The Next Chapter: Sharing Snowbowl’s Future
On the heels of the longest ski season in history, and answering the Forest Service’s call to utilize existing mountain resort infrastructure as a portal to the National Forest to satisfy growing recreational demand, we are excited to share our vision for the future. “Our job, as I see it, is to make sure that people take home the memories they come for,” said retired Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “That includes furnishing the services they need—the roads, the slopes, the facilities, and everything else. It should include using the infrastructure of ski areas to help meet recreational demand year-round.” Through our proposed Master Development Plan (MDP), we are seeking to enhance the existing guest experience, meet current demand, provide year-round outdoor recreation activities and benefit the community with additional partnerships and a greater economic impact.
In order to ensure our guests take home positive memories, the new plan addresses the following improvements within the existing 777-acre boundary:
- Facilities and infrastructure — improvements at Agassiz and Hart Prairie lodges plus at the top of Agassiz lift, and additional base area facilities serving year-round activities, additional parking, a medical clinic, adaptive skiing center;
- Winter lifts and trail enhancements — two new lifts, five new trails;
- Limited night skiing and tubing on lower elevation western slope;
- Year-round recreational activities — mountain biking, alpine slide, zip-line, outdoor concerts.
“It’s no secret that we’re passionate about creating skiers and making the sport accessible to everyone,” says Managing Partner James Coleman of Mountain Capital Partners. “We are guided by our mission ‘Skiing First’ and are committed to keeping winter a top priority. I’m confident the proposed improvements will enhance the experience for expert and beginner skiers alike.”
Snowbowl’s Economic Impact
Determined by the Alliance Bank Economic Policy Institute at NAU
- The direct annual economic impact on Flagstaff, Coconino County, and Arizona is $58 million.
- Employs over 700 people annually; new MDP projections call for 85 more jobs.
- Snowbowl supported local charities with more than $93,000 last year; MDP improvements would increase funding and partnerships promoting art, culture, health, and education.
- Projected capital project spending for the proposed MDP is more than $60 million.
We expect to submit our list of proposed projects to the Forest Service this summer. The NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process, which includes public input, is anticipated to begin this fall when detailed project plans have been completed. The earliest implementation of the proposed projects would occur in 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Master Development Plan?
Q: How do you create an MDP? What are the key objectives of Snowbowl's proposed MDP?
Q: Why are you working on a new MDP?
Q: Does Snowbowl have the mechanisms in place to manage visitation?
Q: How does Snowbowl manage traffic and congestion?
Q: What is Snowbowl doing to protect Flagstaff's dark skies?
Q: Is there an opportunity to incorporate sustainable building practices and renewable energy systems?
Q: What is the timeline for adding mountain bike trails?
Q: What other activities are being considered?
Q: How can I submit feedback on the plan?
Arizona Snowbowl operates under a special use permit from the Coconino National Forest.