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Ski resort eyed for Oquirrh Mountains

Kennecott Land is considering a ski resort in the Oquirrh Mountains on the west side of Salt Lake County.

"It's certainly skiable terrain, and a lot of it," said Jim Schulte, vice president of long-range planning at Kennecott Land, an arm of Kennecott Utah Copper.

Salt Lake County leaders joined Schulte at the site of the proposed resort Tuesday, 18 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport. The north-facing peaks had fresh patches of snow.

From a base elevation of 6,200 feet, the Oquirrh resort would rise to 9,350 feet.

Schulte said snow measurements, a factor in building any ski resort, appear "pretty attractive." He offered no timetable for the project.

"They could easily do it," said Nathan Rafferty, president and chief executive officer of Ski Utah, a marketing association representing Utah's ski-and-snowboard industry.

"I don't know that it's the kind of resort that would compete with the Snowbirds, Altas and Deer Valleys of the world, but it would be something that would benefit Salt Lake," Rafferty said.

Kennecott has extensive land holdings near its Utah copper mine, the largest open-pit copper mine in the world.