Vail Resorts pledges $30 million to employee housing projects
Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts on Wednesday said it would spend $30 million on employee housing projects across the firm’s territory.
A Vail Resorts release did not provide details about the projects or a precise timeline. The release also did not detail how the $30 million would be split between the resorts the Colorado-based firm owns.
Bill Rock, the chief operating officer of PCMR, said in a prepared statement he is proud of the commitment shown by Vail Resorts. He said there are opportunities to leverage the $30 million with other resources.
"How this will play out in Park City really requires us all to roll up our sleeves and determine greatest areas of need and what potential solutions could look like," Rock said in the prepared statement.
The Rock statement said the $30 million will be put toward housing beyond the units required through previous development approvals. City Hall housing requirements attached to an approval for development at the PCMR base remain unbuilt.
"Are there other options to explore in Park City and Summit County? Quite possibly, and so let’s take a look at them," Rock said.
The release from Vail Resorts says the firm "is willing to use its own land, capital or commitments to long-term lease guarantees to assist in bringing new employee housing projects to fruition." It acknowledges, though, that "many of these projects will take a number of years to develop . . ."
"The availability of affordable housing is critical for the sustainability and vitality of our resort communities and we firmly believe Vail Resorts should be an integral partner in expanding employee housing capacity," Rob Katz, the chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, said in the release. "We are hopeful this new commitment will complement our existing efforts and all of the projects that are already in the works with local government agencies."
Diane Foster, the Park City manager, said it is "great news" that Vail Resorts made the commitment to housing. She said there could be opportunities involving partnerships between City Hall and Vail Resorts. She did not provide details but noted City Hall’s interests in partnering with the private sector on housing.
Housing is a pressing issue in mountain resorts across the West as real estate prices and rents soar, forcing many rank-and-file workers out of the communities where they are employed. That has sometimes led to difficulties in attracting employees and then retaining them. Increases in commuter traffic are sometimes pinned on a lack of housing options for employees in the communities where they work.
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Parkites see traffic and transportation as Park City’s biggest challenge over the next five to 10 years, a City Hall-hired firm that is leading the efforts to craft a community vision has found as part of its research. And they also see transportation solutions as one of the two top opportunities, alongside strategic development, during the same period, the research found.