High West Distillery plans to convert a house at 651 Park Ave. into a space for private gatherings and parties. The distillery itself is nearby. The
High West Distillery plans to convert a house at 651 Park Ave. into a space for private gatherings and parties. The distillery itself is nearby. The Whiskey Library, as the 651 Park Ave. location will be called, could be opened during the ski season. Christopher Reeves/Park Record

High West Distillery, spirited by strong business from private events, has purchased a nearby house and is converting it into a space for gatherings and parties.

It is the first expansion inside Park City for the distillery, which has enjoyed wide popularity since its 2009 opening. The house sits at 651 Park Ave., two addresses up from the distillery itself. A candy store once operated in the house and a coffee shop was in the location earlier.

David Perkins, the proprietor and majority owner of High West Distillery, said the 651 Park Ave. location will be called The Whiskey Library. It will be available for private events at the start, he said. There will also be distillery-sponsored private educational opportunities for people interested in learning about whiskey, Perkins said.

"I ain't complaining. Business is going well. We've been lucky to be busy," Perkins said about High West Distillery's schedule of private events.

The house is approximately 1,000 square feet in size. Perkins said it will hold between 30 and 40 people for private events. He said the house "fills a size we don't have." It is smaller than the High West Distillery garage building but larger than the rooms inside the distillery's main building. Perkins did not discuss terms of the deal for the house.

Perkins wants to build a kitchen in the house and beautify the yard. He said changes to the exterior of the house are not planned beyond new paint. Perkins intends to open The Whiskey Library later in the ski season.

Park City restaurants and nightclubs have long enjoyed a lucrative business from private events like holiday parties and business gatherings. There are also private events throughout the Sundance Film Festival.

City Hall is reviewing the High West Distillery submittals for the house at 651 Park Ave. Officials must consider the request against the municipal government's strict Old Town design guidelines.

The Planning Department said the distillery has asked to remove an addition on the rear that is not historic and then build an addition where the kitchen will be located. The department has asked that the designs for the addition be revised to fit with the guidelines.

High West Distillery also filed paperwork at City Hall requesting that it be allowed to offer outdoor dining on the east and south sides of the house at 651 Park Ave.

High West Distillery purchased its main location, 703 Park Ave., from City Hall. Business has been strong, Perkins said. According to Perkins, High West Distillery sells whiskey in 40 states and five foreign countries. Sales of the distillery's spirits doubled in 2012 from the year before, he said. High West Distillery is building a facility in Wanship that will be its primary production location. It is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2014.

The Summit County Assessor's Office values the 651 Park Ave. house at $280,000. The owner is High West Properties LLC, according to County Courthouse records.