Kaibab National Forest to issue permit for Elk Ridge Ski Area near Williams

Meteor staff

June 4, 2020

Directional sign showing access to Elk Ridge Ski Area on the Kaibab National Forest. Credit Kaibab National Forest.
Directional sign showing access to Elk Ridge Ski Area on the Kaibab National Forest. Credit Kaibab National Forest.

The Kaibab National Forest announced today that it will issue a Winter Resort Term Permit for the Elk Ridge Ski Area located on Bill Williams Mountain south of the City of Williams.

The special use permit, which will be valid for a maximum term of 20 years, was necessary in order to reflect a relatively recent change in ownership of the ski area and to allow the new owner, Elk Ridge Recreation I LLC, to operate.

The permit is being issued under the existing Master Development Plan for the ski area, and all activities authorized are within the constraints of the original permit issued to the previous owner. No new construction, expansion, snowmaking or other activities are authorized under the new permit.

The permit allows for site maintenance, cleanup and repair as well as replacing inoperable and outdated equipment that no longer meets current safety standards. Visitor capacity will remain the same as under the previous permit, which allowed a maximum of 250 skiers and 60 snow play guests at any one time.

The permit does not authorize any ski area expansion or new construction, which would require additional environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act and tribal consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act.

The ski area on Bill Williams Mountain has been in existence since the late 1940s. In December 2017, Elk Ridge Recreation I LLC purchased the ski area infrastructure from the previous, long-term owner. The company plans to manage the ski area to provide recreational opportunities to the public, which will complement and support local economies and tourism.

The Final Environmental Assessment and Decision Notice with a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Elk Ridge Ski Area permit issuance are available for review at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56909 under the “Decision” tab. All other background and supporting documents are also available on the site.

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