Powder Mountain development could reap rewards for Cache and Weber counties

The ski and snowboard industry is a major driver of Utah’s economy, which means that the Powder Mountain ski resort could provide a significant economic boon. However, Cache County has been dragging its heels with the development, having only just decided last month to reconsider the project in the hopes of tackling its surveying and water issues.

Last May, the Cache County Council unanimously voted down the project, which has been in development since 2007, after a surveying snafu put 12 cabins on the Cache County side instead of the agreed upon amount of five.

Although he wasn’t present at <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_25a82d98-1288-11e4-98f0-0017a43b2370.html” target=”_blank”>the July meeting</a> that put the project back on the table, Cache County Attorney James Swink had previously mentioned that he felt like the Powder Mountain development was going through the county’s back door, to where it wouldn’t be allowed under current zoning ordinances.

Additionally, Councilman Jon White said that neighboring landowners had concerns about water usage on the mountain. The issue was supposed to be addressed on August 12 but has been postponed to a future council meeting.

While such issues would certainly need to be solved before development began, they need to be weighed against the economic scope of the project. According to the <a href=”http://www.co.weber.ut.us/commission/pdf/Summit%20Eden%20@%20Powder%20Mountain%20Community%20Development%20Project%20Area%20Plan%20and%20EBA.pdf” target=”_blank”>Weber County Redevelopment Agency’s plan</a>, the development would bring $73.2 million in incremental property taxes to participating entities over a 20 year period, provide between 700 and 800 construction jobs, and create another 1,000 jobs related to resort and lodging operations.

Other Utah counties are already reaping the benefits of ski resorts similar to Powder Mountain. According to marketing firm Ski Utah, the <a href=”http://www.co.weber.ut.us/commission/pdf/Summit%20Eden%20@%20Powder%20Mountain%20Community%20Development%20Project%20Area%20Plan%20and%20EBA.pdf” target=”_blank”>skiing and snowboarding industry creates more than 20,000 jobs</a> in the state, and contributes $1.29 billion to the state economy.

The industry affects everyone who lives in the state. As a result of its economic impact, the tax burden on Utah households is reduced by more than $1,000, according to figures from 2012.

In the end, the Powder Mountain ski resort could mean big things for both Cache and Weber counties’ economies.

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