Plans for a ski resort on Maple Mountain east of Provo were derailed Monday by the Uinta National Forest Service.
Forest Service officials rejected financial information submitted by Seven Peaks owner Victor Borcherds Dec. 28 for a $30 million, 3,010-acre ski resort."The financial proposal provided by Seven Peaks did not satisfy the evidence of financing in place," said Brent McBeth, branch manager of recreation and lands for the Uinta National Forest. "Therefore, the Seven Peaks application process is closed."
McBeth said Seven Peaks submitted a proposal for a bonding structure to back the resort.
"It did not secure that the permittee (Seven Peaks) would complete the project," McBeth said. "We did not get the bonds. We only got the proposals."
The Forest Service asked for proof of financial ability to build the entire resort, including documentation of secured loans and an insurance bond to cover completion of the project.
Borcherds is vowing to resubmit financial information more to the Forest Service's liking.
"We think what we submitted was adequate," Borcherds said. "We'll redo it and give it back to them in a few days."
Sam Rushforth, spokesman for the Rock Canyon Preservation Alliance, said the group expected Seven Peaks' proposal to be rejected.
"We have never felt this was a strong application either financially or environmentally," Rushforth said.
He said his group was told that if the application were rejected, the Forest Service would "be out of the ski business."
McBeth said it would be "second guessing" to say whether the Forest Service would accept a second proposal. However, Seven Peaks may have to do a new environmental impact statement because 10 months have lapsed since the previous document was issued.
For example, three air-quality studies have been done in Utah County since the Forest Service first gave the project the go-ahead. Any new environmental impact statement will require those air studies to be included, McBeth said.
"I don't anticipate getting into (a new proposal for the ski resort) anytime soon," McBeth said. The 10-year Forest Plan for the Uinta National Forest expires in 1994. By 1992, he expects to be involved in public hearings for a new forest plan. He is not certain the new plan will include a ski resort.
Borcherds said he is willing to do whatever it takes to build his ski resort.
"I'm sure Vic's not going to give out," Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins said. "I think he's going to come back and we'll stay by his side to do what we can to help him.
"We've always believed the tourist dollars that would be brought into this community by a ski resort would be phenomenal," said Jenkins.
Seven Peaks received preliminary approval for a ski resort last March based on meeting three conditions:
- Provide assurance of financial ability to complete the project.
- Arrange to enlarge the debris basin at the mouth of Rock Canyon.
- Develop an approved air-quality mitigation plan.
Monday the Uinta National Forest ruled that Seven Peaks' financial plan was inadequate.
Provo City and Seven Peaks agreed to work together on a debris basin that met Forest Service requirements.
The Utah Bureau of Air Quality is reviewing an air-quality study submitted by Seven Peaks. Director Burnell Cordner plans to complete the evaluation of the air-quality study in case resort owner Victor Borcherds resubmits his application for the resort.