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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summit Series Descends On Ogden Valley

Partygoers to stay high on Powder Mountain

What started as a Utah ski trip for 19 young entrepreneurs in 2008 has returned full circle and morphed into a four day event at Summit's new home at Powder Mountain

Each year Summit organizes a large event for some of the world's heavy hitters.  In 2010 they hosted "DC10" in our nations capital.  The next year they embarked on a cruise ship for "Summit at Sea, while in 2012 they hosted "Summit Basecamp" at Squaw Valley.  Past attendees have included Bill Clinton, Ted Turner, Richard Branson and many others.

Over the last couple of years, Summit discovered Powder Mountain and ultimately completed the purchase of the Ogden Valley resort in April 2013.  The rumored purchase price: $40 million.  Now they have their own Basecamp and are hosting "Summit Outside" this weekend.

The group is very tight lipped and requires employees to sign a confidentiality agreement, but there have been some leaks regarding this weekends big event.  Celebrities such as Usher and Beyonce have already been sighted in Eden.

A tent city has been constructed in the area known to backcountry skiers as "Mary's," and the 850 attendees are said to be "Glamping" - Glamorous Camping in a 200 - 400 sq. ft. wood floor suite with a queen size bed and canvas wall.  The purported price tag for these digs?  $5,000 for the cheap seats and $12,000 for the deluxe.

From their invitation only website

Experience:  Tucked into a 10,000-acre wilderness, Summit Outside will take 850 thought leaders on an unprecedented physical and intellectual safari. Built around a vibrant Bedouin-inspired tent village, the discourse is as fresh as the mountain air. It's singularity and s'mores. Robots and rope swings. New media platforms and old-school conversation. Every experience is designed to foster stimulating conversations, personal connections, and new partnerships and possibilities.

Vision:  Return to the wilderness. Rediscover adventure. Reignite inspiration. This summer, the Summit community will gather for the first flagship Summit event in 18 months, and the first-ever on Summit's new home, Powder Mountain. It's an opportunity for attendees to connect with the natural world and one another. On a mountaintop where the views touch four states, Summit Outside sets a foundation for the Summit community for decades to come.

Story:  Summit is a community rooted in the idea that collaboration drives innovation. Over the past five years, Summit has created events that foster partnerships and drive positive growth. After seeing the impact of these four-day experiences, we set out to create a permanent place dedicated to convening and inspiring thought leaders. In April 2013, Summit purchased Powder Mountain, the largest ski mountain in the United States, with the intention of building an epicenter of innovation, culture, and thought leadership.

Has this big event impacted you this weekend?  Have you spied your favorite celebrity at Valley Market?  Has your business been positively influenced by the Summit attendees?

The floor is yours Ogden Valley faithful.  Tell us what you've seen.

UPDATE:  7/22/13 @ 10:00 am

Sunday's Standard had this article along with some aerial photos of the tent city:

Powder Mountain’s Summit Outside pampers those seeking positive change

Click here to view the aerial images.


Sheriff EH said...

I did hear that a fairly intelligent looking fellow wearing sandals walked into Valley Market asking for 5 to 7 loaves of bread and a couple of fish to feed the Multitudes at the Summit event. He was disappointed they only had frozen fish but he would make do. He promised to see what they could do about our dead stream beds in the valley.
True story.

Brad said...

I’m not quite sure where to begin with my thoughts on “Summit Outside”. The folks from Summit Series obviously own Powder Mountain, and they can now do pretty much whatever they wish with their land. But I hope and pray that their actions will match their list of supposedly altruistic objectives – particularly when it comes to environmental awareness. I personally walked the entire event site. What I saw left me very concerned that this group is much more interested in throwing epic parties than being stewards of the land. I realize it is impossible to hold such an event without leaving at least some mark on the mountain, but the magnitude of the operation and the resulting impact on the ecosystem was simply unnecessary. They could have easily accommodated and impressed the Summit Outside attendees with a much more minimalistic approach. The number of paths (both vehicular and pedestrian) crisscrossing the entire event site, the number of people trampling virgin meadows located nowhere near the site (far away from the many new paths Summit had already created), the sickening number and size of cars, trucks, RVs, 4X4s, trailers, golf carts shaped like Alice-in-Wonderland ladybugs with speakers blaring music, the ridiculous quantity of materials used to build tent platforms, lounge areas, bars, and outdoor “DJ/rave” stages, and the absurd number of cheap camping-related “souvenirs” for each and every attendee (most of which will probably land in the dumpster). Not to mention the dozens of portable structures dragged onto the site for kitchens, dining halls, bathrooms, showers, and the main performance stage. It was surreal to see this level of activity in a beautiful area that I (and my family) have hiked and enjoyed for decades. The most ridiculous amenities included endless strings of light bulbs and dozens of fluorescent tubes (powered by multiple gasoline-powered generators) hanging from the branches of a beautiful grove of young aspen trees, and a wading pool dug into a slope next to the main stage (landscaped with sod, flowers and a large foot bridge). The list goes on and on and on. You can see much of what I've described in the aerial photos posted on the Standard-Examiner website. One of the Summit Outside promotional brochures (which can be found at invites attendees to “return to nature”. The brochure includes pictures of the interior of the tents used for their “glamping” (luxury camping on a grand scale). It is absolutely amazing to me that a group like this cannot figure out a way to connect with nature without destroying it, or without at least making a reasonable effort to minimize their impact on the land. Again, I realize they now own the mountain. But we also need to recognize that this is a very wealthy and influential group of young people with ZERO experience developing a pristine and complex ecosystem. They will likely do some things right, and they will also make their share of mistakes. The residents of this valley need to politely but persistently remind the folks from Summit that the manner in which they manage and develop Powder Mountain will have a DIRECT impact on the quality of our lives – particularly when it comes to the amount of traffic making its way through the valley, and the impact of their development on our local watershed. I truly hope someone from Summit will read this post and perhaps even respond. If the Summit Outside event is a sign of things
to come, we all have plenty of reasons to be concerned.

homeless deer said...

You nailed it...plain and simple.

Ogden Valley said...

Now that is funny stuff.