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PCMR project construction could devastate businesses, a key property owner claims

Park City Mountain Resort parking lots.
Park Record file photo

An important property owner at the Resort Center at Park City Mountain Resort has outlined broad concerns with a Provo firm’s plans for a major development on the PCMR parking lots, including, crucially, the possibility that work that could be underway as early as March could be devastating for businesses at the base during the upcoming ski season.

A firm called Silver Mill LLC submitted two lengthy letters to the Park City Planning Commission and the Park City Planning Department on Oct. 12. They were released by City Hall in anticipation of a Planning Commission meeting scheduled on Wednesday.

Silver Mill LLC is one of the key commercial property owners at the Resort Center. The Resort Center has long served as the de facto PCMR base area even though it is under different ownership than PCMR itself. There is concern the PEG Companies development proposal could heavily impact the existing Resort Center on a long-term basis as well as during construction.

Ried Schott, the managing principal of Silver Mill LLC, signed both of the letters to the Planning Commission and the Planning Department. In one of the letters, Schott predicts difficulties for businesses at the Resort Center based on the closure of some of the parking, identified in the letter as Parcel B, as the initial development work starts. He also notes in the letter the spread of the novel coronavirus, which forced PCMR to close last ski season several weeks before it planned to stop the lifts, in the letter.

“There needs to be some consideration for the business interruption and damages that will occur to existing establishments at the Park City Mountain Resort … from PEG’s construction on Parcel B. The pandemic has already caused businesses around the country to suffer financial damages, and the Resort has felt these effects,” the letter says.

Schott also worries about the possibility of the parking on that parcel closing from March 1, 2021, until Dec. 1 of that year, saying such a scenario “would be disastrous for the owners and employees of businesses at the Resort.”

“These restrictions would compound the already poor financial expectations for the coming winter season, due to pandemic restrictions leading to a reduction in lift capacities, a limited sale of lift tickets, an ultimately an unmanageable strain upon Resort businesses,” the letter says.

Schott also warns there could be permanent closures of businesses at the Resort Center based on the timeline of the project.

“Unless there is a delay in the development of the Resort by a year or two, or some business interruption compensation is provided by PEG or Park City, construction that begins this year will likely cause business failures and the loss of scores of jobs,” he says.

Schott submitted the letters as the Planning Commission continues its review of the PEG Companies proposal. The Planning Commission as a body typically centers on issues like the layout of a project, the heights of buildings and traffic. The effects of a development on nearby businesses are sometimes broached but are not the focus of a review.

PEG Companies submitted a prepared statement in response to some of the concerns. It says, in part: “Replacing the 1200 day skier parking spaces in structured parking while adding parking for businesses and residences within the new base area is the most challenging aspect of this project.  Our engineering team has worked diligently to understand the utility constraints of the site, while working with our traffic experts to enhance traffic flow and transit. Another major requirement is to keep the same number of parking stalls available throughout the winter seasons during the build out. This is why we have proposed a forward-thinking plan that delivers both day skier parking and our workforce housing obligations in Phase 1. Meeting so many goals that at times conflict with one another- is why – up until now- no company has been willing to take on this challenge.”

PEG Companies intends to acquire the PCMR lots from resort owner Vail Resorts and then pursue the project. A previous owner of PCMR secured a broad development approval in the 1990s for the base area. The lots and attached development rights went to Vail Resorts when it acquired PCMR.

PEG Companies and the Planning Commission are locked in discussions with a timeline for a vote unclear. People who live or own properties close to the lots have expressed concern throughout the Planning Commission talks and a community action group is forming in opposition.

The development proposal involves a hotel, retailers, restaurants and residences. Large garages would be constructed to account for the parking spots lost to the project.

The Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and be held electronically. A hearing is planned. More information about participation in the electronic meeting is available on the City Hall website, parkcity.org. The direct link to meeting information is: parkcity.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/35709/15.


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