New golf plan could side-step strife at The Canyons | ParkRecord.com

New golf plan could side-step strife at The Canyons

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Legal wrangling continues to mire village development at The Canyons but changes proposed to a plan to install a golf course at the resort were approved in May by the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission.

Officials at American Skiing Company hope excluding property at The Canyons owned by Wolf Mountain Resorts from the course’s alignment will jumpstart work on the troubled project originally slated for completion in 2002.

But the final decision rests with the Summit County Commission, which could decide June 27 whether to change plans for the proposed Lower Village and Willow Draw subdivisions at The Canyons. A public hearing on the matter is scheduled at the Sheldon Richins Building at 4 p.m.

American Skiing Company, or ASC, the parent company to The Canyons, is currently battling in court with Wolf Mountain Resorts, which owns most of the land at The Canyons that the group started leasing to ASC in the late 1990s.

Because of ongoing litigation that involves a lease dispute between Wolf Mountain and American Skiing Co., amendments to the development agreement at The Canyons could allow golf-course construction to move forward without cooperation from Wolf Mountain Resorts Managing Partner Kenny Griswold.

"ASC has chosen to suspend pursuit of platting for development parcels associated with their rights under the [agreement] on land owned by Wolf Mountain until [negotiation and litigation] between these two parties is resolved," a staff report by Summit County Planning Director Michael Barille states.

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Meanwhile, disagreements among other landowners at The Canyons who are attempting to cooperatively build the 18-hole golf course have stalled the project, according to Barille.

Past disputes Wolf Mountain had with landowners Joe Krofchek and Stephen Osguthorpe have slowed construction of the course, Barille’s report states.

"These amendments to the prior approvals would allow the density assigned to Krofchek and Osguthorpe to be platted with consent of the landowners involved," Barille states, which could remove Wolf Mountain from the complex golf equation.

Future changes to the agreement could ensure that American Skiing Company and Wolf Mountain will be involved in the development should their dispute get resolved.

"In short, all of the proposed amendments to prior approvals are aimed at preserving the development interests of parties unable to reach previously contemplated agreements with Wolf Mountain, the planning staff report states.

Creating more off-season amenities means building a golf course at The Canyons that would help the resort function as a year-round destination, according to Barille.

But financing must be in place and landowners at The Canyons must contribute land to the project before course construction can begin.

Changing the development agreement at the resort could situate a par 3 hole farther east near the corner of Canyons Resort Drive and State Road 224. The new plan could mean a dispute between Wolf Mountain and American Skiing Company won’t further delay development.

Should the Summit County Commission approve the proposed changes, construction of the golf course could begin in 2008, said JoAnne Nadalin, director of The Canyons Resort Village Management Association, the group helping to oversee course construction.

"We’ve got to get the financing nailed down," she said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "Everybody’s goal is if everybody would go back to the plan we had a year ago, we would love for that one to occur."