Guest editorial: Mountain Accord will primarily benefit resorts and hospitality
February 28, 2015
I would like to thank Mountain Accord for hosting an open house in Park City outlining their blueprint for Central Wasatch; though short on detail, especially the financial costs and who will pay for it. Lot to digest, let alone understand, in a short period.
I can easily support more trail connections and land conservancy!
This I do understand, as mentioned by a panel member: "The process has been primarily driven by state and local government" to the tune of approx. $5 million and now another $5 million is requested from Legislature. In other words, this economic development model is being paid for by the Utah tax payers?
Unless I am missing something, I am assuming this huge amount of money is being spent just on this very vague planning we saw last night? And what about the vague estimated financial cost of 6 billion to develop out this blueprint? Really, who is going to pay for this? If you have ever watched "Shark Tank" Mr. Wonderful would say "give me financial specifics of how it is spent, why it is spent, and where it is spent; or get out!"
The buzz words used to promote this are "for state economic development." Whose economic development? For the record, both Utah and Summit County have had some economic boom years lately, and I have yet to see state tax rate go down, in fact there is talk of increasing taxes on items such as gas, and I have experienced only increasing property tax bills. The adverse effect I do see, is that housing costs have risen in Park City beyond the reach of a majority of our younger population, including our own children.
So who are the true beneficiaries of this blueprint? reviewing this blueprint, I am making an educated guess that it is primarily the resorts and hospitality industry. So what I would like to see from these major beneficiaries’ financial commitments, including to this expensive planning process; are practical real-time solutions for traffic management!
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Lastly, with shuttle services being expensive, and with car rentals reasonably inexpensive with added flexibility of travel, and the resorts providing substantial on-site free parking to its guests and employees; you cannot expect the traffic situation to fundamentally change anytime soon!
If, as it appears from this blueprint, Park City may become the destination hub for the outlying resorts, the traffic issues we have experienced this year will only get worse and more frequent. What is truly needed is for the major beneficiaries to step up and clearly define their financial commitments and provide immediate short- and long-term solutions. For instance, a real-time solution is providing off-site parking and shuttle service for employees as was successfully done during the Olympics. Summit County cannot solve the traffic problem on its own. Summit County is such a wonderful community of residents, with responsible businesses, resorts, and government officials, we must and can do it together in the interest of all. Let’s choose wisely so we, permanent residents, don’t get pushed out, or priced out of our wonderful community
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