PCMR postpones Woodward Park City talks as details evolve
Park City Mountain Resort has requested a City Hall postponement of discussions about an action sports camp the resort intends to build on some of its lower parking lots, saying the internal planning efforts are continuing.
The Park City Planning Commission has started its discussions about the camp, to be known as Woodward Park City, but it appeared that a vote was some time off. Thomas Eddington, the planning director at City Hall, informed the Planning Commission of the postponement at meeting on July 9.
The Planning Commission most recently discussed Woodward Park City at a meeting in late June. The panel at that meeting indicated it would return to the discussions in July. Eddington, though, said PCMR since requested the next meeting about Woodward Park City be postponed to an uncertain date.
PCMR envisions Woodward Park City as an attraction in the summer and winter, drawing a mix of athletes who compete in action sports. It would stretch from a portion of the lower parking lots onto the lower skiing terrain.
The resort is seeking an alteration to a 1990s-era overall approval for development at the base area as well as a permit for Woodward Park City itself. The Planning Commission, it appears, will press issues like parking and the look of the Woodward Park City building. There have been some concerns from nearby property owners about the project. City Hall has entered into a partnership with PCMR to build a garage and a transit hub.
"In our close work with the Park City Planning department in preparation for Woodward Park City, we are continuing to evolve our Master Development Plan, with particular attention to parking space and a proposed parking structure," PCMR President and General Manager Jenni Smith said in a prepared statement. "As we move through this process carefully, we are taking the appropriate time to revise details of the development plan with pertinent community organizations and members."
The statement indicates PCMR "continues to enthusiastically pursue" Woodward Park City, saying it "will be an exciting addition to the community . . . "
The Smith statement did not provide details about a Woodward Park City timeline, including when PCMR anticipates returning to the talks with the Planning Commission. The panel did not discuss the postponement in any depth when it was told of the delay. Eddington said in an interview PCMR did not provide him with an indication of a timeline.
The postponement occurs as PCMR and its parent, Powdr Corp., are entrenched in a high-profile lawsuit centered on its lease of most of the terrain underlying the resort’s slopes. Court-ordered mediation is believed to be underway between PCMR and the Talisker Land Holdings, LLC-Vail Resorts side with the goal of reaching a settlement to the case.
Vail Resorts is overseeing the lawsuit on behalf of landowner Talisker Land Holdings, LLC as a part of an agreement for the Colorado firm to operate the Talisker corporate family-owned Canyons Resort. The deal could be extended to include the Talisker Land Holdings, LLC acreage at PCMR depending on the outcome of the case.
The PCMR side owns the parking lots and the lower terrain, complicating the situation. Woodward Park City would be built on land not involved in the case. It seems likely some of the negotiations occurring during mediation involve the prospects of a Vail Resorts buyout of the parking lots and lower terrain. The CEO of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz, has previously suggested there are several options, including an idea that calls for Powdr Corp. to build and operate Woodward Park City while Vail Resorts funds the associated skier parking and skier facilities.
The Smith statement indicated the postponement of the Woodward Park City discussions with the Planning Commission is not based on the lawsuit or the mediation.
"In addition to continuing to refine our Master Development and Woodward Park City plans, we are currently in mediation with Vail Resorts to resolve the dispute over Park City Mountain Resort’s upper terrain. We are committed to finding a resolution that works for both parties as well as the community," she said in the statement.
Two people indicated in interviews they are considering mounting campaigns for the Park City Council, a signal the City Hall election could attract an intriguing slate of candidates in a year when the majority of the five seats are on the ballot.