Skiing at Utah’s newest resort requires a $500,000 membership fee and other takeaways from our Wasatch Peak Ranch review
Key takeaways from The Tribune’s coverage of Wasatch Peak Ranch, a private ski resort and 750-unit community being developed in Morgan County.
Utah’s only private members-only ski resort, acquired in 2019 by a group of wealthy anonymous investors, is under development a large trail of mountainous terrain in Morgan County.
The former Gailey Ranch is currently undergoing a profound transformation into a luxury community with a Tom Fazio designed golf course, a 3,000 acre ski area with five lifts, a mountain village and 70 miles of hiking trails for the exclusive use of homeowners and their families and guests.
[Read more: Utah’s newest ski resort is for the megarich only]
The controversial project represents a rising trend in Western real estate development, targeting those who have made vast fortunes elsewhere and now wish to use them to enjoy elegant amenities and unobstructed mountain scenery in solitude.
Snack • The 12,700-acre property, now known as Wasatch Peaks Ranch, or WPR, spans the east face of the Wasatch Mountains from Weber Canyon 11 miles south to Francis Peak. Though no homes have yet been completed, the resort already operates three lifts, including one that reaches the top of Jacob’s Ridge at 9,500 feet above sea level.
• The project was made possible by a 2019 rezoning to a “Resort Special District” approved by Morgan County, allowing for 750 residential units and various recreational facilities. Two-thirds of the property is to remain undeveloped.
• While the project promises an economic boost for the bedroom community, just a short drive from Ogden, it has divided Morgan County. Some see it as a threat to Morgan County’s rural character, while others welcome the tax revenue and jobs the project is expected to bring. Morgan has very little public land and spans the Weber River in an idyllic valley where agriculture remains the primary land use before cutting through the Wasatch Mountains.
• According to federal financial statements, WPR is selling up to 705 memberships for $500,000 each and equity investments in blocks of $5 million. By December, it had raised $47 million from the sale of 94 memberships and $45 million from stock sales. The developers have not publicly announced how high the annual fees are.
• With a 475-home build, the resort will support 600 jobs and nearly triple Morgan County’s tax base from 2018 levels to approximately $3.5 billion, according to a study commissioned by WPR. This development will provide a net income of US$9 million per year for the county and an additional US$25 million for the school district.
• The project sparked two contentious lawsuits that are still pending in the 2nd Circuit Court. A lawsuit filed by five residents to force the county to hold a voter referendum on the 2019 rededication that made the project possible will go to court this week.