Brand-new ski resorts are rare commodities these days. The opening of Cherry Peak Resort this ski season marks the first such unveiling in Utah since Deer Valley in 1981. (Eagle Point Resort in 2010 was a resurrection of a closed area known as Elk Meadows.)
Located 17 miles from Logan, Cherry Peak is the realization of a childhood dream for John Chadwick. “My parents bought the property in 1967, so we’ve skied there off and on, backcountry skiing, and I thought about it when I was a young kid in grade school,” Chadwick said. “I didn’t think anything would happen in that it was more a dream, than a future reality.”
About 15 years ago, the encouragement of friend Ramon Birkner, an Argentinean Olympic ski coach, inspired Chadwick to pursue the idea as a practical reality. Little by little, Chadwick bought out the parcels of land divided among other family members. After a long legal permit process, Chadwick first hoped to open last ski season, but construction delays pushed back the resort’s birthday to Dec. 21, 2015.
For the 2015-16 ski season, Cherry Peak will operate the Vista and Gateway triple-chair lifts accessing 800 vertical feet. When conditions allow, snowcat service can take guests up another almost 500 vertical feet to the area’s summit elevation of 7,050 feet. The Summit triple-chair lift is scheduled to open next season for that terrain. The resort also has a 550-foot conveyor lift serving both the learning slope and the tubing hill. The resort has about 200 acres of inbounds skiable terrain.
Snow: Annual Snowfall of 322 Inches
According to Chadwick, the hired climate consultants predicted an average annual snowfall of 322 inches at the summit and 182 inches at the base. A snowmaking system has also been installed to give Mother Nature a boost.
Night Skiing & Other Activities
With Utah State students in Logan looking for nighttime diversions, night skiing and tubing until 9 p.m. are expected to be big draws. The base also features an outdoor ice-skating rink and a 15,000-square-foot day lodge.
Most of Cherry Peak’s visitors will likely come from Logan and the entire Cache Valley area. However, the resort may fill a niche for destination travelers who can stay in Logan-area hotels.
“We’re a small fish in a huge pond, but we have found that people on a budget just want to come to Utah for skiing. We are so much less expensive than the big boys. We are finding people calling to find out when we are open and are scheduling hotel stays, so there is more from out-of-state than I ever dreamed would happen,” Chadwick said.
Located in a region with a strong Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints influence, Cherry Peak will be closed on Sundays. Chadwick said his investors preferred that the area not open on Sundays in observance of the Sabbath.
For the other six days of the week, however, the Cherry Peak lifts will finally be spinning from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. “Frankly, we are all too tired to have any emotions, but the lodge looks gorgeous. It’s been a goal of mine for a long time, so it’s a big deal. I don’t know how else to say it,” Chadwick said. “It’s going to be very fun to see all those sliding kids scooting down the hill.”