Senators must weigh in on UOP hotel |

Senators must weigh in on UOP hotel

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

With help from the Legislature, officials at the Utah Olympic Park hope to start selling a lot more $200 bobsled rides.

A resolution being debated on Capitol Hill may allow a Chicago developer to build a luxury hotel at the 2002 Winter Olympic venue in Snyderville.

The plan could settle a dispute that pits Terrace Development Partners against Sun Peak residents who oppose current plans to construct a 275,000-square-foot hotel/condominium complex in a neighborhood roughly one mile west of S.R. 224. While developer Jim Haft claims a preliminary approval from the Summit County Commission cleared the way for a structure with more than 300 rooms in Sun Peak, last week, commissioners declared they would only support a 140-room hotel in the neighborhood.

With Bear Hollow Drive once the main entrance to the UOP, a hotel has been envisioned in the area since the early 1990s. But according to Rep. David Ure, R-Kamas, the confines of the 2002 Olympic venue is perhaps a better place for the project.

Though House lawmakers unanimously passed Ure’s House Joint Resolution 30, this week the legislation was stalled in the state Senate. The resolution would allow a private developer to buy land at the venue.

"We did a good job of getting this through," Ure said Monday.

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The legislative session ends March 1.

But building a hotel near the base of ski jumps, a luge and a bobsled track would be a tight squeeze, Summit County Community Development Director Nora Shepard said.

Summit County planners say the plan likely wouldn’t comply with the Snyderville Basin General Plan and Development Code.

The park received more than $70 million from the surplus of the 2002 Olympics, however, it does not operate in the black, Utah Athletic Foundation President John Bennion said.

"We need the high-end tourism at the park to help pay our bills," he recently told The Park Record.