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Forest Service, Snowbasin OK Swap

May 24, 2000

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ A troubled land swap between the U.S. Forest Service and Snowbasin ski resort _ a major venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics _ was approved on Tuesday.

Sinclair Oil Corp. owner Earl Holding received 1,377 acres of national forest land that he plans to develop at the base of his resort in exchange for turning over 11,757 acres of scattered parcels in northern Utah.

Holding surrendered 847-acre Taylor Canyon, a popular hiking area east of Ogden and key parcel that held up the deal when the Forest Service discovered it would have to help a neighboring landowner develop his land.

The Forest Service refused to accept the condition and told Holding to deliver Taylor Canyon with clear title.

The snag was resolved when Holding agreed to reduce the value of Taylor Canyon by $40,000 and purchase a $200,000 bond covering the potential liability, the Forest Service said.

The deal clears the way for construction of a day lodge and skier service building at the base of Snowbasin.

``The trade represents a major investment by Sinclair in the development of a world class, four-season resort,″ Snowbasin said in a statement.

Snowbasin will be the venue for the Olympic downhill and Super-G ski races for the 2002 Winter Games.

The resort has been trying to trade land with the Forest Service for more than a decade. Holding needed the land to turn his ski area into a year-round resort.

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