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September 06, 2006

Brian Head Interconnect Improvements Proposed

Brian Head is considering a new interconnect project to connect the existing Navajo and Giant Steps ski areas. If you have been to Brian Head, you will notice how the runs were already cut above Georg's ski shop from the previous lift that used to be on that side. In addition, the project will include replacing the Giant Steps lift with a high speed detachable quad.

The Interconnect Project will consist of a new chair lift to replace the historic chair lift #1 (removed from service in 1992) that crosses over Highway 143, and a second new chair lift that extends from the base of the new chair lift #1 on the east side of Highway 143 to a point near the top of Giant Steps Mountain. A new highspeed detachable chair lift will also be installed to replace the existing chair lift #2 at Giant Steps. The Interconnect lift system will expand the existing ski terrain by over 33%, and allow skiers of all abilities to circulate freely between both base areas without removing their skis. Importantly, the Interconnect Project will also significantly enhance ski access to a majority of the area’s lodging units, thereby reducing automobile traffic and parking congestion in and around the Town of Brian Head.

I received an e-mail from another local yesterday pointing out the information at the Brian Head Town website. We went back and forth via e-mail about the logistics and the issues, but net is we feel this is a good addition, but not in lieu of completing the Pioneer Cabins area. Our other concern is that the town is footing an almost $1M bill for a bridge across the highway, but much of the improvements will make more condos "slopeside" and ski in ski out. Certainly this means all of our tax bills will go up--now it looks like $100 a year or less for most condos.

Brian Head needs more advanced and expert terrain and I posted about Pioneer Cabins and the MDP last year, but the pdf's at the USDA website are gone. I tried to get copies from the Dixie National Forrest and from the libraries, but no dice. The area has good snow; a great location close enough to California, Arizona, and Nevada; and great atmosphere. Only real issue is that it is a weekender and day tripper resort and there is almost no destination skiing. What that means is that the resort is usually empty on Mon-Thur but busy on powder days and weekends. Don't even ask about holidays. Most of the condo rentals occur over the holidays.

I probably won't be able to attend the town meeting on September 13th, but will ask some friends to provide more info on the happenings.

Posted by Justin at September 6, 2006 10:36 AM