Park City land, site of mine relic collapse, for sale
Water provider considers Daly West parcel surplus property
October 22, 2017
The Wasatch County water provider that owns the land in Deer Valley where a large mining-era derrick collapsed in 2015 wants to sell the small parcel but has been unable to finalize a deal, leaving the historic location much as it was at the time the hulking structure fell.
The general manager of the Jordanelle Special Service District, Ron Phillips, said in an interview there have been several preliminary offers to acquire the parcel, which measures less than one acre. The offers were in the range of $150,000, he said. The negotiations stalled prior to a deal, he said.
Phillips said the potential buyers abandoned their efforts after conducting detailed research into the parcel, known as the due diligence phase of a real estate transaction. He said the unidentified potential buyers learned of the development restrictions at the location, leading them to opt against completing an acquisition.
The land includes the spot where the Daly West Mine derrick, also known as a headframe, collapsed, as well as a small amount of land surrounding the derrick. The derrick was atop a mine shaft. Phillips said the land was put on the market after the collapse. He explained that the Jordanelle Special Service District put a series of properties on the market at the same time that were deemed unnecessary to the operations of a water provider. The Daly West location is considered surplus property, he said.
A deal would not include the associated water rights or other underground resources. Phillips said any sale would require a clause guaranteeing the Jordanelle Special Service District retains access to the location for maintenance purposes.
The parcel, with an address on the 9100 block of Marsac Avenue, was put on the market in August of 2016 with a listed price of $150,000. The land covers .18 acres. It was taken off the market in January. The listing highlighted the location is outside the Montage Deer Valley. The land is considered a ski-in, ski-out property, according to the listing. It also noted that water and sewer lines are located down a dirt road close to Deer Valley Resort's Empire Canyon Lodge.
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The Daly West Mine was an important location during Park City's mining era. The community was founded as a silver-mining camp in the 19th century and the industry thrived before a steep drop in silver prices. Silver mining halted as the skiing era arrived, but numerous relics of the earlier era dot the mountains of Park City. The Daly West derrick was among the most prominent mining-era structures that remained upright through the decades. The derrick is believed to have been built sometime after 1912, paperwork prepared as part of a City Hall inventory of historic sites showed.
Investigators blamed the collapse in May of 2015 on a variety of factors, including the saturation of the soil, the instability of the ground at the location and what was a mild winter without a deep frost. The collapse was among the most dramatic events involving a mining-era location in years. A collapse of the mine shaft underneath caused the derrick itself to fall as well.
The Jordanelle Special Service District, City Hall and Park City's influential preservation community have been interested in the fate of the derrick since the collapse. Park City has long seen the mining-era history as something that sets it apart from many other competing mountain resorts. Clark Martinez, a general contractor retained to address the Daly West parcel after the collapse, said the derrick cannot be re-erected in the same place based on soil conditions. It cannot be put upright within 120 feet of the shaft, he said.
The future of the derrick remains unclear, but it seems certain there would be some sort of effort in Park City to preserve the towering piece of steel if the Jordanelle Special Service District or a future purchaser of the land someday intends to remove it from the land.
Mayor Jack Thomas said City Hall is not considering acquiring the parcel. The municipal government, though, would consider accepting the derrick through a donation.
"It's one of these elements that we identify as a landmark, historic landmark," Thomas said.