Park City provides $15,000 in taxpayer assistance to glass-blowing studio | ParkRecord.com

Park City provides $15,000 in taxpayer assistance to glass-blowing studio

Micah Goddard grew up locally, graduating from Park City High School in 2003 and living in a community with a well-established arts scene.

Goddard, an artist who works in the medium of steel fabrication, eventually co-founded a glass-blowing company, called Red Flower Studios, with another artist.

Red Flower Studios opened a brick-and-mortar location in the Iron Horse district in February. It has a glass-blowing studio and a metal workshop. Glass blowing, he said on Thursday, is a "mystic medium" and "mesmerizing."

"It's an art, culture place. I just feel there hasn't been an interactive way like this," Goddard said in an interview.

The Park City Council on Thursday evening unanimously approved a $15,000 grant to assist Red Flower Studios as it attempts to establish itself. The grant is part of a City Hall economic-development program meant to help businesses seen as furthering the municipal government's own goals for the community. The elected officials did not spend extensive time on the topic. Two City Councilors — Becca Gerber and Steve Joyce — were absent, leading to a rare three-person vote.

Red Flower Studios had sought $20,000 in funding from City Hall, but the elected officials agreed to the lower sum. Park City staffers say the $15,000 figure keeps open the possibility of providing assistance to another business later. The elected officials did not receive testimony during a hearing prior to casting the vote on Thursday.

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The Iron Horse location offers gallery space and opportunities for someone to create their own blown glass. Goddard said the City Hall funding will be used to purchase supplies, including clear glass and glass of different colors that will be made into works. The grant will also assist with marketing efforts and the acquisition of tools used in the craft, such as a box that cools the glass after it has been shaped.

"We cultivate creativity," Goddard said.

Daniel Bell, the other co-founder and a glass-blowing artist, said the Iron Horse district has been of interest for five years. He described City Hall's plans to develop an arts and culture district nearby as something that could boost Red Flower Studios as well.

"It puts us in great proximity," Bell said about the location close to the land under consideration for an arts and culture district.

The Red Flower Studios' submittal to City Hall says participation by the public is important to the business. There are opportunities for the public to have a "unique experience to come into our studio and work hands on with us to make their own one-of-a-kind piece of glass art," the submittal says.

The submittal also says Red Flower Studios secured a two-year lease at the Iron Horse district location.

"We are committed to being a staple in the Park City community and providing an experience that residents and tourists will not find in any other mountain town," it says.

The Red Flower Studios' business plan anticipates increasing staffing with more glass blowers and a photographer as well as quickening the pace of production in 2019 and 2020. The company wants to acquire a second glass-blowing furnace in 2020 or 2021.