Deer Valley: skiing, biking, hiking and, now, paddleboarding |

Deer Valley: skiing, biking, hiking and, now, paddleboarding

A man who wants to offer paddleboarding lessons on a pond in lower Deer Valley was stopped from doing so until he secures the proper City Hall licenses to operate, something that might delay the start of the lessons until next year.

Trent Hickman owns a company called Park City SUP. The SUP letters stand for stand up paddleboarding. He wants to teach people how to paddleboard in a pond owned by Deer Valley Resort outside an office building at 1375 Deer Valley Drive.

Hickman said as he was setting up for the first day of operations recently when a City Hall official visited him in the morning. The official, from the Building Department, informed him he did not hold the permits he needed to operate, Hickman said. No lessons were booked. He paddleboarded in the pond that day, however.

"Just people, walking by and seeing it, were excited," Hickman said.

City Hall indicated on Monday two sets of paperwork are required of Park City SUP. Francisco Astorga, a planner for the municipal government who is handling part of the process, said Hickman needs to obtain what is known as an administrative conditional-use permit that would allow the activity. The firm also needs to obtain a business license.

Astorga said the Planning Department is considering the permit. It is something that can be granted by staffers rather than requiring Park City Planning Commission approval. Astorga said the permit is expected to be approved on Thursday. There had been no comments submitted to the Planning Department about the paddleboarding by the middle of the afternoon on Monday.

Astorga said the permit will require people wear life vests while they are paddleboarding. It will allow paddleboards to be on display during the day, but they will need to be stored at night, he said. The permit under consideration would allow Park City SUP to operate from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day between May and October. He said a daily cap on the number of paddleboarders is also being discussed, but the number had not been decided early in the week.

"It’s a good use of the pond in the offseason . . . The space is activated," Astorga said. "It certainly helps that vitality of Deer Valley."

Paddleboards look like oversized surfboards. People stand on the paddleboard and use a large paddle to propel them. Hickman said the sport is "incredibly popular" in the Park City area and is growing nationally. He has been offering lessons at the Jordanelle Reservoir.

Hickman said he has reached an agreement with the resort for the use of the pond. A Deer Valley Resort spokesperson said the resort granted permission to use the pond and the space the business needs. Deer Valley stores water for snowmaking in the pond. The resort also owns the Deer Valley Plaza building where the business will base its operations. Park City SUP will have a small tent for shade and a rack to store the paddleboards.

Hickman anticipates the lessons will not start until 2013 given the arrival of fall. He plans to offer one-hour lessons on the pond, possibly costing $50 for the instruction, use of the equipment and photographs of the lesson. Either himself or someone he certifies will teach the lesson, he said. Hickman said he wants to offer a program involving yoga on a paddleboard.

He said he requires people to wear life jackets that fit around someone’s waist. They will also need to wear leashes that are tied to someone’s foot and attached to the paddleboard.

The pond in lower Deer Valley is an ideal place for lessons, Hickman said, noting that it is small, there is little wind and motorboats do not use the pond.

"It’s a very safe environment for beginners to learn," he said.

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