Utah County Commission votes against private development proposal at Bridal Veil Falls

Local News

Provo, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah County Commission voted against the proposal of a private development at Bridal Veil Falls on Wednesday evening.

The commission also established a plan for a conservation easement, which would prevent any future private development at the site. That conservation easement will not be finalized until it is approved by Utah Open Lands.

Bridal Veil Falls is considered one of the top destinations for outdoor lovers in all of Utah. It’s used for hiking, weddings, photography, and ice climbing.

The 607 foot double cataract waterfall is considered a Utah natural treasure.

A public forum was held on Wednesday evening to decide whether to privatize the land to allow for the development of a tram system at the site, or to allow the falls to remain public land.

Several members of the public joined a public forum held via zoom, calling for a conservation easement of Bridal Veil Falls

The history of the falls has not always been conservation of a natural wonder, it used to have the world’s steepest tram, and it took you to the top where there was a restaurant called the Eagle’s Nest.

The tram operated up until 1996 when an avalanched damaged it. Taking out a building, the tram machinery, and a gift shop.

12 years ago in 2008 an arson fire burned the building at the top where the restaurant used to be.

You can see how the tram operated by watching the 1982 film Savannah Smiles. Which has a seen of the movie characters using the tram.

According to a report by the Daily Herald, rumors circulated that developer, Rich Losee, who is the owner of Cirque Lodge, an addiction recovery center in Orem, was interested in building a drug treatment center on the land where Bridal Veil Falls is located.

A representative of Losee spoke on the zoom call, detailing plans of building a tram system at the site, saying that it would increase the safety of traveling to the falls and allow for those with physical disabilities to have greater access to the site.

Safety of the site has been a concern for the local Sherif’s department. Reportedly the site averages about 1 death per year, and the former owners were ordered to get the remaining cables down, so people did not use them to scale the falls.

There have been several instances of visitors being injured while visiting Bridal Veil Falls.

The public is encouraged to participate in the meeting. Officials say comments will be limited to three minutes per person unless otherwise approved by the Board.

The public was allowed to provide comments electronically through the commission clerk to submit written comments for the record by emailing commissionclerk@utahcounty.gov or by calling 801-851-8111*.

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