A Deer Valley hotel houses staffers just steps from PCMR | ParkRecord.com

A Deer Valley hotel houses staffers just steps from PCMR

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

A developer recently completed construction on a building just a block from Park City Mountain Resort.

But it is a hotel on the slopes of Deer Valley Resort that will benefit the most.

The Bonanza Park partnership, involving Mark J. Fischer and John Paul DeJoria, put up a work force housing project at 1440 Empire Ave. It is situated just off the main parking lots at PCMR.

The building has 12 units, each with two bedrooms. Four people are anticipated to live in each of the units for a resident count of 48. The units range in size from 700 square feet to 850 square feet. They have small living rooms, decks, full kitchens and washers and dryers. There is a 12-space underground garage, one per unit.

The rent is priced at $1,018 per month, a figure calculated through a formula used to set rates for restricted work force housing projects.

The project is part of the overall plans to redevelop the Bonanza Park even though it is located outside what is generally considered to be the district. The partnership will eventually be required by City Hall to build work force housing as part of a development approval.

Recommended Stories For You

Fischer said the developers wanted to build some of the work force housing that will ultimately be required even though the Bonanza Park partnership has not broken ground on the key pieces in the district.

"We decided to build it early knowing it would be good for the community," Fischer said, adding, "We’re also trying to set a good example for future development."

The partnership has acquired a patchwork of properties in Bonanza Park with plans for a major redevelopment of parcels like The Yard. There was limited progress for months, though, as City Hall considered a broad planning and zoning tool for Bonanza Park that was eventually abandoned.

Fischer wants to redevelop the properties under the control of the partnership with residences and commercial spaces. He envisions Bonanza Park, which is centered along roads like Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive, someday becoming a hip new address in Park City with loft-style living intermingled with restaurants and boutiques.

According to Fischer, the work force housing project on Empire Avenue is anticipated to account for approximately nine of the units that City Hall will require as part of a broader Bonanza Park approval. He said the project is expected to satisfy upward of 25 percent of the requirement. The numbers are estimates since the precise amount of development that will be approved in Bonanza Park is not known.

The Bonanza Park partnership spent approximately $4 million to acquire the land and develop the project, Fischer said. The groundbreaking was in May. The people living there started to move in on Dec. 9. Fischer touted the location on the bus line and close to PCMR.

Work force housing has long been challenging in Park City, the most expensive real estate market in the state. Many rank-and-file workers are priced out of the market, forcing them to live in outlying areas of Summit County and Wasatch County or the Salt Lake Valley. That has led to worsening commuter traffic and worries about the socioeconomic makeup of Park City.

City Hall has made affordable or otherwise attainable housing a critical priority, pledging to aggressively pursue the issue through a wide range of policies and programs. The Colorado-based owner of PCMR, Vail Resorts, meanwhile, recently announced it would spend $30 million on employee housing projects across the company. It is not known how much will be spent in Park City.

Stein Eriksen Lodge Management Corp., the firm that manages the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, the Chateaux Deer Valley and the Park Meadows Country Club, reached an agreement with the Bonanza Park partnership to lease each of the units at 1440 Empire Ave. on a year-round basis for five years.

"Stein Eriksen Lodge is setting a new standard, in my opinion, how to take care of employees," Fischer said.

Russ Olsen, the chief executive officer of the management corporation, said the firm enters into subleases with employees at the $1,018 monthly rent. Stein Eriksen Lodge Management Corp. is subsidizing an unspecified amount of the rent, he said.

Housekeeping personnel, restaurant workers and front-desk staffers are living in the units, he said. They will be there during their term of employment, which is typically 10 months, Olsen said.

"We’re committed to providing housing to our employees . . . There’s not a lot of it out there," Olsen said, adding, "They don’t have to show up, have a job and start looking for housing."