Letters, Feb. 10-12: Park City needs a diverse business community
Vacancy or vibrancy?
With all the (albeit necessary) talk about affordable housing in Park City, let’s not forget the lack of affordable office, showroom, and warehouse space for businesses in the city and county. As a small-business owner based in Park City in the hope of capitalizing on the great consumer base, I’ve been forced to face the fact that I may have to look outside of Summit County for an office. The going lease rate for a commercial space in Park City is around $3,800 per month, which, especially for a new business, can be the biggest hurdle to starting out.
Especially with so many companies moving to remote work, the number of vacant commercial spaces will continue to increase, which should mean great opportunities for new and existing businesses to move into town. However, at the current rates, I can imagine these spaces will remain vacant. To foster a more inclusive community of businesses of all sizes and trades, and to get the benefit of subsequent tax revenues, I would encourage the city to consider subsidizing leases, or to incentivize landlords to offer more affordable options. Lest we become a town solely comprised of art galleries, chain retailers, empty storefronts and 7-Elevens, we should remember to support local shops, artisans, bakers, craftsman and young entrepreneurs to be sure Park City remains a unique and vibrant place to live and visit.
Locals must hold their ground
In response to the article on trail etiquette (“Trail etiquette refresher,” Feb. 6-9), there are far more rules than the basics brought up in the original letter. The initial letter doesn’t even begin to address the true problem: too many out-of-state people have moved to Park City and Summit County from places where etiquette doesn’t exist and crowds of unruly people do. California, New York, New Jersey and Texas are at the forefront of this movement. A great number of these people feel they are entitled to do on our trails what they want and not abide by rules, put in place long before they were born or even knew where Park City is. Trail wars are on the rise, and the aforementioned think they have nothing to do with why this is. It’s unfortunate, elected officials haven’t put a moratorium on growth, but as a result this is what happens when snotty, entitled people from these states move in. Locals and longtime residents need to hold their ground and not yield to this new school of rudeness and selfish attitudes posed by this new brand of wannabee outdoor types.
Let’s get a move on
Kudos to all the volunteers who have been helping with administering the COVID vaccine. However, the procedures being followed by the Summit County Health Department are in dire need of reexamination and overhaul! Too many Summit County residents have gone to Tooele, Heber, Draper, Salt Lake, Logan and other communities to get their vaccine shots. Somehow our process is talking several weeks longer to reach the same 70-plus age group. I’m sure that there are a lot of “explanations,“ but the bottom line is that the other counties in Utah, and indeed across the nation, have figured out a faster way to distribute and administer the vaccine. It’s time for a speedy analysis and adjustment (plagiarism is sometimes a virtue!) to enable faster, more effective distribution over the next few months. We’ve got the volunteers, but not the procedures, for Summit County to be in the lead position, not trailing behind the rest of the state. Let’s get a move on!
Three cheers for vaccine volunteers
The pandemic has given us many opportunities to highlight the service of others. I would like to give a shoutout to the volunteers who were at the Utah Film Studios vaccination site last Friday. I was fortunate to have my registration number come up with Summit County and arrived as the temperature was dropping, the wind was blowing harder, and the snow was falling more and more. The volunteers who were working outside helped with the check-in cheerfully. They were a great example of how we might treat each other in these strange times.
Art pays for itself
With the economy in the can, many people unable to pay rent and many more still looking for work, I would rather see Park City hand out $88 million in cash to the needy than spend that enormous amount of money on a part of our lives that should carry its own baggage. Art, done for the people, by the people, will always be available and will, I believe, pay for itself. If you can’t build it for $10 million to $12.5 million, forget it.
Chris and Mike Eberlein
A local focus for Park Record
The Park Record’s decision to “mostly” cancel online comments is a sad commentary on our current culture but it is understandable. The comments you have allowed get pretty toxic so I can only imagine what you’ve censored. I urge you to consider taking a step further and cancel all editorials, both online and in the paper, that deal with national politics and national political figures. We are already bombarded with this kind of opinion and content. It does not win hearts and minds.
Many people have moved here to escape national issues. Yet there seems to be no shortage of individuals who have a pathological need to share their national political views, but let’s face it, they have many outlets available in which to do this. The Park Record should also take a hiatus from opining on national politics. The paper does not have the capacity to do real national investigative journalism. As for your opinion pieces, anyone who can fog a mirror knows the position you will take on any national issue. In the 25 years I have subscribed to your paper, you have never surprised me with your stand on national matters. There are plenty of interesting and controversial topics to consider on a state and local level. Why don’t you give us your opinion on H.B. 302 now being considered by the state Legislature? This would draw lots of letters to the editor. Why not investigate and inform Parkites on why the Rob’s trailhead parking lot is closed, or which restaurants are offering two- for-ones. A more local Park Record would provide its readers with information that affects their lives. How refreshing it would be to not have to see the same content in our local paper that we see every time we open our browser or turn on TV.
Updated application needed
As many in our community are hopefully aware, there is currently a proposal before the Park City Planning Commission for the PCMR Base Area. The applicant (PEG) has a contract with Vail Resorts and is seeking approval from the commission to develop the four surface lots at the existing base area. The original submission by PEG in February 2020 has changed multiple times in significant ways. Will the applicant be required to re-submit a complete updated application for an accurate and thorough review prior to a vote? In my opinion, this is especially critical considering the turnover occurring on the Planning Commission. There is a new director and one or two new commissioners (possibly the chair) who will need to get up to speed prior to a vote. Reading and understanding the existing legal documents for the project including the 1997 Master Planned Development, 1998 Development Agreement and its related exhibits and the related Land Management Code should be tackled prior to reviewing the applicant’s submission. And, as we are already a year into the process, many of the applicant’s submissions are now outdated and no longer relevant and potentially misleading or confusing to the reviewer. For example, the latest traffic submission exhibits do not reflect the latest building redesign which impacts pedestrian connectivity and overall site circulation, nor does it include crosswalks, sidewalks, bus stops, bike lanes. Add in the review of multiple staff reports and minutes, some of which have been over 400 pages in length for a single meeting, this is quite a task.
The proposed development is an extremely large and important project with many inter-related aspects including building height, massing and design, parking, setbacks, pedestrian connectivity and traffic, all of which impact one another. The submission of a completely updated application would go a long way in improving the review process and helping ensure specific details haven’t fallen through the cracks. At the end of the day, it is imperative any new Master Planned Development or amendment to the existing Development Agreement only be approved if it can be justified based on relevant regulations and results in a long-term benefit to our city and our community.
Compensate ski patrollers fairly
I had the distinct pleasure of visiting your city for the first time last week. A quick ski trip with the family went very smoothly. Unfortunately we saw the ski patrol taking out several individuals injured.
I then watched in awe as officers were doing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on, in my 28-year EMS and emergency physician opinion, a patient that had met their demise. They were extremely professional in their resuscitation actions as well as with helpful bystanders.
I then learned that the Professional Ski Patrol were being neglected by Vail Resorts in negotiating a fair contract. Not only does the patrol deserve fair compensation in these stalled talks, but also appropriate sick leave and a fair short- and long-term disability package! They are risking life and limb in a very dangerous environment for everyone on the hill. Not just in medical emergencies, but in SAR and avalanche mitigation. These individuals need to be highly trained and reimbursed for their work and knowledge.
I for one could not return to Park City knowing the best were not on the slopes to help if me or a family member needed it. Vail et al need to understand this and get back to bargaining a fair compensation package. This would help ensure the most experienced patrols are on the runs at all times, and protect not only your citizens, but the thousands that come to your city for its many opportunities.
Anthony D. Carter
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“We the people are not being represented here,” writes Rich Wyman regarding Park City’s proposed soils repository in Quinn’s Junction.