Patrick Maloney couldn’t afford to take any chances when talk of the COVID19 crisis was heating up in late February. With an 18-month old at home, and his wife pregnant with their second child, finding a safe place to isolate was paramount.
As a frequent visitor to Powder and a longtime member of the Summit community, he figured what better place than on top of an uncrowded mountain?
“There’s really no place in the world as beautiful where you could live full time and hunker down,” he says.
Maloney has kept tabs on the Summit Powder Mountain community from the start. But back when SPM’s founders were busy getting their bold project started, Maloney was head down launching his own ambitious green-tech venture back in California. That didn’t leave him much time to investigate the ins and outs of Utah property. Nevertheless, Powder’s ease of access made it perfect for routine recreational strikes, which he’s been making for years.
“It’s my favorite mountain in the country – if not the world,” he says. “The combination of no lines, epic powder and terrain, and friends that I’ve been friends with for more than a decade makes it the best.”
Before any lockdowns were formalized, Maloney and his wife decided to shelter in place up in the Horizon neighborhood, where they rented one of the iconic cabins and worked remotely. During his extended stay, he’s been able to soak in the project and truly understand the vision. “It’s really allowed us to get to know the mountain and assess our options.”
Not surprisingly he likes what he sees. “I don’t know if there’s any other place in the world that is guided by such a clear mission and set of values for the community. It’s amazing to see it all come to life.”
Maloney’s company, Inspire, was founded on a similar set of values. After selling his first energy startup nearly 8-years ago, he decided his next one needed to serve a greater purpose that aligned with his personal beliefs. He built Inspire so consumers could purchase energy that’s decarbonizing the grid, effectively speeding up and securing our path to renewables. It’s been a huge success.
Today, Maloney believes the same societal tailwinds that have helped his company grow across several states are moving in Summit Powder Mountain’s favor. The pandemic has provided many stark reminders of what’s really important, and among them are open space, outdoor recreation, and close-knit communities that look after one another.
“The sheer beauty and energy of this place is a huge draw, and there’s a unifying mission and intention that anchors everything up here,” Moloney explains.
Thanks to his stay, he and his wife have finally decided to pull the trigger on becoming residents. “One thing I’ve learned is you just bet on people and things that you believe in,” he says. “We’re excited. The views are epic up here, and you’re free to build something that’s interesting and notable.”
Naturally, what’s most exciting is what it portends for their kids. “It’s been great to watch how the founding aspirations have grown to build a community that includes family centricity. We both enjoy the process of building, whether it’s building environments or experiences, and the idea of raising our kids in nature is extremely compelling.”