Military project might include retailers |

Military project might include retailers

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

For nearly a dozen years Park City officials have been in talks with the U.S. Air Force about a place for soldiers to stay while visiting the ski town.

However, no agreement has been finalized.

Some local officials now say they are watching legislation a state senator is pushing which would provide options for the military to build the resort by bypassing local zoning ordinances.

Senate Bill 124 would authorize the Military Installation Development Authority to develop the Air Force project in cooperation with the owners of property not contiguous to military land. Some supporters of the bill say local officials have stymied development of the hotel while trying to preserve open space in the Park City area.

Last year, builders were envisioning one of the largest hotels in Utah going in at Quinn’s Junction as state lawmakers were approving a similar bill to allow the Air Force to develop recreational facilities with landowners whose property borders military land.

The sponsor of SB 124, Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, now hopes the military will be able to build on some private land not adjacent to military property. There was speculation last fall that the project would lure a big retailer to the Snyderville Basin to help offset the costs of providing room discounts for soldiers at a new hotel near Jordanelle reservoir.

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"We don’t know what [the Military Installation Development Authority] is up to," Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson said in a telephone interview Thursday. "We’ve just heard through the grapevine that different developers have responded on different sites and it would be nice to know which direction they are going before we sign on to oppose or endorse any legislation."

Along with a hotel, Stevenson’s bill may allow the military to build a sizable commercial development in the Park City area.

City Hall officials are concerned about SB 124, according to Assistant Park City Manager Michael Kovacs.

And Robinson said SB 124 "is a little premature."

"We have wanted to see what [the Military Installation Development Authority] is going to do with respect to the Air Force," Robinson said.

Instead of Quinn’s Junction, Robinson had hoped the military would pick a site near The Canyons for the hotel.

"I’m trying to figure out where the Air Force is with things," Robinson said. "I was expecting an amendment to [the Military Installation and Development Authority] but I was expecting first to hear what they are doing."