Deer Valley delays Daly-West raising until summer, citing the weather
The hulking head frame will remain on the ground for another winter
Deer Valley Resort on Thursday wanted to raise the historic Daly-West Mine head frame again, more than six years after it collapsed.
But Mother Nature apparently desired that it remain on the ground for another winter.
The resort has postponed putting the hulking head frame upright until the summer of 2022 after an early season snowstorm arrived in the Wasatch Range.
Deer Valley announced the postponement on Oct. 7 based on the weather forecast at that time, and the predicted snow arrived on Monday and continued into Tuesday morning. The storm left snow across the elevations in the Park City area.
In the announcement, Deer Valley cited the snow and the cold weather at an elevation topping 8,000 feet. The location is in Empire Pass, at the upper reaches of Deer Valley.
The statement from Deer Valley did not identify a projected date for the work next summer. The date will likely depend on the amount of snow that accumulates at the location over the winter. Heavy snowfall could possibly push back the work until well into the summer.
The delay is a setback for a project that was widely hailed as an important step in preserving Park City’s history. The community was founded in the 19th century as a silver-mining camp, and the industry drove the economy for decades before collapsing in the middle of the 20th century.
There are silver mining-era relics across much of Park City, but the Daly-West Mine head frame was one of the most prominent. The collapse in May of 2015 was the most notable event involving a relic in years. The structure was left on its side after the collapse, providing a dramatic visual illustration of the threat to mining-era structures.
The influential preservation community quickly afterward pressed for the derrick-like head frame to be put upright again, but there was not momentum until Deer Valley acquired the location from a Wasatch County water provider in 2020. The acquisition was made with the intention of restoring the head frame. Deer Valley later negotiated with another entity with interests in upper Deer Valley, called the Empire Pass Master Owners Association, to help with the restoration. The association will be responsible for ongoing maintenance.
The 85-foot-tall head frame weighs upward of 80,000 pounds. It will be moved approximately 100 feet to the southwest of the original location as part of the restoration. The ground there is better suited for the structure. The Empire Pass Master Owners Association has said two of the largest cranes available in the state were to be a part of the operation.
Deer Valley called the work that was planned this week the “big lift.” It was anticipated to last 30 minutes.
The silver-mining heritage of Park City is seen as something that helps distinguish the community from some competing, purpose-built mountain resorts. The mining heritage is used in the marketing of Park City and the relics are popular destinations for hikers and bicyclists in the summer and fall as well as skiers and snowboarders during the winter.
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