Environmentalists say Snowbasin is using the Olympics as a cover to get the land it first asked for in 1989. The Forest Service and Snowbasin agreed to a swap of 700 acres in 1990, before the Olympic hype.
Alexis Kelner, a member of Save Our Canyons, says the larger land trade could harm wetlands and allow Snowbasin to become a four-season resort unaffordable to locals. It could also further entice Earl Holding, the owner of Snowbasin and Sinclair Oil, who already has a mega-resort at Sun Valley, Idaho.
Plans for the larger swap include construction of condominiums, single-family homes and a golf course - much of it to be built after the Olympics.
Mike Korlogos, a spokesman for the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, admits that no one has studied whether or not the full 1,320 acres is needed. He says, "How else that land can be used after the Olympics - that's not our concern."
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