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[FILE – May, 2022] The Mayflower Mountain Resort construction site in Wasatch County is located near Deer Valley’s Jordanelle Gondola and the Jordanelle State Park.

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Parker Malatesta

By early September, construction crews at the Mayflower Mountain Resort reported significant progress at its base area, including a skier amenities complex and hotels located near U.S. Highway 40 and the Jordanelle Reservoir.

Mayflower will draw water from the Jordanelle Reservoir, located just below the resort. Extell owns rights to use 900 acre-feet, or approximately 293,000,000 gallons, of that per year for snowmaking. That’s one-third of 1% of the total capacity of the Jordanelle. Hontz said Extell bought the majority of those water rights with the land for the project.

Mayflower will be about 20% larger than Park City Mountain, not including the Canyons side, according to Park City Mountain spokesperson Sara Huey.

Park City Public Utilities Director Clint McAffee said that portion of Park City Mountain diverts 550 acre-feet for snowmaking on the Park City side. So, Mayflower will have about 40% more water than that area of Park City Mountain to use for snowmaking.

Meanwhile, Mayflower will be twice the size of Deer Valley, its next-door neighbor, but will only have about 25% more water rights, according to Deer Valley spokesperson Emily Summers.

McInerney said with or without water and snow machines, the increasingly warmer temperatures will force Utah ski resorts to make unprecedented decisions sooner rather than later. That especially applies to Mayflower, which is at 6,500 feet of elevation at the base area.

“If you are starting a new ski area and your base elevation is anywhere around the [7,000-foot] mark, 7,500,” McInerney said, “it’s going to be problematic to have snow at your base area, trying to get any kind of base area set up for, you know, the Christmas holiday. It’s becoming more and more problematic as we speak, and it’s only going to get worse until roughly about 2070, 2080. The ski industry is going to have to do something different because we won’t have snow. It just won’t work that way.”

Within 60 to 80 years, he said meteorologists predict Park City weather will shift to become about 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. He said that will change Wasatch Back weather to feel like Salt Lake City year-round.

Last year, Park City Mountain delayed its opening from November 19 to November 28. When it opened, it used a gondola to shuttle visitors to high-elevation areas because the base area was too dry. Solitude also pushed back last season’s opening date.

Hontz acknowledged the Mayflower base area doesn’t get as much natural snow accumulation as resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons because it faces east and is exposed to direct sun much of the day. She also added that most of the resort’s runs will face north and largely avoid direct sunlight.

But, according to Hontz, Mayflower’s bringing in “the most sophisticated” snowmaking equipment in North America. That’s part of why the resort says it will offer a ski experience that will “meet or exceed what is currently provided at any other resort in Utah.”