North America’s largest ski resort just added more acreage — with a catch

Most of it will be private, but Powder Mountain plans to add public, lift-served access to Wolf Creek Canyon and DMI.

(Powder Mountain) Powder Mountain announced it is expanding.

The largest ski area in North America by acreage just added to its bounty.

Powder Mountain announced Friday that it has agreed to purchase Davenport, a swath of 2,390 acres of skiable terrain on the northeast side of the resort. The additional terrain gives Powder a total of 12,850 skiable acres. Next most in North America, according to SkiNorthAmerica100.com, is Whistler/Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada, with 8,171 acres.

Park City Mountain has the most lift-accessed terrain in the United States and second-most skiable terrain behind Powder with 7,300 acres.

There’s a catch, though. The new terrain will all be private.

Powder Mountain has adopted an enterprising business model in which it plans to keep part of the resort public while making other parts private. The resort announced late last year that it would allow access to the Mary’s and Village lifts only to Powder Mountain property owners and their guests beginning in the 2024-25 season. The resort plans to build another private lift, Raintree, which will serve the new Davenport area, within the next two seasons.

The Davenport terrain, according to a news release, features “1,766 feet of consistently-pitched vertical drop over 980 acres through glades and several cut runs.” It sits just below and to skier’s right of the Cobabe Canyon ridgeline and Raintree run and is currently accessed for skiing via snowcat.

Reed Hastings, the retired Netflix co-founder who bought majority shares in the resort last summer, has said the private areas will not be cordoned off. Intrepid skiers and snowboarders could still hike to ride the private areas if they wanted, but they would also have to find their own way out.

(Powder Mountain) The acquired land will increase the size of the private portion of the resort.

“We’re not putting any fences up,” Hastings told The Tribune in December. “There’ll just be one or two places where we’ll put signs up, like ‘You’re going to be trapped here.’”

In addition to expanding its private terrain, however, Powder Mountain announced it will also be opening up more of its existing acreage to the public. The area known as DMI, short for Don’t Mention It, and Wolf Creek Canyon will be moved within resort boundaries. That will add, according to a news release, “900 acres of lift-served and 147 acres of hike-to access.

Powder plans to open that area for guided tours in 2024-25 and install a lift for the 2025-26 season.

Two other public lifts are slated to be upgraded this summer as part of $100 million in upgrades funded by Hastings. They are the Timberline and Paradise lifts.