Summit Powder Mountain has become a global destination and welcoming community, offering the “Greatest Snow on Earth” at the largest skiable area in North America.

An ambitious undertaking is currently underway in Utah by a well-known group of entrepreneurs and innovators who seek to make the world a better place. Their objective is to create a modern-day paradise by fostering a welcoming community based on shared values. With its world-class recreational opportunities, breathtaking views and friendly neighbors, the Town of Eden is aptly named for such an endeavor.

Powder hounds are familiar with Eden because it is home to the world-renown ski resort, Powder Mountain. Nestled in the mountains of northern Utah just 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, the Town of Eden has attracted executives from well-known companies around the world. Business leaders like PayPal co-founder Ken Howery, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson all own homes near the resort.

Established in 1972, the nearly 8,500-acre facility offers more terrain than any other ski resort in North America. Similar to many European resorts, Powder Mountain has inverted topography where the “base” is located on the top of the mountain. This makes for awe-inspiring views and accessible runs. It has 154 trails, snowcat skiing, nine lifts and offers highly sought-after night skiing. The resort limits season passes to 3,000 annually and tickets to 1,500 daily. This approach effectively provides three acres of the “Greatest Snow on Earth” to every customer so they have a genuine skiing experience while on the slopes.

“With so much terrain, it takes years to learn all of Powder Mountain’s secrets,” says Nathan Rafferty, president and CEO of Ski Utah. “That’s why it remains a local’s hill with a really authentic feel. It is a gem – maybe not so secret as it used to be – but still a gem.”

Powder Mountain’s secret is definitely out, partially due to its close proximity to the recently rebuilt Salt Lake International Airport (SLC) that offers direct flights to destinations around the world. The resort is also conveniently located close to the Ogden-Hinckley regional airport, a particularly great resource for those who fly in private jets. Just 30 and 15 miles away from each airport respectively, Powder Mountain is an accessible resort for global travelers. Given these important regional infrastructure assets, it is easy to see how some of the world’s top decision makers have arrived in northern Utah, but why have they decided to call it home?

Networking at High Elevations

In 2013 venture capitalist and founder of Learn Capital, Greg Mauro, worked with the founders of the Summit Series to purchase Powder Mountain as the permanent home for their ongoing events. The Summit Series provided invitation-only weekend getaways for thought leaders and innovators seeking to make the world a better place. Past speakers have included well-known names like Jeff Bezos, Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, Bill Clinton, Shonda Rhimes, Brené Brown and Kendrick Lamar. When the new owners purchased Powder Mountain, they saw an opportunity to create a unique, sustainable community that would attract some of the Summit Series’ more affluent attendees.

In 2016 officials broke ground on a housing development called “Summit Powder Mountain.” About 80 percent of Summit Powder Mountain buyers are also Summit Series members. Now touted as one of the most creative and innovative localities in the world, the master-planned community includes an interconnected trail system, 500 residences, hotels, restaurants, shops, event spaces and more. The 15-to-20-year development is entering phase two: construction of the mountain village. More than 40 homes have already been completed, with the recent addition of a new lift to create ski-in/ski-out homes.

Summit Powder Mountain

Adopting a ‘Mountain Modern’ Lifestyle

Summit Powder Mountain has quickly become a niche housing market for socially conscious individuals seeking solitude without sacrificing community. Early investors have fostered a community that unofficially adopts Summit Series principles like “be present, show love, build friendships and don’t take yourself too seriously.”

These principles are also infused into the architecture of the homes. The size of the homes is limited to 4,500 square feet above ground and must be built in a “mountain-modern” style that blends with the natural environment. While many of the homes cost millions of dollars, the development will also include more affordable condos to attract creative types like artists and entrepreneurs.

“When our community of entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and artists came together to invest in Summit Powder Mountain, our vision was simple,” said Elliott Bisnow, co-founder of the Summit Series and Summit Powder Mountain. “We wanted to create a purpose-driven community with like-minded individuals.”

Powder Mountain has invested heavily in the construction of over 30 miles of no-charge, accessible, world-class biking and hiking trails, with plans for more in the near future. These trails provide recreational opportunities for the local community and help to alleviate overcrowding on the Ogden Valley trail networks.

Powder Mountain is intent on being a trusted community partner. With nearly three fourths of its land preserved for conservation and recreation, their efforts go beyond a do-no-harm approach. Resort owners are working to minimize impacts to air quality while maximizing perks offered to surrounding communities. They subsidize community events, offer heavily discounted season passes for local residents and regularly provide free community dinners.

Utah Means Business

Powder Mountain’s new business and marketing strategy is paying off. The number of out-of-state skiers and snowboarders has grown significantly over the past eight years. Out-of-state visits now total over 50 percent of the resort’s skier days, with the bulk of travelers coming from New York and Los Angeles.

“Powder Mountain adds tremendous economic and social value to communities in northern Utah,” said Chris Roybal, President and CEO of the Northern Utah Economic Alliance. “It not only creates jobs through its resort offerings, but its growth provides employment for people in the construction, land development, engineering and architectural industries. It’s no wonder that some of the most influential people in the world would want to call it home.”