Park City, Utah — After we reported that Deer Valley’s bubble chairlift had been approved, a funny series of events happened.

It began with an appeal by the Bransford Land Co. that challenged the project’s approval. During the public hearing process, a few people from the Bransford Land Co., including Anne Bransford, spoke out against the expansion.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, they believed that the expansion wouldn’t be safe enough for beginner skiers. Bransford Land Co. offered Deer Valley their land for expansion, which they claimed to be gentler for beginners and have less of an environmental impact. However, leaders from Deer Valley claimed they couldn’t use this land because Bransford Land Co. is in active litigation with Extell, the developer of this new massive expansion.

While this initially looked like it would be a repeat of the ongoing battle between Park City Mountain Resort and a group of locals, it wasn’t meant to be. Last week, TownLift reported that the Bransford Land Co. dropped its lawsuit. The reasoning for the dropped lawsuit was not given.

The Bransford Land Co. issued the following statement to TownLift:

“Effective immediately, Bransford Land Company, LLC respectfully withdraws our appeal to the Planning Commission’s approval of Lift 7 submitted on June 3, 2024. As always, BLC respects the efforts of your staff and Planning Commissioners. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Ultimately, Deer Valley and its lawyers can breathe a huge sigh of relief as they can now proceed with this chairlift project.

In May, the Park City Planning Commission approved the proposal by Deer Valley to add a new bubble chairlift and four new trails to Park Peak. This plan which is a part of the Mayflower expansion, faced a challenging approval process. Two main factors delayed the decision until May 22nd: the route most beginners will take to leave the terrain pod and its location in a wildlife corridor. However, Deer Valley was able to coherently explain how their planning process determined how these factors aren’t going to be an issue with this expansion. The original ski-related accessory building, which would house the bubble chairs, was removed from those plans and will be resubmitted for a new conditional-use permit.

The bubble chairlift got conditional approval, meaning that Deer Valley must comply with a set of standards. Some of these 29 conditions include no fencing, construction will have to occur in a timeframe with the most minimal wildlife disturbance, signage must be put in place for the summertime that warns of potential moose activity, and a biology consultant to visit a few areas after the snow melt that they weren’t able to get to previously.

Projected skier flow of the new terrain pod around the base terminal.

The Doppelmayr D-Line high-speed six-pack bubble chairlift will have a capacity of 3000 people per hour, be .56 miles long, and feature a vertical rise of around 600 feet. The new chairlift will service mostly beginner terrain and connect Flagstaff Mountain to Park Peak. Ski resorts across the continent are building terrain pods at higher elevations to give novice skiers a memorable experience, and this area will fit the bill for Deer Valley. The bottom terminal will be situated next to the intersection of the Trump and Ontario trails.

Park Peak, a.k.a. the future home of the bubble chairlift.

Construction work will begin this summer, but the actual lift infrastructure will be installed in the summer of 2025. It’s projected to open during the 2025-26 season.

Image Credits: Deer Valley Resort

RELATED: Breaking Down Deer Valley’s Massive Expansion Plan

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