This past weekend, the Surface crew rolled out to a dimly inhabited town in southern Utah. 40 minutes from the town exists an uninhabited ski resort, devoid of life, cell service, and activity for the past nine years. With minimal snow and mellow terrain, we made the best of creative features and put our souls into 6 hour projects in hopes of creating some late season media of our travels. Banks Gilberti, Tug Boat, Mike Schneider, Jared, Paul B, Ian Matteson, and Josh Bishop rolled the dice in hopes of yet another pow trip and walked away from an adventurous weekend with an appetite for more.
Initially valued at $3.5 billion, Elk Meadows, UT is currently worth 5.15 million. This vacant 1,138 acres of mountainside condos last operated in the 2000 – 2001 season and is littered with multi-million dollar homes, private ski runs, and half completed construction projects. Originally slated as the next billionaires’ playground, many investors saw potential in Elk Meadows. Unfortunately, their dreams were larger than their hedge funds and the 10,400ft resort fell into oblivion after bobbling between failed investors and bankrupt companies.
In the main lodge, signs for $35 lift tickets, broken floor boards, and abandoned construction projects mark the age of the resort. Walking in, you feel as though 50 – 80 people were working around the clock, when, without warning, dropped their coffee mugs and vanished. A Shattered television, thousands of dollars in copper wire, a credit card machine, coffee filters, and an imploded cafeteria emit an eerie sense of wonderment as you walk around the lodge.
Below are photos of our endeavors. Without proper snow, we made the best of everything and produced one of the most exhilarating, energizing, and bizarre trips of the season.
Looking ahead to the spring and summer, our crew will split apart and dive into full time jobs, shredding in Mammoth, Whistler, and Hood, ultimately pursuing their dreams and doing whatever possible to sustain life in the off season.
Here’s to the upcoming months! We’re going to have a blast and regardless of your agenda, obligations, or bankroll, you should live life and aggressively pursue your goals.
**Thanks to Ian Matteson for the incredible photos and Tug Boat for the sleeping arraignments!