Cranes over the horizon and construction fences lining streets tell the story. Construction and development in Park City are coming, whether anyone likes it or not. A spate of projects are in the queue, from the brand new Mayflower Mountain Resort on U.S. 40 to the upcoming Arts and Culture District in Prospector to the development of Deer Valley lots at Snow Park. But none has inspired heated debate quite like the proposed development of the Park City base area. Its scope and location in Old Town mean it will indelibly impact the character of the community, and after a long, contentious process it seems the Park City Planning Commission will make a decision on the project by year’s end.
The 10-acre area slated for development is currently home to the parking lots at the base of Park City Resort. The former owner of Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) acquired development rights to the area decades ago in the 1990s, which were subsequently inherited by Vail Resorts when they acquired the resort in 2014. Vail has since agreed to sell the development to Provo-based firm PEG Companies, but the deal will not be finalized until after the Planning Commission’s vote. The proposal as currently constituted calls for a hotel, residences, restaurants, retail shops and above grade parking garages, which would radically alter the base area.
Vail Resorts wrote a letter supporting the project’s approval to the Planning Commission in June, commending PEG for addressing transit and traffic issues in the proposal. Public comments, to the contrary, have been largely negative throughout discussions about the project. Local opposition group the Responsible Resort Area Development Coalition has outlined opposition to many details of the project regarding everything from reduced parking to increased neighborhood traffic to the height of buildings, which they contend is not aligned with the earlier approval from the 1990s.
Planning Commissioner John Phillips mentioned during the latest round of discussions the application was in its final stages after more than a year of consideration. It’s expected the Planning Commission will begin drafting documentation for their decision ahead of a vote later this fall. Thus far commissioners have given no indication of how they plan to vote on the project, but with the unstoppable force of development meeting the immovable object of local opposition it remains certain debate in the community isn’t about to fade.
We will follow this story as the Planning Commission nears a decision.
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