Mitt Romney heads to Park City for high-powered gathering |

Mitt Romney heads to Park City for high-powered gathering

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, is scheduled to lead a gathering of politicians and others in Deer Valley this week. He held similar events in Park City in 2013 and 2012. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mitt Romney is scheduled to be in Park City this week to lead a gathering of political leaders and figures from outside politics, the third consecutive year he has held a gathering in the city.

The event is set to open on Thursday and close on Saturday. It is scheduled at Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley. The invitation-only crowd will hear from a roster of high-powered speakers from politics, the business world and other fields.

Romney, the Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential campaign and a former governor of Massachusetts, has longtime ties to Park City starting prior to his helming the organizing committee that put on the 2002 Winter Olympics. He has a house in Deer Valley.

Some of the politicians expected in Park City include:

  • Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who was Romney’s running mate in 2012
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  • New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
  • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
  • Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee

    Tal Adair, the chairman of the Summit County Republican Party, would like to see Romney’s name on the ballot in 2016. Romney would have a "good shot" of winning the Republican nomination for the White House in 2016 if he did mount another campaign, Adair said.

    "I think it would be a positive reaction. I don’t think Americans, as a whole, are better off now than they were two years ago," Adair said, calling Romney a "natural leader" who can work with people from different political parties.

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    Adair said the people at the Romney event could discuss topics like public lands and the economy.

    Rick Ryan, a Park City Police Department captain, said the police are not involved in the on-site security detail. He said the lodging property will provide security and some of the people who will be in attendance will be accompanied by details.

    Ryan said he talked to Stein Eriksen Lodge security Monday evening. He inspected the space where the gathering will occur and other locations at the lodge.

    The event in 2014, like the one last year, will be scaled back from the gathering in 2012. The 2012 Romney event took place during the campaign and served as a strategy session as the fall political season approached. The 2012 event drew many more attendees under tight security by the Secret Service and local law enforcement agencies.

    The event does not involve local political figures, but some described in interviews what they hope is accomplished during the gathering.

    Kraig Powell, a Republican state legislator whose district includes the Park City area, said the group could discuss immigration reform. The Republican Party needs to consider the topic seriously, he said.

    "I think Romney, with his business background, could bring good insight to that," Powell said, calling Romney an "open-minded conservative."

    He said the group could also focus on topics like energy development, climate change and public lands. The issues are intermingled, Powell said.

    Glenn Wright, the chairman of the Summit County Democratic Party and Powell’s challenger on Election Day, said the Romney-led group in Park City this week could discuss ideas about the expansion of Medicaid, reducing carbon emissions and immigration reform. He said the event should center on the country rather than an agenda against President Obama.

    "If they’re smart, they would start addressing the American public’s needs," Wright said.