Town & County

Park City Council greenlights $30 million dollar partnership with Deer Valley Resort

While leaders in the business and tourism community lauded the project through letters of support and public comment many residents raised concerns about the speed of the approval and the closed door negotiations of the $30 million dollar partnership

PARK CITY, Utah — In a landmark decision, the Park City Council unanimously approved a public-private partnership with Deer Valley Resort at the last City Council meeting of the year on Thursday, Dec. 14. This partnership paves the way for the redevelopment of the Snow Park Base and includes a $30 million dollar regional transportation facility, that may include affordable housing. According to the Letter of Intent Park City Municipal Corporation and Deer Valley Resort will both contribute $15 million dollars to the facility with the option to bring in other partners as long as they contribute a minimum of $5 million to the project.

The Council’s decision also included the approval of an ordinance vacating parts of the right-of-way at the Snow Park base, essential for the new development’s blueprint.

“As we gear up for another Winter Olympics, it’s crucial to build a Park City capable of facing future challenges. I am grateful for Deer Valley’s commitment as a community partner and thank our residents for their active engagement in this complex matter. Your voices are vital as we progress,” said Mayor Nann Worel.

Key components of the agreement, as outlined in the Letter of Intent, include:

  • $15 million from Deer Valley with an equal $15 million match from Park City, for a regional transportation facility, which could potentially include affordable housing.
  • A 20% reduction in day skier parking at Deer Valley, aiming to lessen traffic congestion during peak periods.
  • The establishment of a gondola network linking the Mayflower area off U.S. 40 to Snow Park.

Following this council approval, the project will be revisited by the Planning Commission for further review and consideration.

The Public-Private Partnership was announced to the public on Nov. 30 2023. Community input on the Partnership and Snow Park redevelopment was allowed at the Dec. 5 and Dec. 14 City Council meetings.

Those opposed to the project and process

While leaders in the business and tourism community lauded the project through letters of support and public comment many residents raised concerns about the speed of the approval and the closed door negotiations of the $30 million dollar partnership.

Angela Moschetta, an Old Town resident, who is part of the group in opposition to the Eagle and Silverlode lift upgrades at Park City Mountain shared her concerns on the project and process. Moschetta said the Snow Park process bypassed standard procedures, and raised concerns that closed door negotiations led to a rushed decision-making process, bypassing the usual public deliberation and potentially influenced the outcome of the development’s approval.

“The city continues to try and reverse engineer this process, curiously, at every turn. And for every attempt to redefine good cause, community benefit, harm, or utility to suit a predetermined outcome, you are telling the community that we don’t matter,” said Moschetta.

Eric Lee of Hoggan Lee Hutchinson, the newly engaged legal counsel to four Deer Valley homeowners associations including: American Flag, The Oaks, Daystar, and The Pinnacle, also shared their concerns regarding the process. The HOA’s believe that the council members Ryan Dickey and Max Doilney have demonstrated prejudgment bias, which is a type of due process issue. According to Lee, this bias arises from Dickey’s and Doilney’s deep involvement in the negotiations for the public-private partnership (PPP) between the City and Deer Valley. Concerns were also raised about insufficient disclosure and evaluation of the PPP agreement terms, which impedes meaningful community feedback and debate about whether the terms provide good cause and mitigate identified harms.

To note, Thursday marked Becca Gerber and Max Doilney’s last meeting as Park City Council members. Election winners Bill Ciraco and Ed Parigian will be sworn in as the council’s newest members on Jan. 3, and Ryan Dickey will be sworn in for a second term.

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