A mountain of paper work is the grandest height still to be scaled by Seven Peaks Resort developers before a New Year's Eve date with the Forest Service.
But Director of Mountain Operations Kent Compton isn't all that worried about it.Since filing a National Forest Service form for the proposed ski resort in 1988, Compton said he's been in and out of the Uinta National Forest's offices in Provo several times. The information required by the end of the year is just another shovelful of paper.
The Forest Service is requiring Seven Peaks to show evidence of financial capability to complete the $30 million project. Compton said he gave preliminary financial information to the Forest Service on Dec. 13 and now the offices at Seven Peaks are busy churning out necessary legal documents.
"We feel like they've satisfied all the requirements up to this time," said Norm Huntsman, branch chief for range, wildlife and watershed for the Uinta National Forest. "They only need approval of financial capability."
Forest Service regulations require proof of the ability to fund an entire project before any major construction can begin on Forest Service land.
Compton said the requirement for the financial documents to be in by the end of 1990 is largely the Forest Service's reaction to other resort developers whose plans for a ski resort on the mountain east of Provo never jelled. There was a decision to not let it "drag on" and Seven Peaks agreed to the earlier deadline.
Even with all approvals, the work on the Forest Service portion of the resort will mostly be summer work. Compton said two summers are needed for the resort to be ready for skiers. To open, the resort needs the ski runs, chair lifts, warming huts and the funicular to transport the skiers up the mountain. All that can be provided for $30 million.
An air quality study completed by Seven Peaks Resort is still under consideration at the Utah Bureau of Air Quality.
"I personally think the permit will be upheld," said Don Robinson, manager of engineering for the Bureau. Final approval will wait until the new year. Bureau Director Burnell Cordner will decide after he returns to work Jan. 2 if another 30-day public comment period is in order, Robinson said.
If the Bureau of Air Quality decides to hold public hearings, a final decision on the permit for the ski resort will wait until after those public hearings.
The most important permit, issued after the completion of an environmental impact statement, is Forest Service approval of the master development plan. Seven Peaks has that approval.
Compton said, "We have a track record of getting things done and getting things done well. We don't do anything cheap and dirty.
"If you think the water park is nice, wait until you see the ski resort."
The Seven Peaks Resort Water Park has completed its second season and is considered a success. Plans are under way to add an ice skating rink for wintertime activity at the water park.
An 18-hole golf course is under construction. Although the course will be planted this spring, the landscaping will be given a year to mature before the course is opened.
On the drawing board is a clubhouse for the golf course and a miniature golf course.
The four-star Excelsior Hotel in downtown Provo was the first acquisition for the Seven Peaks Resort, purchased by Victor and Suzanne Borcherds in 1988.