In summer’s heat, Park City addresses the cool topic of ice |

In summer’s heat, Park City addresses the cool topic of ice

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

In the heat of the summer, Park City continues to have a conversation about a cool topic: ice.

Park City officials are moving forward with another step as they consider whether to expand the Park City Ice Arena at Quinn’s Junction. The discussions have unfolded over the past few months, and City Hall recently reached an agreement with a firm for more work on the topic.

The Park City Council approved a contract valued at up to $30,000 with a firm that will further explore designs and cost estimates for a facility. The deal was inked with a Snyderville Basin company named Victus Advisors. A Park City architectural firm, Elliott Workgroup, is working with Victus Advisors.

The two are expected to craft design concepts for an expansion and cost estimates, such as the construction price tag and how much it will cost to operate an expanded ice arena. They will also investigate possible funding sources for a project.

Park City leaders have not committed to building an expansion, but there has been interest in learning more about the possibilities. The Ice Arena is near capacity as the various sports housed at the facility compete for ice time. City Hall has said the Ice Arena operates at 94 percent of capacity between 6 a.m. and midnight as sports like hockey, sled hockey, figure skating, speed skating and curling take the ice.

Jason Glidden, the economic development program manager at City Hall, said Victus Advisors and Elliott Workgroup will explore three different levels of expansion. One would be an outdoor rink designed for the community, another would be an indoor rink that would serve the community as well as the region while the other one, the most ambitious, would be a facility that could be used in a Winter Olympics.

In a report submitted to Mayor Jack Thomas and the City Council beforehand, Glidden indicated officials want the firm to focus on two sites. One would expand the current building in an undetermined direction. The other would involve a standalone building that would be situated on City Hall land outside the Ice Arena.

Victus Advisors proposed a 10-week timeline in its submittal to City Hall, starting with a kickoff meeting and ending with a final report. The firm plans to undertake a historical analysis, study comparable facilities and make recommendations about amenities, according to the timeline.

Park City selected Victus Advisors over four other firms that submitted proposals. The $30,000 bid was the fourth least expensive out of the five submittals, which ranged in price from $86,800 to $28,000.

Glidden said City Hall staffers expect to present the results of the work to the elected officials in September. It is unclear, though, when the City Council will make a decision about an expansion. It seems almost certain that City Hall and the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District will partner on any expansion. The two entered into a partnership to build the Ice Arena, and voters in the Snyderville Basin in 2014 passed a ballot measure that included $2.5 million for an ice facility.