Deer Valley Resort sold to new ski company

Posted at 10:08 PM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 09:26:52-04

DEER VALLEY, Utah - It's one of the best ski areas in North America right in our back yard.  Now avid skiers are reacting after Deer Valley Resort announced Monday it is being bought by a large multi-resort entity.

Many worry this will change the face of the mountain.  Resorts around the world and in Utah are seeing a lot of change.  Vail bought Park City Resort in 2015 and combined it with Canyons Resort.

“It's my home mountain,” said Dennis Hanlon of Park City who spent much of the 1980s shredding the slopes of Deer Valley Resort as a ski instructor.   “I grew up with Deer Valley and watched it grow.  I felt very attached to the mountain and I still do."

“I think like everybody taken by surprise,” Hanlon said when he found out the resort was being sold to a multi-resort entity consisting of KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company.

The price of the deal wasn't made public, but skiers told Fox 13 the experiences they've had for decades are priceless and they're worried about change.

“I think the biggest fear down the line is snowboarding and ticket sales," Hanlon said.  "Those are the biggest unknowns."

Other residents echoed those concerns.

“Snowboards of course.  Who's running the company and if its going to turn into some big thing,” Park City business owner, Meghan Mccomes said.

The success of business owners depends on the mountain.  “If we lose our clients because Deer Valley changes, that's going to change the dynamic of this whole town,” Mccomes said.

The president of Deer Valley Resort said he's been overwhelmed with calls since the announcement,  but tells everyone the same thing.

“No change in staff, no change in goals, no change in the operational focus," Bob Wheaton, President and General Manager of Deer Valley Resort said.  "There is truly going to be no change.”

He said skiers won't notice a difference, meaning there will still be no snowboarders and the cap on ticket sales stays.

For those who were close friends with Stein Ericksen, the father of freestyle skiing and the man who developed Deer Valley, Wheaton had this to say:  “I know if he were here today he could not be more supportive of the decision that we made.”

Solitude is not part of this deal which is expected to be finalized before ski season.  It's yet to be seen if the ski pass in the future will include those other 12 resorts the large entity owns.

You can find out more information and some frequently asked questions about the deal here.