Search for hotel site narrows |

Search for hotel site narrows

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Having met with developers, the military has perhaps narrowed its search for a location for a hotel in the Park City area to three possible sites.

"My understanding is that there are three proposals that are in," Park City Mayor Dana Williams said in a telephone interview.

Those sites may include parcels near Jordanelle State Park, Quinn’s Junction and The Canyons Resort, Williams said.

City Hall has been in talks with the U.S. Air Force for several years about a place for soldiers to stay while visiting the ski town. A past proposal placed the hotel at Quinn’s Junction near land the military owns in the Park City area.

But Williams said he is opposed to the military building the hotel at Quinn’s because that type of project would not comply with the zoning ordinances there. State lawmakers passed a bill last year that allowed private landowners adjacent to military property to ignore local planning codes if they work with the federal government to build recreational facilities.

"One of the things the electorate mandated us to do is to protect the brand of the community," Williams said. "The idea of usurping planning processes in either the county or the city goes against the reason we took oaths of office, which was to protect that code."

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The hotel would be more appropriate near the base of a ski resort, Park City Manager Tom Bakaly said.

"We’re not pushing a particular site, but we’ve been clear all along that we would like it to be near a resort base," Bakaly said in an interview Thursday.

One proposal for a hotel site came from Talisker Corp., which owns The Canyons, Williams said.

Talisker suggested building the military resort at the Snyderville Basin ski area, he added.

A spokeswoman for Talisker referred questions about the hotel to the military.

The military stressed this week that no agreement has been reached on a location for the hotel.

Wadman Corporation, the contractor for the Air Force, has received several proposals from interested landowners, said Dave Williamsen, Park City project program manager for the Air Force.

"The Air Force looks forward to receiving Wadman’s recommendation for the highest rating site and will begin negotiations with the top site owner once the recommendation is approved," Williamsen said in an e-mail to The Park Record.

The military is planning the project in cooperation with the state Military Installation Development Authority, which officials sometimes refer to as MIDA.

"Our goal is to have a great place for the military men and women to come and rest and recreate and recharge, and we’ve worked well over the last nine months with MIDA and the Air Force," Bakaly said. "We anticipate that continuing."

City Hall supports Senate Bill 124, which would allow MIDA to easily consider locations for a hotel that are not adjacent to military land.

"[Senate Bill 124] could actually be good for us in terms of moving a facility into an area that has appropriate zoning, as opposed to putting it at Quinn’s Junction where no one thinks it is appropriate," Williams said. "Part of this bill, I think, is in deference to Park City. The area that there is military ground here is not an area where we want the hotel."

The state Senate Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Committee was scheduled to discuss SB 124 Friday afternoon.