JHDaily Article: Snow King to preview its future

By Mike Koshmrl Jackson Hole Daily | Posted: Friday, December 11, 2015 4:30 am

The future of Snow King Mountain will be in the spotlight this afternoon, when resort leaders will gather with the public to discuss their Phase 2 development plan.

A presentation from 3 to 6 p.m. in the resort’s Grand View Lodge will update the public about a ski area expansion, gondola, summit restaurant, observatory and planetarium, lift-accessed mountain bike park, zip line from the summit to the base and more.

Snow King officials won’t be making any new announcements but, rather, will be touching base with the community about the next step in the resort’s future, marketing director Keely Herron said.

“We’re trying to get the message out as clear as possible,” Herron said. “We hope we get a good turnout.”

Snow King expects to send an official proposal to the Bridger-Teton National Forest “in early 2016,” Herron said. The next step after that will be an environmental impact statement and an accompanying public review process.

Meanwhile, Snow King officials aren’t keeping their plans in the dark. Each planned feature on the mountain is detailed on the resort’s website under the heading “Big things are coming.”

The vision for the Town Hill is to “create a world-class mountain resort right in the town of Jackson,” Snow King President and lead investor Max C. Chapman Jr. said in a statement. “We’ve had exceptional feedback from the local community about the improvements to date. It was inspiring to see people so excited about the Cowboy Coaster when we opened it for two weeks in October.”

Chapman and Ryan Stanley, the ski area’s general manager, will lead the presentation, Herron said. It will begin at 3 p.m. Afterward the meeting will be open-house style, with stations around the room staffed by members of Snow King’s management team.

Snow King announced its intention to pursue its next stage of development this summer, while its Phase 1 additions were under construction.

Those projects — which included a new Rafferty chairlift, mountain coaster and new base buildings — cost Snow King investors more than $15 million. The next phase of the plan figures to be more costly, Stanley said in a statement.