PCMR expected to seek approval for upgrades shortly
December 12, 2014
City Hall anticipates Vail Resorts will submit an application in late December or early January seeking an approval for an ambitious set of improvements at Park City Mountain Resort.
Kayla Sintz, the planning manager for the municipal government, said the application could request changes to a mountain upgrade plan that was included in a broad development approval secured by PCMR in the 1990s. The development approval is the same one that PCMR’s former owner, Powdr Corp., was attempting to change to allow an action sports camp prior to Vail Resorts’ acquisition of PCMR.
The mountain upgrade plan is a document that outlines ski infrastructure plans at the resort, such as ideas for ski runs, lifts, snowmaking lines and restaurants.
Vail Resorts on Monday made public a broad plan for improvements at PCMR it intends to pursue next summer. It will be the first construction season under the ownership of the Colorado firm after the acquisition last fall.
The cornerstone of the improvement plan is a gondola linking PCMR and Canyons Resort, which Vail Resorts operates as part of a long-term agreement with the Talisker corporate family. But Vail Resorts also wants to upgrade two lifts — King Con and Motherlode — and make other improvements like building a new Snow Hut restaurant.
Sintz said City Hall staffers held informal meetings with Vail Resorts representatives about the ideas over the past two months.
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City Hall will process the application seeking the improvements similar to other applications to the Planning Department. The Park City Planning Commission will consider the application. The Planning Commission process includes at least one hearing.
There will also be a County Courthouse process involving the gondola application.
Vail Resorts said early in the week it expects to spend $50 million on improvements at PCMR and Canyons Resort next summer. The combined resort, which will offer 7,300 acres of skiing terrain, will be called Park City Mountain Resort. The base area at what is currently Canyons Resort will be called Canyons at Park City.
In a telephone call with Wall Street analysts on Monday, Rob Katz, the CEO of Vail Resorts, said the firm has been in discussions in Park City about the PCMR-Canyons Resort connection. He said the approval processes are not as complex as they are when permits are required from the United States Forest Service, as is the case at other Vail Resorts properties. Katz also said Vail Resorts "started early, we started very quickly, to try and get out and make sure everybody understood where we were trying to head, so we would have enough time to put this . . . the entire plan together."
There has appeared to be excitement about the plans in the Park City-area tourism industry. PCMR will be the largest mountain resort in the United States once Vail Resorts connects the two properties. It is not clear whether there will be opposition once Vail Resorts enters the formal approval process at City Hall.
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