Park City Mountain Resort’s plans for a massive renovation of its base area include a Woodward action sports facility and camp similar to the
Park City Mountain Resort's plans for a massive renovation of its base area include a Woodward action sports facility and camp similar to the Woodward Tahoe facility in California, pictured here. (Photo courtesy of PCMR)

A massive redevelopment project at Park City Mountain Resort took a step forward on Wednesday after the Park City Planning Commission indicated support for the resort's plans to redevelop significant areas of its base, including both of the large parking lots along Lowell Ave. and Empire Ave.

Representatives of PCMR made a presentation to the Planning Commission during a work session Wednesday in which they laid out their vision for the next major development of the resort, which includes an 80,000 square foot, up-to-four-story "action sports mountain training center and camp."

PCMR was represented at the work session by Jenni Smith, the resort's president and general manager, Tom Pettigrew, its director of skier services, and Michael Barille of PlanWorks Design. Like PCMR, Woodward is owned by Powdr Corp., making them natural partners for the project.

Woodward Park City will be "an action sports mountain training center and camp hosting a spectrum of programs for skateboarding, BMX, cheer, snowboarding, skiing, and digital media. The facility and campus will house trampolines, a skate park, foam pits, ramps, jumps, a pump track, a media lab, lounge, and more. It will be built in the upper portion of Park City Mountain Resort's First Time parking lot, adjacent to Lowell Avenue," reads the Woodward Project Description submitted to the Planning Commission.

"We want the conversation to get started," Smith said about the project.


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PCMR's "target is to complete all necessary permitting and be ready to start construction in spring of 2014 with projected completion sometime in 2015," Barille told the Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Woodward's first location was in Woodward, Pa., in 1970. It has since opened facilities in five other locations in California, Colorado and Beijing, China.

Woodward Tahoe in California is the company's most recently completed facility and is the one most similar to what is planned for PCMR, Barille said Wednesday.

An aerial view of PCMR’s base area development plan. (Image from Park City Planning Commission staff report, "PCMR Base Area MPD")
An aerial view of PCMR's base area development plan. (Image from Park City Planning Commission staff report, "PCMR Base Area MPD")

Last October, a delegation including City Councilors Alex Butwinski, Andy Beerman and Liza Simpson took a trip to the Lake Tahoe area, in part to visit Woodward Tahoe after PCMR expressed interest in possibly opening a Woodward facility in Park City, according to a report in The Park Record. The delegation came away impressed.

"It's something that's very complementary and in line with what we're trying to do," Beerman said at the time.

Wednesday, the Planning Commission seemed to echo those positive reviews when presented with PCMR's plan for Woodward Park City.

Jack Thomas, Park City's mayor-elect who currently sits on the Planning Commission, seemed to approve of the design for the proposed new structures.

"I think it's representative," Thomas said, "of this moment in time."

"I like it," he said, adding that he was "optimistic" about the project.

Planning Commissioner Charlie Wintzer expressed the commission's concerns with the "entrance experience" into the resort if large structures obstructed the mountain views in a significant way. PCMR assured the commission that it had included such concerns in its planning, noting that some of the structures will be partially sunken below ground.

As proposed, PCMR's development plans would create over 608,000 square feet of newly developed property, including the Woodward facility. Barille noted that the scale of the project can be "intimidating."

Plans for new transportation access points and parking are a key part of the project. PCMR's plan calls for the large parking lot east of Empire Ave. to be turned into a multi-level combined parking and transit facility that will have pedestrian overpasses leading directly to the mountain.

"I think the whole white elephant with this project is traffic," Wintzer stated.

PCMR is asking the Planning Commission to approve modifications to the agreed-upon Master Development Plan and Conditional Use Permit between the resort and Park City, including "the possibility of reallocating density between the existing parcels," according to City Hall planner Francisco Astorga's staff report. The Planning Commission intends to review PCMR's proposal in early January.