Winter Olympics could ring just after Deer Valley finishes Snow Park development |

Winter Olympics could ring just after Deer Valley finishes Snow Park development

A potential timeline envisions completion of project for the 2029-2030 ski season

The 2002 Winter Olympic venue at Deer Valley Resort extended well into the Snow Park Lodge parking lots, which were used for operational purposes. A projected timeline for a major development under consideration on the land where the lots are located envisions the completion of the work for the 2029-2030 ski season, the same winter a second Olympics may be held in the state. | Park Record file photo

Deer Valley Resort is in talks with the Park City Planning Commission about the possibility of a significant development at Snow Park. And the discussions are continuing in the state about the prospects of Salt Lake City and the wider region hosting a second Winter Olympics.

The topics, which could seem unrelated, are two of the issues looming large over the public discourse in Park City.

Deer Valley is identified as a competition venue in the concept map of a future Games, with the possibility of alpine skiing and freestyle skiing events being located at the resort. Deer Valley hosted a similar lineup of competitions during the 2002 Winter Olympics, and, as part of the overall Games venue, heavily used the parking lots outside Snow Park Lodge for operational purposes. The venue essentially stretched from the top of the competition courses, through the temporary stadium constructed at the bottom of the moguls, freestyle aerials and slalom runs, and into the parking lots.

The development now under consideration would be located on the land that was used for some of the off-the-snow portions of the Olympic venue in 2002. Deer Valley envisions a project with residences and commercial spaces, something that would essentially remake, and extend, the Snow Park base area. Large garages would be built to account for the parking spots lost.

Deer Valley has crafted a projected timeline for the development that is especially notable in the context of the possibility of another Games. Salt Lake City appears to be a top contender for the Games of 2030 or those of four years later. It’s not clear when the International Olympic Committee will make a selection for either of those years.

Should the Games of 2030 be awarded to Salt Lake City, the projected timeline of the Deer Valley development, if it remains as it is today, could draw attention. According to the timeline, the project is estimated to be complete for the 2029-2030 ski season after a potential groundbreaking in spring of 2024. The timeline is an estimate and depends on the approval process. Timelines crafted early in the discussions about major developments in Park City are sometimes wildly optimistic with the City Hall process in certain cases taking years longer than anticipated at the outset of discussions.

If the approval process moves along as Deer Valley hopes, it seems likely parts of the project would be finished and operational long before a Games in 2030. A full completion for the development for the 2029-2030 ski season, though, would put the date shortly before the opening ceremonies that would be held in February of 2030.

In the months before the Games of 20 years ago, the Deer Valley venue was a buzzing construction zone even as the ski season unfolded around the activity. The large temporary stadium was built and the Snow Park lots were turned into the support area. Deer Valley, City Hall and Olympic organizers would likely want to maneuver around a scenario that would see the final work on a Snow Park development occurring at the same time a Games venue is under construction.

Deer Valley Resort is in talks with the Park City Planning Commission about a large development proposal on the land where the Snow Park parking lots are located. A Monday panel meeting addressing the proposal drew a large crowd. | David Jackson/Park Record
| David Jackson/Park Record

The resort and an Olympic organizing committee would be expected to have years of lead time to address any eventuality regarding the development and the impacts on the operations of a Games venue at Deer Valley. The municipal government would almost certainly be involved in the talks about timelines and any conflicts between the project and the requirements of an Olympic venue. There is likely a range of alternatives that could eventually be considered if there is concern about the timelines, including putting calendar restrictions on the work on the Snow Park project to guard against impacts to the Games preparations or the competitions themselves.

Deer Valley addressed the projected timeline and the possibility of a Games in a prepared response to a Park Record inquiry, saying the timeline “was a visual representation of what could be done if we gain the necessary approvals and could break ground on the project by spring of 2024.” Deer Valley also said the current talks are focused on a first phase of the development. The statement noted the construction would occur in phases “and limited in winter months to minimize disruption.” A construction-mitigation plan would be required, Deer Valley explained. Those plans are designed to reduce the impacts of a construction zone. The statement did not address topics like the vision of the development’s role in a Games since neither the construction timeline nor the Olympic plans are finalized.

The discussions about a potential second Olympics have started to seep through the community with IOC decisions about the Games in 2030 and 2034 approaching. There are also talks ongoing about a major redevelopment at the Park City-side base of Park City Mountain, another place that has been identified as a competition venue in a Games. A Provo developer pursuing the project at Park City Mountain in 2020 said in a written submission to City Hall “it is critical for the community, ski mountain operations and the potential of Utah hosting an upcoming Winter Olympics that a revitalized base area comes to fruition.”

A timeline for a project at Park City Mountain is not clear, and there seems to be the possibility that work on a development there could stretch toward 2030, depending on the length of the Planning Commission review.

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