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Military looks elsewhere for a hotel site

Soldiers may not be spending their Park City vacations near the slopes of The Canyons. Talks have broken down between military officials and the owner of the ski area over a deal to locate a hotel at the resort, a Summit County official said.

After several years of discussions, Air Force officials announced in May that the Snyderville Basin ski area would be the site of a new military resort. The military even named a contractor to oversee the construction.

But the negotiations appear to have collapsed as the sides were unable to reach an agreement about where at The Canyons the hotel should be located, Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson said.

Air Force officials recently rejected a development proposal from Talisker, the owner of The Canyons, Robinson said.

"When it got right down to it, they weren’t able to make a deal," he said. "I don’t know whose fault it was."

County councilpersons did not receive details about Talisker’s proposal nor about why the negotiations stalled, according to Robinson.

"We heard that they were going there and they had chosen it, and most recently we’ve heard they’re not," Robinson said.

According to a Talisker spokeswoman, the company continues to work with the Air Force on a possible hotel.

The Air Force began eyeing land in the Park City area when the Hill Haus Lodge, a military recreation spot at Snowbasin, closed more than a decade ago. The military operates retreats that offer room discounts to servicemen and women.

Robinson said the Air Force is now considering locating its resort near Jordanelle State Park.

"I thought that’s where it was going to go," Robinson said. "That was always in the mix."

The Air Force is considering a roughly 100-acre site east of U.S. 40 near the Jordanelle reservoir.

"It’s the Deer Cove site over by the Jordanelle, across Highway 40 from the Deer Crest gondola house," developer Stan Castleton told The Park Record in a telephone interview Friday.

Castleton said he partnered with the owner of the property to make a hotel proposal to the Air Force several months ago.

"There were three people who submitted responses to the Air Force’s request, and we were one of them," Castleton said. "And then they chose The Canyons."

Since May, however, Castleton’s discussions with the Air Force have resumed.

"Here in the last few weeks we’ve now been back talking to the Air Force," he said. "We’re talking to them a lot."

Castleton is chief executive officer of DDRM. His past projects have included the Main Street Mall and St. Regis Deer Crest.

Meanwhile, despite negotiations breaking down at The Canyons, Robinson said an agreement is still in place between Park City, Summit County and the state Military Installation Development Authority, which was formed to help facilitate development on military land.

The agreement provides the framework for military officials to build a commercial center near The Home Depot. The plan envisions using some of the property and sales tax generated at the new commercial center to help offset the costs of subsidizing room rates for the armed forces at the hotel. Land for the commercial development could be purchased from City Hall and Summit County, which jointly own a roughly 107-acre parcel in Silver Creek.


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