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General manager Terry Rawstern of The Prospector shows the framing of the footings for the lobby to be poured soon. Christopher Reeves/Park Record.
Park City's iconic lodge and conference center, The Prospector, is hitting the refresh button and undergoing renovations for the community as well as corporate visitors.

Don Rogers, President of the Homeowner's Association (HOA), said that the Prospector update was much needed after all the renovations that have been going on around it.

"We had kind of become the 'ugly duckling' of the neighborhood," said Rogers. "We wanted to be a good neighbor in the Prospector Square area and Park City in general, so we thought we would step it up a little."

They enlisted the help of Michael Upwall of Upwall Design Architects. The award-winning architect out of the Salt Lake City area has taken on the project and created a "mining theme."

Knight Brothers Construction Company, Park City-based and award-winning contractors, will be facilitating the build, and Design Coalition will handle the interior renovations.

After spending a little over a year in the design phases, the construction, which began in July, has been divided into four phases. The first phase was remodeling buildings 1-3. They are being completely re-sided and interior work, such as new carpeting and lighting, is being done.

It is currently in the second phase: the remodeling of the lobby. True to the mining theme, there will be a large derrick at the entrance and a slanted rooftop, allowing for more window space and natural light.


According to Terry Rawstern, General Manager of The Prospector, the renovations will create a unique look that passersby will associate with the property from all areas.

"Any place that you have, you want a sort of defining feature," said Rawstern. "This derrick in the front and the other derricks going up around the property are going to be the defining features that anyone will be able to see coming up either Prospector Avenue or Sidewinder Avenue."

Rawstern has worked as a consultant on projects in Dubai, Bangkok, and Europe, and he hopes to bring his expertise to the project to ensure that they are executing the best product they can on budget.

His duties include not only running the property and making sure the renovations are on schedule but to work with the Prospector's long-standing client, the Sundance Film Festival, which recently renewed its contract for another three years.

Officials at Sundance are "quite pleased" with the renovations that will be completed by mid-Dec., just in time for the Jan. 16 festival start date, and they are interested in partnering with The Prospector to remodel the theater in the future, he said.

"Sundance typically moves in with us on Jan. 1, because they utilize a lot of our space down there for temporary offices while everything is going on," said Rawstern.

He said that while the re-design was not specifically done for Sundance, The Prospector recognizes that the festival, as well as the community, benefits from have a world-class facility in Park City.

The Sundance Film Festival, and conferences like the Park City Math Institute, bring a lot of business to Park City, but with this face-lift, Rawstern hopes to also bring more business in the form of conferences and corporate groups.

"We are competing with Tahoe and Sun Valley and other places around that offer similar amenities," said Rawstern. "The advantage we have is Park City itself and the history of it."

The response from clients has been positive, and the conference center has already had bookings just from showing them the renderings rather than bringing them out to see the actual construction, Rawstern said.

Rogers is relieved that progress is finally being made and that the process is almost complete after joining the HOA board specifically to try and speed up the process.

"It's just a matter of persistence; we had a lot of work," said Rogers. "It took almost a year just to kind of get the business operation and the financial recording and everything in place."

Only two more phases remain in the re-vamping of The Prospector. Phase three will begin in early Oct., which is a renovation of the existing conference center space, which will be stripped down with new wall coverings, paint, carpets, and intricate stone work. The bathrooms are also being fully renovated, which makes for a "pretty extensive refresh," Rawstern said.

The Prospector also worked with Sundance to find the festival's most recognizable posters, which will be framed and mounted on the walls where the conference center meets the entrance to the theater.

The final phase is renovating buildings 4-9. They will experience re-siding and interior work like buildings 1-3. The remodeling will not be in the actual units themselves but in hallways and doorways.

Rawstern said that once the ski season is over and the snow has melted, the final component of the project will be an overhaul of the landscaping of the property that will match everything that has been done as part of the renovation.

He hopes the community will enjoy watching the process of the reconstruction and anticipate its completion as they are a large part of the reason the restoration has finally taken place.

"Park City helps us to sell," said Rawstern. "The money we have placed in all this work is not just an investment for the conference center but an investment for the community."