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Air Force talks continue

Air Force officials say talks are continuing about where to build a military hotel in Summit County, potentially at The Canyons.

In a prepared statement released in early March, Kevin Sullivan, a major general at Hill Air Force Base, says the discussions are productive but he does not provide details.

"Everyone is committed to the same goals to provide our Department of Defense family with an affordable recreation experience, while remaining good neighbors with the citizens of Summit County," he says, adding the sides are "continuing to work collaboratively."

The Air Force released the statement quickly after a City Hall-led mission visited Washington, D.C., for a round of talks about the hotel. Local officials have said The Canyons is an appropriate spot for the hotel and have tried to lure the Air Force there.

But the military holds 26 acres of land, known as the Red Maple site, at Quinn’s Junction, west of the Park City Ice Arena. The local officials want to persuade the Air Force to consider a deal with the key point being the Red Maple site would be preserved as open space in exchange for allowing the hotel at The Canyons.

The details have not been finalized, including whether money would be exchanged. A developer teaming with the Air Force had previously talked about a large hotel, perhaps 600 rooms, on the Red Maple land, which City Hall has long coveted as open space.

City Hall officials argue the Red Maple site, situated on the outskirts of Park City, is not a smart place for a hotel, saying it is not near the three local mountain resorts or bustling Main Street.

The military operates similar hotels across the world and people in the service pay discounted rates when they visit. The Air Force has eyed Park City since the 1990s, as it prepared to lose its aging Hill Haus lodge at Snowbasin as that resort expanded in anticipation of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Construction trade booms

Park City’s construction trade continued its early-year boom in February, the city’s Building Department reports, easily outstripping the numbers through the first two months of 2006.

According to the department, just less than $68.1 million in construction had been authorized through the end of February, more than four times the approximately $14.8 million reported through February 2006.

Multi-family projects were especially strong in February, when two such buildings totaling 63 units received permits. Combined the two are worth just less than $22.8 million, the department says.

Three single-family homes added a little more than $1.4 million to the sum and one duplex tacked on another $878,588.

Meanwhile, the combined number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits was up from February 2006 totals and a little below the January figures.

The department’s inspection load, 186.5 per day in February, was down significantly from January, when film-festival week requires scores of extra inspections, and up slightly from the previous February.

The trade’s big numbers in the first two months of 2007 follow a year in which the industry easily beat its previous record, tallying $173.3 million in construction in 2006. Chief Building Official Ron Ivie has said the 2007 numbers would approach the record set in 2006.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger


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