Utah’s 14 ski resorts have built more than 45 new lifts since Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, barely behind Colorado over the same period, which has twice as many mountains. Ski Utah is a huge success story in an era which has seen dozens of resort closings nationwide. Cherry Peak Resort became the state’s newest winter destination last December, bringing affordable skiing to the Cache Valley and the nearby college town of Logan. Cherry Peak is the first all-new ski facility in America since the 2004 opening of Tamarack Resort in Idaho. Next winter, the mountain will debut a third chairlift, increasing lift-served vertical rise to 1,265 feet.
Cherry Peak has a unique business model for the Rockies, operating Monday-Saturday with a noon opening on weekdays and skiing until 10:00 pm. Owner John Chadwick has a lot to be proud of since starting construction on the project from scratch in 2013, completing a road network, two lifts, night lighting, snowmaking, a beautiful lodge, tube park and more. Last season saw plentiful snow and more than three months of operation with two triple chairlifts and a magic carpet.
Unfortunately the Summit lift shown on the above trail map didn’t quite get finished for the inaugural season. Since the last update I posted a year ago, the towers and terminal legs have been set and the com-line strung. Both terminal structures still need to be installed along with the haul rope and operator houses. Summit will be the third Yan triple chair for Cherry Peak and I believe it came from Squaw Valley. The two lifts installed last year – Gateway and Vista – came from Whistler-Blackcomb and Sun Valley, respectively.
When Summit is complete, Cherry Peak will feature 280 acres of skiing in Cherry Creek Canyon. The mountain also plans to add a fourth lift, appropriately dubbed Canyon, in the years to come. When I stopped by this week, crews were working on new trails for lift-served mountain biking. The mountain is also hosting some big name concerts this summer with American Authors headlining on August 27th. They seem to be off to a solid start heading into season number two.