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Photo Credit: WPPilot | Cover Photo: VeggieGarden

After months of debate and civil protest to a proposed expansion into the upper reaches of American Fork Canyon, Snowbird has received approval to move forward with a future development.

Related: Snowbird Encounters Public Criticism for Proposed Land Swap | General Manager Clarifies

Those plans, which include building two chairlifts in the Mary Ellen Gulch area, were given unanimous approval by the Utah County Board of Adjustment according to a press release from the Little Cottonwood Canyon resort.

“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.” Bob Bonar, CEO and President of Snowbird

While the move comes to the chagrin of members of Protect and Preserve American Fork Canyon, Snowbird officials are claiming that they will exercise the same environmental practices they’ve been known for during their 45 year tenure as stewards in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Those same opponents are planning their next move and haven’t ruled out the chance of taking their cause to a Utah appeals court at a later date.

The new expansion will add 500 acres of skiable terrain.

In the meantime, the expansion is contingent on two years worth of water testing and analysis in order to ensure proper water quality for the city of American Fork. However, once those studies are complete, Snowbird plans to move forward with the construction of one lift and one gondola, which will provide access to a summer zipline in addition to accessing new ski terrain.

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