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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ogden Canyon Waterline Update – August 16, 2013

A day late, but still very pertinent information below:

If you have had the opportunity to drive up Ogden Canyon in the past couple of days, you probably noticed the great job the contractor did in milling and paving the eastbound lane of traffic last weekend.  This weekend, the contractor will do the same thing for the westbound lane.  In order to complete this work, we will need some closures similar to the closure schedule last weekend.  There has been some confusion as to what days and times the canyon will be closed this weekend, so we wanted to take an opportunity to clarify for you.

Tonight, Friday, August 16th, the canyon will be closed to through traffic between 9pm and 7am while the contractor removes the top two inches of asphalt through a milling process starting at the top of the canyon.  Tomorrow morning, when the canyon opens to the public at 7am, both lanes of traffic will be open.  However, motorists traveling westbound will be subject to a milled surface, which can be difficult for motorcycles and vehicles traveling at high speeds.  Please be careful and respectful of the other motorists while traveling westbound on the milled surface.

On Saturday night, August 17th, the canyon will again be closed to through traffic between 9pm and 7am while the contractor completes the milling operation for the westbound lane in the bottom half of the canyon.  When the canyon opens again on Sunday morning, both lanes will be open to the public, but the westbound lane will still be milled, so please use caution.

On Sunday night, August 18th, the canyon will close to the public at 5pm and will not open again until Tuesday morning at 5am.  The contractor will use this time to install two inches of new asphalt over the recently milled surface on the westbound lane.  During this 36-hour closure, emergency vehicles and canyon residents will be allowed to travel in and out of the canyon.

Starting at 5am on Tuesday, August 20th, both lanes of traffic will be open to the public during the day and night.  Nightly closures will be in effect from 9pm to 4:30am on Wednesday and Thursday nights while the contractor finishes work on the shoulders, ties in accesses to the new roadway, and installs delineator posts in the canyon.

Thank you, as always, for your patience during this project.  Be safe, and have a great weekend.

Best regards,

Jason M. Allen, P.E. Public Involvement

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summit Town Hall Meeting Report

Guest Post by Ron Gleason  
(This was originally posted as a comment, but we have promoted it to the front page due to its importance).

I was able to attend the meeting. It was well attended, my guess was 50+ people. They talked about the previous weekend, showed some pictures and talked about some of the folks that attended. They made the points that no complaints were received by the Weber County Commissioners.

Before addressing their phase 1 development they asked Steve Clarke of Eden and representative of the GEM Committee to present some slides from the 2005 general and recreation plan workshops illustrating the potential density within the valley with current zoning. This message was delivered to make sure everyone was aware of the upcoming joint meeting of Ogden Valley Planning Commissioners and Weber County Commissioners on September 5th. This meeting will be to discuss whether the general plan should be redone and what type of planning activities should be addressed.

The Summit Group then presented a progress report on their phase 1 development. No surprises and nothing new. They did present a glimpse of a village, larger than what is planned for phase 1, but no specific details. They presented potential groups and focus areas (education, medical and others I do not recall) that may want to utilize the facilities that will be on the mountain.

It was mentioned that the road surfaces being planned for the top of the mountain would be a 'red' color, similar to what is used in the US National parks, for better environmental blending.

Personally I was hoping to hear more about their additional phases and master plan but that was not offered

Some questions that I recall
Q - Did the Community Development Agreement get approved by the County Commissioners?
A - No
Q - Any plans on updating any ski lifts soon specifically Sundown?
A - No plans for the Sundown lift at this time.
Q - Was the CUP for the rock crushing and pit on the mountain approved?
A - yes
Q - Will PM be allowed to or do they have any plans for exporting rock off the mountain?
A - No as the amount of material available on top of the mountain is most likely not enough for all the needs on top of the mountain.

I know there was more presented and more Q&A but I was not taking notes and only want to present what I feel I have accurately remember. If I have erred in presenting any of these facts please correct them with other comments and I will apologize in the advance if I have made a mistake.

Everyone I spoke with was pleased to see that the Summit Group continues to be willing to share their plans and ideas with the community.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Ogden Canyon Update

Ogden Canyon Waterline Update – August 8, 2013

I wanted to take an opportunity to explain what will be happening over the next few days in the canyon and what motorists can expect over the weekend.  As I mentioned last week, the canyon will be closed to all through traffic on Friday night between 9pm and 7am Saturday morning, and again Saturday night between 9pm and 7am Sunday morning.  During this time, the contractor will be milling the top inch and a half of asphalt off the eastbound lane from the bottom of the canyon all the way to the top.  Both lanes of travel will be open during the day on Saturday and Sunday.  Please be advised that eastbound traffic will be traveling on a milled surface, with an inch and a half separation between the westbound and eastbound lane.  Please be careful, do not pass other vehicles, and reduce your speed while traveling on the milled surface.  On Sunday night at 5pm, the canyon will close to all through traffic until 5am on Tuesday morning.  During this time, the contractor will pave a 2-inch thick overlay on the eastbound lane from the bottom of the canyon to the top of the canyon.  When the road opens again on Tuesday morning, there will be a brand new surface on the eastbound lane for the whole length of the canyon.  During the closures listed above, canyon residents and emergency vehicles will be allowed to travel in and out of the canyon.

Starting at 5am on Tuesday, August 13th, both lanes of traffic will be open to the public during the day.  Nightly closures will still be in effect from 9pm to 5am while the contractor prepares for the westbound lane mill and overlay.  The westbound lane mill and overlay will follow the same schedule and process described above on the following weekend (August 16th through the 20th).

Thank you, as always, for your patience during this project.  Be safe, and have a great weekend.

Best regards,

Jason M. Allen, P.E. Public Involvement
3544 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 11 | Ogden, Utah 84401

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Summit: Outside — From The Inside

Guest Post by Alex Lawerence

This is being reprinted with permission from the author.  It was originally posted at Startup Flavor.

Summit: Outside — From The Inside

Tents - NightMuch has been written about Summit, their events and the people that attend them. Summit, as a whole, now includes Powder Mountain and all of the property, employees and outdoor opportunities that come along with these terrific mountains of Northern Utah. They’ve been hosting events for years in different locations around the US but are now permanently based here with the PowMow purchase. As a result of that move, I live and work near their new home. As I’ve written previously, I think the future is brighter with Summit in town.
Many people, including those in the immediate area, throughout the State of Utah and beyond wonder, as I did, what goes on at Summit? Who attends? What do they do? How do you get invited? Being their new neighbor and introduced a few years ago by mutual friend Shervin Pishevar, it was time for me to finally experience Summit for myself. This post will share some play-by-play of what was going on, who was there, and my overall impression of Summit as an event, a gathering, and a new and important citizen of Northern Utah.
I’ll do my best to provide detail and opinions. I should note my ticket to Summit was not free and I have no financial or other interest related in any way to Summit. There is no doubt I want them to succeed, so my comments and opinions are definitely from a positive place. Having said that, I’ve been around the block a few times and don’t give them a pass on reputation alone. My opinions are my own and are unfiltered.

An email arrived inviting me to attend Summit and took me to Summit: Outside to register and setup a profile. I uploaded a photo, answered some questions they’d set up for all attendee profiles, linked my social media accounts, and boom — I was now a part of ‘The Collective’, a password protected site that showed me everyone else’s profile. Without sharing personal details, here are some of the 850 people that attended Summit — Outside:
CEO/Founder of many companies that you and I know and use every week. Trillions of dollars in value created from this group.
Authors/journalists that have written popular pieces and books or currently work for large, global news outlets (television, web and print).
Musicians, poets, fashion entrepreneurs, music executives, directors and people related to the film, music and entertainment industry. I met quite a few creative folks that are making movies, music, fashion and art around the world. Some of them are big names I’d heard of but many of them were new to me.
Founders and Partners at large VC and private equity funds. Some of the biggest names in investing were there. Boutique family funds with hundreds of millions under management, all the way up to the biggest billion dollar firms in the world.
A lot of PhD’s. Educators and researchers educated and working at the finest institutions in the World. Some are solving huge problems (medicine, education reform and more), others were part of a tech company or for-profit effort. Either way, this was a really smart grouping of talent.
Those doing “social good” — working for non-profits and helping with serious problems in tough places. A lot of people at Summit really were out trying to help the world be a better place. Hunger, disease, poverty, fighting inequality and other social injustices were what some attendees do full time.
There is another group of people that fall into the “I don’t know what they do” category. Some are just rich kids from rich families — they know some people and they do these kinds of things a lot I’d guess. Others are trying to break into one of the categories listed above, and some I’m sure are just friends of Summit founders. Overall though, the list of profiles in The Collective was the most impressive I’ve ever seen. I don’t think the State of Utah has had this much diversity and talent in one place since the Olympics of 2002.
After setting up my account and going thru the profiles, you were asked to choose what type of accomodations you wanted to pay for. The range was $3,000 up to $10,000 I believe. The cheapest being a large, shared tent with others all the way up to private RV’s with air conditioning and televisions. I opted for the lower end, a small tent to myself. It had a bed, some carpet that was rolled down, a foot locker with some towels, and that was it. Very sparse, but clean. There was also a light out front with a solar powered charger plugged into it. Here is a photo of my tent:
After selecting accommodations, there were a few emails between then and the actual event. The emails were mostly just reminders to bring things for being outside (boots, sunscreen, etc.) but also a reminder of what not to bring (your laptop and lighters/cigarettes). They also highly encouraged taking a Summit shuttle from the airport directly to the event. Rental cars were discouraged as there really was no reason to have a car.
Friday arrived and it was time to check in. Since I do live here, I drove up to Wolf Creek, which is where check in was held. I waited in a line of about 40 people or so. Everyone was really friendly and we all started introducing ourselves as we waited. The people around me were all so diverse. Different backgrounds, different interests, different careers, different ethnicities, different sexes, different locations that they came from. I met and talked to about 15 people in line that were all very interesting. Utah needs a lot more diversity in every sense of the word, and in the first 30 minutes I had experienced a lot of it.
After making it to the front of the line, I showed my ID, checked in and moved to another station. We were then given a leather bracelet, locked on with a rivet, to wear as entrance for the weekend. The girl putting the bracelets on told me that some people still had theirs on from last year. That’s kind of cool and kind of crazy. In case you are wondering, I took mine off the day I got home. Nothing against Summit, but I am not wearing a smelly leather bracelet for a year. We were also given a cool Nike backpack with some swag in it that was related to the event (headlamp, t-shirt, Nike Fuel Band to track our activities and more). After that it was time to head up to the main event location.
I drove my car up to the top of Powder Mountain’s main parking lot and got into a shuttle with about eight people in it. I rode up with my friend, Jessica from Founder Dating, along with a newly graduated Berkeley student here to work for Summit and a few other locals employed by Summit for the event. I would guess that hundreds of local people were hired for weeks and months to prepare for this event. I should note right out of the gates that I asked a lot of people working how they were treated, what they thought of the Summit team and so forth. I got genuine answers from all of them that were 100% positive. That they were treated great. That the founders spent time really talking to and getting to know them. They they were fed the same gourmet meals that the rest of the folks were eating. That they felt respected. All of them said versions of this and that made me really happy. I want locals to be treated well! And from the 20+ that I spoke with, it sounds like they definitely are. I’m sure that won’t always be the case, but overall, it was clear to me that Summit walks the talk.
Anyhow, back to the details…
We were shuttled past a few security checkpoints (all of us had to show our bracelets) and then dropped off at the main entrance at the top of Powder Mountain. The very top. There were people there to take our bags to our tent (or they were already delivered there, much like a hotel). I opted to carry mine down. When registering, there was an option to stay in the “quiet zone”, which meant the furthest away from the main stage. As a Dad that is old, married and Mormon, I opted for this area. Little did I know, I’d have the best location of anyone, the last row of tents meant my view was not of other tents, but rather the beautiful Utah mountains I love so much. I dumped off my single suitcase and new Nike backpack and immediately headed out for a walk to explore.
Summit was setup into six different areas. They were the tent city, main stage and pond, dining, adventure outpost, various discussion locations, and the electric forrest/stage. I’ll go thru my experience with each, but basically each day and night was spent floating between all of these venues. There were almost too many things to choose from (first world problems for sure). I found that most people enjoyed an early morning discussion or activity, a healthy breakfast (more on the food later), and then spent the day going back and forth between intellectually stimulating discussions, outdoor adventures and meals. The night was spent going to more discussions, having dinner and then enjoying music until as early, or as late, as you’d like.
Tent City
Tent City
As you can see from the photo, 850 people in tents take up a bit of space. This is where we slept, showered and used the restroom really. That was about it. The tents were nice and the showers/bathrooms were private (in portable trucks driven to the site), but it was minimalist, which was just fine with me. No power outlets anywhere either! I liked that, too. There were four different kinds of recycling bins at every turn, so there was a real effort to keep the mess to a minimum. Surely the pure outdoor enthusiasts will be unhappy that there were tons of trucks, power cords, and other things that will leave a mark on the area. Some trails were cut in for walking travel and some roads were made for vehicle travel. That will make many locals unhappy as they want every foot of land untouched, forever.

What I saw was a sensitivity to the land, a focus on recycling, and many things that were temporary that will leave next to no mark on the area whatsoever. Some things will though, and for that, I’m not sure what to say. Summit paid $40 million to own this land. They can do what they want with it. I really truly believe though that they will not try to harm it, nor will they ignore the beauty in their efforts to improve it. I think Summit will make more improvements (by far) than problems, and that the overall area will be much nicer because of the investments they are making. Again, some things will leave a mark, but more things will be improved. No matter what, there will always be a group of environmentalists that will not be happy though.
After exploring Tent City for a bit, I walked up to the Main Stage area. Near the main stage, and on your way to it, were four things. A place to grab free snacks (Clif Bars and so forth), a barbershop (no kidding – a place to get your haircut), a puppy adoption area (people adopted about 10 puppies from a local shelter that weekend) and an outdoor bar for drinks. This is a video I shot of the stage with a cool group called The League of Extraordinary Dancers (beat box with ballet, violin and breakdancing — it was killer). You can see the pond/swimming area to the right of the stage as well:

Each night there were a variety of musical performances and talks given on this stage. Here is a small list of some of those:
Jonathan Batiste
Esther Perel
Andrew McAfee
The White Buffalo
Chase Iron Eyes
Jon Young
Thievery Corporation
Big Gigantic
Gabe Liedman
Sneaky Sound System
And a whole bunch more. This is a backstage video I shot of Big Boi performing on the main stage during the final evening:

There was also a stage out in the middle of the forrest, what was called the Electric Forrest in fact. This was were a DJ would spin music until the wee hours of the morning. It was an amazing site to see all of these LED’s floating from the trees. Here is a photo of what was a beautiful and creative way to light up the night:
During the day we had the opportunity to attend many interesting discussions as well as have some fun outdoors. The choices were difficult to make. Did you go to a discussion about the future of medicine, or mountain biking? I did both (as did pretty much everyone else). The days and nights were packed with activities and options. Here is a very tiny, tiny list of some of the choices.
The University Is Dead, Long Live The University
Becoming Bulletproof: Six Biohacks To Supercharge Your Life
Black, Brown, Yellow, White: The Face of Future America
Our Struggle For The Internet
UNICEF — Revolutionizing Education
Love, Sex and Power: The Intricacies of Desire
Office hours with Loic Le’Meur, Ryan Sarver, Tony Hseih and other talented people
Each of these were generally in small groups and in the case of office hours, one on one. The topical discussions felt like interactive TED talks with small groups instead of audiences, and chats instead of presentations. I loved the format. Here is a photo of the one I attended about higher education:
higher ed discussion
The subjects covered a very wide variety of issues including race, class, gender, equality, environment, business and more. It truly was a smorgasborg of worldwide talent and you could pick and choose where to learn for an hour before going somewhere else do to the same. I could have spent a week just going to all of these options, they were that good and that interesting.
The outdoor activities allowed everyone to really experience Utah and the outdoor beauty it has to offer. I personally was really happy to see this fully integrated into Summit. You went to the Adventure Outpost (pictured) to check in and go to your activity.
Adventure Outpost
Some of the choices we had included:
Mountain biking
Horseback riding
Trail running
Yoga and Pilates
Survival Workshops
Nature Walks
Hammocks for naps in the woods
I saw and talked to a lot of people who live in big cities. They just don’t get the opportunity to do a lot of these things like I do. It was really fun to see the pure joy on their faces and in their reactions as they got closer to nature. I heard dozens of times things similar to “I can’t believe you live here and get to do this stuff all the time.” Those comments made me smile, too.
I loved talking to people about Utah, Ogden, Weber State and all of the things going on in the area. So many people were genuinely interest in Startup Ogden. They wanted to know what was going on with startups, entrepreneurship and other business related stuff in my immediate area and in Utah as a whole. I hope I was a good ambassador for Utah and gave them the answers they sought. It was fun to be able to be the local though.
The Food
Wow. Just wow. Summit knows how to do food! Having owned a few restaurants myself over the years, I know how hard it is to serve 850 people anything, anytime, anywhere. This was 850 people on top of a mountain, and the food was truly magnificent. One of the most impressive, and coolest things they did was building a table to seat all 850 of us together in a meadow. Summit wanted all of us to break bread together, and we literally did that on Saturday night. Here is a photo of that 1/4 mile table — quite the site to behold!
1:4 mile dinner
Most of it was incredibly healthy, organic and whenever possible, made using local Utah crops. Summit has a lot of world class chefs as friends and they came to cook the meals for all of the attendees. Some of the chef teams included:
Viet Pham
David Varley
Jesse Barber
Marcel Vigneron and Haru Kishi
I’ll be the first to admit, I have no idea who these people are. What I do know? They can cook! I also met some terrific chefs from all around the USA that were here to make their famous meals for all of us. These talented folks allowed me to enjoy Korean BBQ wings prepared by a great chef from New Orleans, Creminelli Salami and Beehive Cheese as a snack, fresh homemade organic ice cream from an ice cream truck driving around and other fun choices throughout the day. Lunch and Dinner included the finest fresh ingredients from Utah to support lean cuts of bison, fish and other terrific dishes that were both tasty and healthy. I cannot even describe half of the meals, because the ingredients were too varied and unique for me to recall.

What I Didn’t See
I’ve seen some locals talk about Summit and their fear that raging parties are what Summit is really about. While I am sure there are and will be Summit employees and/or attendees that will do inappropriate things, have parties, and keep people up late, this is not what I saw and I do not believe this is what Summit is about. The founders and attendees of Summit cannot control every person for every minute. There will indeed be growing pains for the Ogden Valley associated with people related to Summit. This is a very conservative place, so even things like drinking will cause problems for some residents. The first time someone related to Summit gets in trouble or comes into a local restaurant and is rude, or rents a home nearby and throws a wild party — all of the locals will tell me “I told you so!” — so I’m preempting that. It will happen. When you have hundreds and even thousands of people working at and associated with an event or company (as is the case with Summit), you will have problems. Count on it. Here is the key though, in my opinion. I think it will be rare, I think Summit will take care of it appropriately when it happens, and I think it is so far outweighed by all of the other positive benefits that it’s almost a non-issue altogether.
I looked closely for crazy things to happen. I’m a conservative person and an active Mormon living in Utah. I’m pretty sure I’m about as boring as it gets in terms of drinking and drugs, too. In fact, I’ve never tried either in my entire life. So I looked and listened intently for many of the things I thought the locals of the Ogden Valley would find offensive. Summit said several times in email, and at the event, that there was a “zero spark” policy on the Mountain — meaning no smoking of any kind. Regardless of the rules, that’s going to be difficult to control in a setting like this. Heck on an average winter day on the slopes of any ski resort in Utah it’s impossible to control. There was wine at each dinner and two “saloons” that were near the two stages. Mixed drinks were served at both along with various beers. As a non-drinker myself, I watched as others enjoyed drinks to take with them to listen to music and just hang out. I saw no one who was drunk, although I am sure some did drink enough to get there. I just didn’t see it. The reason I didn’t see it, or feel like it stuck out, is because it felt like most other music events at night. A number of people weren’t drinking at all, but some were. Some drank more than others. But the nights were about music and fun — not alcohol. So again, no craziness here. People danced until 2 and 3am in the morning each night. Heck, I tried my best and made it until about 2am one night. It was a lot of fun to dance. It was good, clean fun though. People were laughing and smiling and dancing. I enjoyed myself and as a conservative Mormon felt totally comfortable at all times.
Invite Only
As most of you probably know, Summit is an invite only event. A lot of people don’t like that. I have no problem with it though. There are many great events in the world that I cannot get into and will not be invited to. I’ve tried to get into All Things D’s big tech event a few times and no luck. I’ve never been invited to the main TED event in California. I’m fine with that because that’s just the way it goes. When kids are little, I think it is great that all of them get a medal for participating. But we are adults, not all of us need a medal, right? Besides, if Summit were not in my backyard, giving me opportunities to meet and work with the Summit team, I doubt I would have been invited as well. No medal for Alex.
The reason that they are invite only though is very important to note; the attendees are meant to be innovators from around the world. Many are innovators in business and I met tons of technology entrepreneurs. I met, heard from and read about attendees that are true innovators in many other areas as well including science, health, education, art and more. There is no doubt that not every single person there was an innovator though. In fact, I don’t consider myself much of an innovator or all that unique — so there were times I wondered if I’d be invited back since I felt very unaccomplished compared to many of the people I met. Having said that, some of the conversations I overheard were quite shallow and some of the people definitely were there to take more than to give. But much like the few other negatives I mentioned, this was such a tiny minority that it didn’t really register for me until I wrote this blog post.
Overall, I like that invitees are curated and that the number of people that can come is capped. I don’t want an unlimited amount of people coming. I like that it is small, special and unique. I’ll still like it if I never get invited back. I think that is part of what makes it special. There are tons of events every year that all of us can go to.
Summing Up Summit
The people were amazing, talented, diverse and truly innovative.
The food was off the charts good.
The music was eclectic and had a nice variety of styles and flavors.
Quality was everywhere and a vibe that felt healthy and positive abounded.
The event was incredibly well organized and well thought out.
I’d take my wife and kids if I could.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Utah is very lucky to have Summit here. I predict it will add more to the Utah economy and the Utah reputation than Sundance. I’d rather have Summit over Google Fiber or Sundance. Truly, I think the benefit of having the worlds most innovative people in your backyard one or more times a year trumps fast Internet speeds or independent film making. Please note, both of those things are awesome for Utah! Just comparing the impact I think each has had or will have.
Many, many brilliant people will come to Northern Utah that otherwise would never, ever visit here. Some of them will buy homes. Some will buy timeshares. Some will come to vacation. Some will just come to Summit once a year. If you live in Ogden Valley and never want it to get bigger and never want anyone different than yourself to move in or visit, than Summit is bad news for you I suppose. But for the rest of us, that like controlled growth, diversity, new ideas and new people, the addition of Summit to Northern Utah is terrifically exciting. Thrilling in fact. I welcome Summit visitors and hope more of them come more often. They are a classy, talented, inspiring group of people. I hope they feel welcome when they are here.
Because they will come again, AND THAT WILL BE AWESOME!
About Alex Lawrence
Alex has been a successful entrepreneur for 20+ years. His current venture Lendio ranks #34 on the Inc. 500 list. Alex earned a BS degree at the University of Utah and his MBA at Weber State University, where he is Vice Provost and Director of the Entrepreneurship Program. If you want to talk with Alex about business and entrepreneurship (or other questions), email him (alex AT startupflavor DOT com), or you can find him on Twitter @_AlexLawrence.