This story is from the 2017 Access FYI: How Young Innovators Are Connecting the World. Explore more from this issue

Eden, Utah: Changing the Way We Define Community

What’s happening here points to a trend in communities centered around physical connections.

March 2017


For a decade, “change makers” such as TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie and FEED projects co-founder Lauren Bush have gathered at thought-leadership events called Summit to explore topics including innovation, philanthropy and personal growth. The events are a unique opportunity to gather with like-minded entrepreneurs and innovators, building connections that wouldn’t be possible without face-to-face interaction.

Now Summit is moving from building connections to building a town, with this manifesto: “The most powerful community-building technologies are the dinner table and the campfire.” In an age where more and more communication is conducted digitally, Summit Powder Mountain will connect residents who share common ideals — whether it’s the desire to have a positive social impact, intellectual pursuits like music and art, or lifestyle issues like farm-to-table food, and health and wellness.

There’s no better place to build this utopia than Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah. It’s not surprising that this ski paradise, which limits crowds by selling just 2,000 lift tickets a day, would embrace something other than typical resort-town development.

Village of the Future

Here, Summit’s alpine village will feature small boutiques, yoga studios, juice bars, coffee shops, art galleries and organic restaurants, all walking distance from homes designed around the principles of eco-conscious design and what they call “heritage modernism.”

Home sites range in price from $150,000 to $2 million. With an emphasis on both local gathering places and common areas of the home like the kitchen, living room and hearth, Summit aims for an accessible environment that encourages interaction both inside and out. But more than that, Summit Powder Mountain may be the start of a trend: development centered around connections and principles that transcend physical location to encompass the rapidly changing and personalized ways we define community.

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