Snow King Mountain Resort has received preliminary approval from the United States Forest Service for mountain improvements and based on that has committed to the purchase of a new gondola and chair lift for installation over the summer of 2021.
Snow King Mountain is a summer and Winter resort and hotel in Jackson, Wyoming, United States. The mountain is Jackson's original 1936 ski hill, located on the southeast edge of the city. It was the first ski area in the state of Wyoming. Locals sometimes refer to Snow King as "The Town Hill." It offer's many things including skiing, hiking, and an alpine slide
“We are extremely excited to take this leap forward for Snow King to ensure that the historic ski area can be economically viable and sustainable long into the future,” said recently appointed President of SKMR, Ryan Stanley. “We have gone through a very extensive review process with both the Town of Jackson and USFS over the past five years and are now looking forward to making some exceptional improvements to the Town Hill that the community will be able to enjoy for decades to come.”
The decision is here and the details include
- A 67-acre permit boundary adjustment on the front side, east of the existing permit area, to accommodate part of a summit access road/novice skiway, intermediate-level terrain lower on the slope (including groomed runs and tree and glade skiing), and a novice route down from Rafferty lift (via the access road/novice skiway).
- An 88-acre permit boundary adjustment on the front side west of the existing permit area to accommodate a summit teaching center, an additional segment of the summit access road/novice skiway, and expert-level tree and glade skiing.
- The southern border of the western boundary adjustment area will be shifted to the actual ridgeline to provide a buffer between summit development and use and the winter habitat lower on the slope.
- A new ski school/teaching center with beginner and novice terrain on the ridgeline west of the Snow King summit.
- New ski runs on both the front and back side and adjustments to some existing runs totaling 133.6 acres of new terrain. This includes runs 1–7, 9, and 13–25, Lift B and C terrain, and modifications of Moose, Belly Roll, Upper Exhibition, and Bearcat.
- Gladed ski terrain and forest health maintenance totaling about 30.9 acres.
- Summit Access Road/Novice Skiway
- A new roughly 2-mile, front-side, access road to the top of the summit gondola that would also serve as a novice skiway.
- A new gondola replacing the aging Summit lift.
- A new back-side chairlift.
- Two teaching center conveyor lifts.
- A new surface tow or conveyor lift on the back side bringing skiers to the summit.
- Cougar lift bottom terminal would be shifted about 250 feet up the current alignment
- Summit restaurant/guest services building and ski patrol facility, 20,000–25,000 square-feet. Construction would require removal of the existing Panorama House and the unloading dock of the original Summit lift.
- Development of the historic Civilian Conservation Corps cabin near the summit as an interpretive center showcasing Snow King’s history.
- A 500-square-foot observatory near the summit.
- A temporary ski patrol building at the top of Cougar.
- A year-round yurt camp at the southern point of the permit area, with nine yurts 20-30 feet in diameter and a 1-mile ADA-compliant access trail from the summit.
- A small, open-air wedding venue west of the summit building.
- 27.3 acres of expanded lighting for night skiing.
- 147.2 acres of added snowmaking (with few exceptions, all existing and proposed runs).
The resort made a commitment to Leitner-Poma, the gondola manufacturer, to ensure Snow King is first in line for gondola and lift construction in 2021. The base of the gondola will be located at the current location of the Cougar lift and the base of the Cougar lift will be relocated 250 feet uphill. The playground and boulder park will remain unchanged.
Also in 2021, Snow King plans include relocation of the Cougar lift base, a new beginner teaching zone at the summit, and snowmaking improvements. Those projects are intended to help the resort meet its goal of improved beginner and intermediate ski terrain and a focus on a family experience.