Nordic Valley, Utah
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Nordic Valley is a small unincorporated community surrounding the Nordic Valley Ski Resort (formerly Wolf Mountain) in Weber County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Ogden–Clearfield, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In the fall of 1960 Arthur Christiansen, a home builder and developer from Salt Lake and Ogden Utah, and past president of the Utah Home Builder’s Association in the 1950s, purchased the Silver Bell Ranch from Taylor Burton in Liberty, Utah.
The purchase included a 900-acre ranch partially under cultivation, but mostly undeveloped and partly mountainside terrain. Mr. Christiansen bought the property with the intention of developing it into a summer home area, and had plans for acre lots approved by the Weber County Planning Commission. It was to be developed in 3 phases which included a water and roadway system, also approved by the Planning Commission. Over time he sold about 200 one acre lots as custom home sites, as well as 5 and 10 acre parcels. Mr. Christiansen also built many of the homes in the development.
Mr. Christiansen hired a man named Mr. Hatch, known to some people in the region as a water witch, to find the water sources necessary to drill wells. Hatch found 4 sites, and eventually 3 wells were drilled and completed. The main well was located on top of the mountain overlooking the entire development. For the main well, a reservoir was built to hold the water, and lines had to be dug and situated throughout the subdivision deep enough so they wouldn’t freeze in the winter. The water company was known as the Nordic Valley Water Company and was eventually sold in about 1977. The roadways were eventually turned over to Weber County to maintain.
Mr. Christiansen also had plans to build a 9-hole golf course, and obtained the help of popular golf course designer Ernie Schneider Sr. The Nordic Valley Golf Course was opened to the public in about 1966, with only 5 holes ready for play in the beginning, and the other 4 holes completed about a year later. The golf course was located in approximately the middle of the development. In the early 1970s Mr. Christiansen sold the golf course, but it was maintained as a golf course for many years until it was eventually subdivided into homesites.
Part of the property is located on mountainside terrain, so additional plans were eventually made to develop a ski hill with two chairlifts and several ski runs for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced skier. In the mid 60's, the hillside made for a popular toboggan, sledding and tubing area to locals. In the latter part of the 60's, the Nordic Valley Ski Area was born, the sledding hill was equipped with a tow rope and soon became known as the beginner's ski hill. A few years after that the ski area was expanded to include a double chairlift. Additional terrain was prepped, cleared and Nordic Valley offered more ski runs in 1970. A short time after that the tow rope on the beginner's hill was replaced with a 2nd chairlift.
Lights were also installed along the main lift to the top of the hill with lights following some of the runs down to the bottom of the hill. When looking at the hill from a distance at night, the positioning of the lights looked like the formation of the letter B on the side of the mountain which could be seen across the valley. With the completion of the lights, the ski hill was one of the first ski areas in Northern Utah to offer night skiing which soon became a popular and convenient time to ski. Nordic Valley offered an affordable family atmosphere with an on site ski school, ski rental shop and bus transportation to and from Ogden twice a day on weekends. Group and family rates were offered plus the popular 'Ladies Night' where ladies skied free or at half price every Tuesday night. Mr. Christiansen dreamed of expanding the ski area further to the top of the mountain and to the east, a restaurant and condominiums were also included in his plans. Discussion was underway with the Forest Service and County at that time, but sadly those plans were never realized.
In 1977 the ski hill, lodge, lifts and the remaining ground was sold to Ski Associates which was later purchased by Wolf Mountain Ski Resort LLC who owned the resort until they declared bankruptcy in 2010. Skyline Mountain Base LLC purchased the resort from America First Credit Union on January 15, 2014. Skyline Mountain Base has changed the name back to Nordic Valley and is planning to enlarge and expand the resort over the next few years*.
Mr. Christiansen named the area Nordic Valley, mainly because of his Norwegian ancestry. Many of the named streets in the development originated from popular names found in Norwegian folklore, as well as the Nordic Valley Ski Lodge, which was named Odin Hall, and various ski runs. Odin Hall housed the golf shop, ski rental, snack bar and ski patrol, many parties and gatherings were held there. Before it was a lodge, it was a hay barn complete with two hay shoots that ran from the basement of the structure all the way to the roof reaching two cupola vents situated on top of the barn, tack rooms were located in the basement. The barn is still currently used as a ski lodge.
After Mr. Christiansen sold the ski hill in 1977, he relocated with his wife to Arizona where he retired and later died in 2003 at the age of 86. It should also be noted that Mr. Christiansen served his Country in WWII with the United States Naval Construction Battalion (CB). As a Seabee he was stationed in Guadalcanal and Guam while assigned to the 3rd Marine Division - 1943 to 1945.