Guest Editorial, March 2-5, 2011 |

Guest Editorial, March 2-5, 2011

Mayor Dana Williams, Council Member Candy Erickson and City Manager Tom Bakaly, Park City's Air Force negotiating team

We very much appreciate the participation of local community groups in the recent community discussion of the proposed Air Force military recreational facility and the proposed retail development to fund reduced room rates for the men and women of our armed services. In what were at times difficult discussions, the vast majority of the discourse was quite civil. The information provided to us during these discussions was of significant importance in the latter days of our negotiations.

The Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA) has been criticized as not being accountable to the local community. While it is true that we didn’t invite MIDA into our community, it wasn’t MIDA’s idea to come to Summit County, either. MIDA’s involvement in Summit County came as a result of the Air Force’s interest in locating a military recreation facility in the area. Throughout an often-challenging negotiation process, MIDA was an honorable broker treating us with respect and taking the time to understand and appreciate the value and importance of the Park City brand. MIDA sought solutions that would meet the Air Force’s need for a military recreational facility and minimize the impacts to our Park City brand that has been built and cared for by so many members of our community.

We have had and continue to have a good relationship with MIDA, particularly the MIDA board chair, Senator Stuart Adams; board member, Senator Jerry Stevenson; MIDA Executive Director Rick Mayfield; and MIDA’s general counsel, Paul Morris. These gentlemen did everything we asked of them, including personally attending community meetings.

Recently MIDA announced that the military recreation hotel site will be in Wasatch County at the Jordanelle. It will be built by the Air Force’s selected developer, DDRM. While the new development in Wasatch County will be a MIDA project, the Air Force has primary responsibility for negotiating the development of a hotel. We look forward to working with Wasatch County, MIDA and the Air Force to create recreational opportunities that will meet the needs of the Air Force and our community.

We sincerely appreciate the involvement of so many members of our great community in this process. We want to acknowledge the MIDA team for their hard work and their respect for what so many people in our community worked hard to create and grow the Park City brand.