I’m writing this letter in response to what I believe to be misperceptions and misunderstandings about the vision of the Colby Project vocalized at the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission meeting on 12/8/2015. I heard phrases like "mega spa" and "massive resort" in reference to the project. I also witnessed our community make negative assumptions about the two women behind the vision. I think if Park City residents really understood the vision and intentions of the women behind the vision, a lot of apprehension would be allayed.
First, the women behind the vision – let me tell you what they are not. They are not from New
York City or Los Angeles. They are not from a big development company. They are two friends, who have known each other for 20 years. They are from small towns in rural Australia. Before coming to the US, they worked in restaurants and coffee shops. They traveled the world, working service and retail jobs until they had saved enough money to move to the next interesting location. Today, they each have four children ranging in ages from 5 to 16. One family visits a small beach community in Nicaragua for 3 6 months at a time to expose their children to Third World country living and to donate countless hours of community service to orphans and impoverished people. The other family has Olympic track teenage skiers and dedicates vast amounts of time helping their children to fulfill their dreams. One of the women runs events and workshops to help people find truth, clarity, purpose, strength and growth in their lives. These women are avid supporters of the Park City community — they don’t even frequent Starbucks because they prefer to support local coffee shops like Atticus, Hugo, Silver King Coffee and Park City Coffee Roasters.
Second, the vision. The vision of the Colby Project, personifies the women behind the vision. The vision is not a corporate hotel. The vision does not include a nightclub or a stadium as rumored at the public hearing. It is not bright and flashy. It is not Vegas. What they want to create is a place that families of the Park City community can benefit from. Their vision includes a healthful, affordable restaurant and cafe with outdoor seating and a large grass area where children can play while their parents have a coffee or early dinner – think organic, think locally-sourced, think family-friendly. Their vision includes a pilates studio and a yoga studio. It does not include a massive fitness center with blasting music. With regard to out-of-town guests, they want to create a destination that families and honeymooners are attracted to – their target market is not spring breakers who want to party until 2 a.m. The aesthetics of the vision are minimalist, clean and peaceful. The design of the accommodations is meant to blend into the natural surroundings and make use of natural lighting in a "Dwell Magazine" sort of way.
Although I have no financial interest in the Colby Project, I believe that it could be a place that really benefits local families. The women behind the project truly intend to create a scenic location for reunions, weddings and restorative activities for Park City locals and destination guests. I look forward to a summer evening of biking from town with my children to have dinner on the beautiful Colby grounds – a safe, family friendly environment where my children can run and play outside and I can have a glass of wine with my husband. I think we all would love to have more places like this in Park City.
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The debate over the proposed development near the Highland Estates neighborhood is not about affordable housing, writes Katie Johnson. Rather, it’s about zoning, and whether developers are allowed to re-zone any land they want.