Discussions about Woodward action camp wrapping up | ParkRecord.com

Discussions about Woodward action camp wrapping up

The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission has spent more than a year poring over the details of the Woodward action camp facility that is proposed at Gorgoza Park, the outdoor tubing hill located near Interstate 80, and it appears it could reach a decision sometime in January.

Representatives from PlanWorks Design most recently met with the Planning Commission on Nov. 28 to analyze the final items that need to be reviewed before a decision is made, according to Michael Barille, of PlanWorks Design. PlanWorks Design submitted the application for the project on behalf of Powdr. Corp., which has owned Gorgoza Park since the late 1990s.

"We had some good back and forth at this last meeting," he said in an interview on Monday. "The topics we hit were lighting, snow making, traffic and parking. We also discussed employee housing. I feel like we got good direction and have a good consensus about where we need to be on target with site planning."

In June 2016, the Summit County Building Department received a conditional-use permit application for an indoor/outdoor action sports camp at Gorgoza Park.

Powdr. Corp. currently operates five Woodward Camps throughout the United States. Woodward Park City would mark the sixth location and third mountain-based facility. It would serve athletes in several different sports, including skiing, snowboarding, gymnastics, skateboarding and BMX freestyle bicycling.

Woodward Park City would include a more than 52,000-square-foot indoor action-sports center, equipped with indoor trampolines, ramps, foam pits, pump tracks, concrete skate park and a digital media studio. Other amenities would include a food court, lounge and coffee house, and party room.

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Several outdoor enhancements would be included, such as "lift served snow sports riding and teaching terrain, expanded snow making and continuation of the existing tubing operations," according to a Planning Department staff report. The terrain would be serviced by a four-person chair lift. An outdoor skate park, expanded mountain biking trail system and freestyle-mountain biking terrain are also planned.

As per the Snyderville Basin Development Code, the applicant has to provide affordable on-site housing for some of the employees. Barille said it is anticipated that the action sports camp will need about 56 employees during peak periods and about 46 employees during the off-peak periods.

"The way we are proposing to do it is add a second floor to the maintenance shop to accommodate between about nine and 11 people to meet the requirement," he said.

Other items that were discussed during the Nov. 28 meeting surrounded concerns that have been raised by commissioners and neighbors about the impacts of the expanded snow making and extra lighting that would be needed. Barille said shorter light poles with LED lights would be used at the top of the mountain to control where the light goes, and the snow guns would be placed in a way that minimizes impacts to the neighbors.

"All of those things were well received," he said.

Other steps that have been taken to mitigate the project's impact, Barille said, including relocating a proposed half-pipe across the hill to "tuck it up against the trees."

An independent traffic study analysis showed that the 316-parking spaces that are proposed will be adequate for the project and the added traffic will not negatively impact Kilby Road and surrounding intersections, according to a report included in the Planning Department staff report.

As the discussions surrounding the project are winding down, Barille said a decision has not been requested yet because "we want everyone to be comfortable with what we are proposing." But, he said a hearing will likely be held sometime in January. If all approvals are received, he said construction crews could break ground as early as the spring of 2018.

"We really have tried to hear public concerns and take them to heart as much as we can and address them in our operational plans and equipment choices," he said. "If we can get approvals, we are really excited to bring a facility forward that will be amazing for the community and all the kids who are into action sports and digital media. We want to provide the safest and best place for those kids, as well as the adults who want to come check out our facility that are ultimately still kids at heart."

Jody Churich, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Woodward, said in a statement the plan for Woodward Park City brings Powdr. Corp's original vision for an "all-in-one, year-round sport experience at Gorgoza to life."

"We are working closely with Summit County to represent the best of our community in every detail, and are excited to introduce Woodward's one-of-a-kind, inclusive and world-class offering to our hometown and the youth of Park City," she stated.

A public hearing with the Basin Planning Commission has not yet been scheduled. To view the planning department staff report about the project, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/6955.