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City Hall officials head to SoCal for movie-studio talks

A group of City Hall and County Courthouse officials is scheduled to visit Southern California this week for meetings with executives from the film studio interested in opening a facility in the Park City area.

There have been discussions about situating Raleigh Studios in a private-sector development at Quinn’s Junction, a location that has been worrisome to local leaders. The trip to Southern California will be the first chance City Hall officials have had to talk to people from Raleigh Studios.

Park City Manager Tom Bakaly, one of the Park City officials scheduled to travel this week, said the group will visit the company’s facilities in Los Angeles and Hollywood.

Others from City Hall scheduled to attend were Mayor Dana Williams, City Councilman Alex Butwinski and Diane Foster, who handles the local government’s environmental programs. The County Courthouse, meanwhile, is sending Summit County Council chairman Chris Robinson and Bob Jasper, who is the county manager.

The group was scheduled to leave for Southern California on Wednesday and return on Thursday.

Development ideas on the Quinn’s Junction land have long been disputed, and the idea to build a Raleigh Studios facility at the site was unexpected. The land is just outside the Park City limits in unincorporated Summit County. The Raleigh Studios facility does not hold a development approval.

City Hall, though, closely monitors development ideas along the S.R. 248 entryway as part of its growth strategy. There has been increased pressure along the S.R. 248 entryway in the last decade as developers hunted for pieces of ground with growth potential.

Bakaly said the trip is at the invitation of Raleigh Studios.

The city manager said City Hall wants to cooperate with the firm to locate a studio in Summit County that jibes with zoning rules. He said other locations could be discussed that better fit with City Hall’s ideas about growth.

"The goal is for us to learn more about what their needs are," Bakaly said.

The county manager, meanwhile, said the County Courthouse officials intend to inquire about the size of the project. The development idea is too large for the site, he contended.

"That gives us an opportunity to ask Raleigh directly why they need that much square footage," Jasper said. "It’s information that we’d like to have."

He said some of the discussions this week will focus on whether the facility could be smaller. Jasper said Summit County would like to have a properly sized studio built.

A Raleigh Studios official did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. The company’s website lists facilities in seven locations six in the United States and one in Hungary.

There has been some local interest in the idea from people who see a studio as boosting the economy via a sector that is not reliant on the tourism industry, as is a major part of the Park City-area economy nowadays.


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