St. Regis Resort celebrates groundbreaking
A groundbreaking Wednesday for the new St. Regis Resort & Residences, Deer Crest will cement the promise of one of the largest luxury hotels to come to Park City, bringing 26 private residences, 67 condominiums and 180 rooms for nightly bookings. Last week, the hotelier announced a broker appraised the land at $1,400 per square foot. According to the company, the St. Regis at Deer Crest not only marks the first five-star hotel in Utah, the value also sets a state record for price per square foot. St. Regis arrives in Park City after Deer Crest property owners considered several other exclusive resorts for the Roosevelt Gap and Snow Park parcels that straddle both Wasatch and Summit counties. Park City planner Kirsten Whetsone, recalls two of the more notable considerations since the approval of the Deer Crest master plan have been the Ritz-Carlton, which only became a preliminary possibility, and The Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which submitted plans to the city in 2000. Rosewood received an approval for to begin excavation in December of 2002, but subsequently plans were dropped, Whetstone says. "I believe other hotels were considered between the Ritz and Rosewood, but we never saw plans for any of those&Then last year, it was announced that St. Regis would be building a hotel and this summer they received a valid conditional use permit and submitted recently for a mass excavation grading permit and a permit," Whetstone said. "They also already paid the water fees to get fresh water from the Jordanelle Special Service District." St. Regis developer, DDRM Greatplace LLC’s Stanley Castleton, who will be flying in from his Anaheim, Calif. offices for today’s event expects the finishing touches will be complete by 2007. "After having been in Park City for six or seven years now, I think the interesting part of this is that it will be one of the largest projects ever built there. It’s a big project and it’s been complex, with a lot of moving parts," he said. "It will definitely become an icon in the whole Park City-Deer Valley area." The St. Regis Resort & Residences, Deer Crest, will include two locations, with an upper location at Deer Crest and a lower location adjacent to Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge. The buildings will be connected by a funicular, or dual-tram, that will transport owners and guests in cabs. The resort will feature a 24,000-square-foot spa with a salon and fitness facility, a ski lounge with ski valet service, a ski ‘beach,’ two pools, a martini bar and a gourmet restaurant. The upper part of the hotel will house guest rooms, private residences, condominium suites, the restaurant and spa. The lower lodge at the base will house additional welcome facilities with quick access to Deer Valley buildings. In February, Meg Byrne of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts told The Park Record that hotel rooms would also be part of the lower portion, but construction of those units would begin at a later date. Deer Crest’s St. Regis will join a select list of locations for the five-star brand that includes Houston, Washington, D.C., Aspen, Colo., Monarch Beach, Calif., Rome, Beijing, London, Shanghai and its original hotel in New York, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. St. Regis estimates the cost of the project at $260 million. Condominium suites range between $1.5 million and $3.5 million and private residences range between $1.78 million to just over $5 million. Nearly a third of the units have already been sold, according to Castleton, and Wednesday will mark the second offering of condominium suites. The units have been sold to individuals, not property managers, Castleton says, and will be used primarily for vacation stays. "Hotel guests won’t realize these are condominiums. They’ll think they’re staying in a normal hotel and that’s significantly different than what we’re used to in the Park City area," he explained. "It will look, feel and smell like a very upscale, luxurious, traditional hotel, and because of the way we’ve designed it, with the support from the back of the house, food and beverage, the spa and the pool areas, it will be a very upscale experience and that’s why we’re excited about it." While Castleton hopes to continue building in the winter, he assures that workers will not interfere or disturb skiers or homeowners in Deer Crest. "We’re very careful to minimize the impact and will protect the slopes and the homes surrounding our construction," he said. Since Okland Construction is already hard at work, Castleton sees today’s groundbreaking as more of an affirmation than a beginning of a project. Yet, he looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm with others, even if it’s just to move a little dirt around. In a recent press release, he described the future St. Regis as the beginning of a new era in mountain luxury destinations, not just for Deer Valley, but for the state. "We’re very happy to finally get this project off the ground," he confirmed.
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The developer pursuing a major project at the Park City Mountain Resort base area intends to incorporate a paid-parking system as a key measure in the efforts to reduce the amount of traffic the new lodging and commercial spaces would generate.