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Willamette PASS SKI Area PROPOSEd master development plan overview


Willamette Pass Ski Area (Willamette Pass) is in the midst of developing a Master Development Plan (MDP) as required under their Special Use Permit (SUP) which is located on both the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and is administered by the Willamette National Forest. The intention of the MDP is to provide a guide for the future development and improvement of Willamette Pass by ensuring a balance of facilities and a wide variety of amenities affording a recreational experience that is sustainable to the business, operations, and the surrounding environment. Through the proposed upgrade plan defined in the MDP, Willamette Pass is seeking to balance the resort with better connectivity and access, expanded terrain, and enhanced guest service facilities while maintaining the resort’s “local and authentic” character.


The planned lifts and terrain upgrades to Willamette Pass include six new chairlifts, a new conveyor, and an expansion to the north and west of the existing terrain (staying within the current SUP). The new conveyor and Planned Lift A and F would create an enhanced beginner to low intermediate skier experience. Currently, Willamette Pass lacks a variety of beginner routes down the mountain, which can contribute to a more difficult learning experience and increased congestion. The installation of two lifts and a conveyor in conjunction with the development of planned beginner to low intermediate trails within planned Lift A’s terrain pod would help correct this existing deficiency. Planned Lifts B, C, D, and their associated terrain pods would primarily service intermediate to expert skiers adding more variety and a mix of developed and undeveloped gladed terrain. Planned Lift E would primarily function as a transport lift to circulate skiers and riders from the top of Twilight Lift to the top of Peak 2 without requiring them to return to the base and ride Eagle Peak Accelerator. This will help spread guests over the mountain and provide alternate routes to Peak 2, shortening lines at Eagle Peak Accelerator.


There are four planned guest service upgrades including improvements to the existing base lodge, the construction of two new on-mountain restaurants servicing both the front and back side of Willamette Pass, and a new learning center at the bottom of Planned Lift A, Planned Lift F, and a planned conveyor. The base lodge improvements include expanding the current food and beverage, rental, and ticketing spaces to accommodate increased visitation and growing capacity at Willamette Pass. Snowsports operations would be moved out of the base lodge and into the new planned learning center. The learning center’s proximity to teaching terrain would create an improved experience for first time skiers and riders. Planned on-mountain restaurants would provide guests with diversified dining options while reducing congestion and seating needs in the base lodge. The final piece of the upgrade plan aims to improve the current parking and access to Willamette Pass. The plans include adding additional parking lots, constructing a safer highway crossing to connect the existing south parking lot with the resort base, and the construction of on-site employee housing across the highway. Increased parking would support the proposed increased capacity and ensure access doesn’t become a pinch point for the resort, while the planned crossing would allow guests to access the resort without walking across the highway. Lastly, Willamette Pass has already identified a lack of workforce in the area as a pinch point to efficient operations. Building on-site workforce housing will help address that existing problem and provide the capacity to house a growing workforce to support the upgrade plan.

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