Parties move toward compromise for Main Street
Merchants on historic Main Street in Old Town are apparently having a difficult time competing with their Kimball Junction counterparts.
Times are so tough that a coalition of city officials, including the mayor, a police officer and a lawyer, was evidently needed to lobby Summit County commissioners to change the name of New Main Street in Snyderville. "This is a marketing ploy the reason is specifically to detract people from coming to do business in the city," Park City Mayor Dana Williams said. "If [Newpark] can get people to come off the freeway and turn left and go into what they think is Main Street and never come to Park City, that’s great for [Redstone Towne Center] and Newpark we find it extremely distasteful." Williams exchanged barbs with a Kimball Junction developer and Summit County’s planning director before the parties agreed Wednesday to negotiate changing the name of a road in the Newpark Town Center.
For more than a year, street signs have identified one of the Snyderville development’s main thoroughfares as New Main Street. The moniker recently ruffled the tail-feathers of several Park City merchants who claim the name creates competition for businesses on Main Street in Old Town.
According to Williams, Newpark partners Marc Wangsgard and Jim Doilney are attempting to profit from the success of Park City’s historic district.
"Whenever there are two retail areas, there’s competition. There’s no way to avoid it," Wangsgard said. "We did not intend to have people turn off of the junction and stop and never go into Old Town we were surprised about this conflict."
But Williams claims Basin development patterns have allowed the county to claim an "unfair advantage" over Park City business owners by "copying something that has been around for 130 years." "To the extent that one business community does their job better than the other, then yeah, competition’s going to dictate," Summit County Planning Director Michael Barille said. "Respectfully, I’ll disagree that there weren’t opportunities for the city to comment on our development plan." New Main Street has been in the works since 2003. "I’m actually a little concerned that the county let it happen in the spirit of cooperation, this isn’t a good idea," Williams countered. "Would Park City itself be more economically viable if there wasn’t any development in the Snyderville Basin? Of course." Wangsgard criticized city officials for blasting Newpark by making "personal comments about our intentions" in television and newspaper reports. "Using the word offensive, offends people," Wangsgard told the mayor. "I suggested that we communicate directly instead of through the media, and try to resolve the conflict."
Wangsgard is banking on Newpark Town Center building upon the success of its neighbor, Redstone. Tenants including restaurateurs, sporting good shops and a bookseller have leased much of The Boyer Company project.
Similar mixed-use development is slated for Newpark, east of S.R. 224 near Interstate 80 and Highland Drive.
"They’re advertising that they’re in Park City," Park City businessman Mike Sweeney complained. "When we’re getting people that are saying ‘we’re in Park City,’ and they’re not contributing to Park City, then that makes it a little bit more difficult for us."
Wangsgard hinted he would perhaps be willing to change the name if Summit County changes the name of Uinta Boulevard — a major roadway between Newpark and Redstone that connects to S.R. 224 to Newpark Boulevard. About a year ago, a request from Newpark to change the name of Uinta was denied when a neighboring property owner opposed the change. "We will work with the city and with the Newpark developers to try to have some consistency in the naming of all the streets and hopefully at the end of the day, the name of New Main, with the blessing of the developer, will go away," Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer said.
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Joe Biden has appeared in Park City on fundraising trips a handful of times. But before that, he frequently came to town for the Senators’ Ski Cup, an annual benefit for Primary Children’s Medical Center.