Ski Utah Press Release

Public Relations Director


New chairlifts and a gondola outfitted with zip lines are planned for Mineral Basin and Mary Ellen Gulch

SNOWBIRD, UTAH – In unanimous votes handed down by the Utah County Board of Adjustment, Snowbird was granted approval on two conditional use permits involving resort expansion in American Fork Canyon. Utah County representatives voted in favor of Snowbird’s expansion plans after successful negotiations with the City of American Fork, requested by the Board of Adjustment, brought community support and a formal resolution to concerns over water quality in American Fork Canyon. All environmental conditions required under Utah County code were met or exceeded by Snowbird’s plan for operational expansion into upper American Fork Canyon.

“We’re very excited about the permit approval from the Utah County Board of Adjustment, the new lifts planned for Mineral Basin and Mary Ellen Gulch will greatly expand the year round recreational opportunities at Snowbird,” said Bob Bonar, President and CEO of Snowbird. Bonar further added “We have over 45 years of proven stewardship in Little Cottonwood Canyon, the same balance, protection and in some cases recovery of the environment will be practiced in Mary Ellen Gulch.”

Snowbird will not begin any lift or gondola construction for at least two years, while a detailed water analysis is performed in key areas of Mary Ellen Gulch. A baseline of water quality standards must be drawn in order to compare future water quality measurements against current levels. Water quality measuring is to be performed monthly, with quarterly reports submitted to Utah County agencies for independent review. 

Once water monitoring studies are completed by Snowbird, two new chairlifts will be added on private property along the southern boundary of Snowbird’s current terrain. Mineral Basin Express will be upgraded to increase rider capacity. A new lift in Mary Ellen Gulch will provide  access to Sunday Saddle, which borders both Mary Ellen Gulch and Mineral Basin, allowing for safe access to new resort terrain. A gondola spanning from Hidden Peak to Mary Ellen Gulch will be established as part of the expansion project recently approved under the permits filed by Snowbird. The gondola will also support a zip line system, allowing guests at Snowbird to experience one of the highest elevated zip lines and unparalleled scenic views in North America. The new lifts and gondola will provide an additional 500 acres, bringing Snowbird’s total to 3,000 acres of skiable terrain.  


Located just 29 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is North America’s most accessible alpine resort destination. Averaging over 500 inches of snowfall per year Snowbird has the longest season out of any resort in Utah. For more resort  information please visit For media information please contact Snowbird Communications Manager Brian Brown at (801) 891-3496 or