

The agreement was a long time coming, with the adjacent resorts making far more sense as a single entity for skiers than two separate resorts sharing a boundary—Deer Valley already leases some of its terrain from EXTELL. What Mayflower receives is certainty. The resort is uniquely placed in the Wasatch Back, with a comparatively low base elevation of 6,575 feet and a predominantly east-facing orientation giving rise to some questions about adequate snow totals, especially in the face of a changing climate. Connecting it to Deer Valley’s terrain significantly incases the options for skiing from base area along US-40 if fickle weather were to strike. 

Deer Valley gains another portal of entry and a huge boost in parking (1,200 day-skier spots), both of which should help the resort increase skier capacity. This is especially important as congestion woes plague resort access during the winter season and regularly cause ire among locals living along Deer Valley Drive. The looming development of the Snow Park parking lots will only make resort access via Mayflower more crucial. 

What does this all mean for skiers? In total, 5,726 skiable acres accessible from 36 chairlifts. It will be the third largest resort in the United States. There are also multiple base areas replete with restaurants, shops, residences and hotels. Deer Valley will run the new slopes, but EXTELL will retain responsibility for Mayflower base area development. Like Deer Valley, the slopes at Mayflower will be skier only. Sorry, snowboarders. 

As far as timelines go, Mayflower plans to open for partial operations for the 2024/25 season with a full opening for the 2025/26 winter. The base area development will take the better part of a decade with the goal of completion in time for a possible Utah Winter Olympics in 2030. 

Meanwhile, the community will watch and wait to see how the resort will impact the area’s winter experience. The development will bring a lot of new jobs and additional revenue, always a nice thing. “We are thrilled about the Deer Valley expansion into our community. The scope of this project and Deer Valley’s commitment to excellence will bring many quality jobs and economic opportunities to Wasatch County and the Heber Valley,” says Dallin Koecher, Executive Director at Heber Valley Chamber and Tourism. 

That said, staffing the past few seasons has already been challenging for area businesses and resorts, and it’s uncertain where a couple thousand additional workers will come from with housing being increasingly scarce and expensive. Vail’s employee housing project at Canyons Village last season was a model of success others would be wise to follow. 

The ski resort marriage fated in the stars has finally come to fruition. It’s certainly a win for the involved parties. Skiers and the community hope the same is true for themselves. 

Tony Gill
Tony Gill
Tony Gill is the outdoor and Park City editor for Salt Lake Magazine and previously toiled as editor-in-chief of Telemark Skier Magazine. Most of his time ignoring emails is spent aboard an under-geared single-speed on the trails above his home.

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