| ParkRecord.com

Park City Library’s new Spanish services librarian is ready to meet the community

Daniel Thurston joined the Park City Library as its new Spanish services librarian in January. He will officially introduce himself to the community through a livestream on Tuesday.
Courtesy of the Park City Library

Park City Library would like to introduce Daniel Thurston, its new Spanish services librarian.

Thurston, who started working at the library on Jan. 4, will make his official Park City debut at 10 a.m. on Tuesday via Zoom and Facebook Live.

“I think it’s important that I build a relationship with the local Spanish-speaking community so they feel comfortable talking with me and me talking with them,” Thurston said. “I just want them to know me, know my name and know my face. I want them to feel welcome and understood in our library, because I feel libraries are for everyone.”

Starting in March, Thurston will also begin hosting virtual Spanish story times at 10 a.m. every Tuesday, and will help the library facilitate Spanish-speaking curbside pickup every Thursday afternoon.

“I will be available at those times to help people get library cards, get books and other materials, while answering any questions they have about our programs and services,” he said. “I’d like to let people know that there are so many resources available to them that are completely free.”

Thurston has also spent a lot of his time translating the library’s various forms, brochures and website into Spanish to better serve the community, he said.

“Connecting people is an element in a library’s mission statement, and my main goal is to build relationships,” he said. “At the library, we believe that every interaction with someone is important, and I want to play a role in not only speaking the language, but helping them feel important and valued.”

Thurston comes to Park City after working at libraries in Provo and Pleasant Grove.

“The network of library professionals is pretty tight knit, and one of my bosses emailed our staff to say that the Park City Library was looking for a Spanish services librarian,” he said. “I applied and was pleased to hear back from them and given the position.”

Thurston stumbled into library work after graduating with a degree in chemistry at Brigham Young University.

“I realized, at the end of my degree, unfortunately, that I didn’t love working in a chemistry lab,” he said. “I really liked the things I was learning. I liked how ideas fit together and things like that, but I wasn’t a big fan of being in a lab. So I started to look for other jobs that had similar aspects.”

He found a job at a Provo library and took it to pay his bills.

“I found I liked working at a library a lot,” he said. “I liked helping other people. I liked the way things were organized in a library, and I liked having a sense of ownership for the work that I have done.”

Thurston’s background in Spanish comes from his mother, who hails from Argentina.

“English is my second language, although I don’t remember a time when I didn’t speak English,” he said. “I was fortunate my mom taught us not only how to speak, but to read and write Spanish. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned how rare it is to be fully literate in two languages is a big advantage.”

Thurston is grateful that he is bilingual.

“Speaking Spanish not only connects me to my roots and heritage,” he said. “It also helps me reach out to people in a community that needs attention.”

The size of Park City’s Hispanic population surprised Thurston.

“Since the library was looking for a Spanish services librarian, I knew there would be some need, but I didn’t know that 13% of Park City households spoke Spanish as a first language,” he said. “Park City is above the state average, which is 10%, and these levels have been increasing for the past 20 years. So there is a need here.”

Meet Spanish Services Librarian Daniel Thurston

When: 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 2

Where: Zoom and Facebook Live

Cost: Free

Web: parkcitylibrary.org

Skyrocketing peptide therapy use offers countless wellness benefits

Regan Archibald, LAc, FMP, CSSAc, founder of East West Health Anodyne, which has 4 locations throughout Utah and is one of the few clinics in the nation to successfully integrate traditional eastern medicine, cell therapy, peptides and functional medicine.
Sign up for weekly HACS

East West Health Anodyne offers Health Accelerator Courses (HACs) to help patients achieve a variety of health and wellness goals. Patients have lost fat, gained muscle, increased energy, focus, libido, fitness and overall well-being. Everyone in Park City can be a part of this unique community and educational experience. Regan Archibald talks about various ways to improve health, including at least one peptide therapy benefit each week. Visit acueastwest.com/hac to sign up.

For more information about peptide therapy and the services offered at East West Health Anodyne, visit acueastwest.com or call 435-640-1353.

The power of noninvasive peptide therapy is a growing trend in medicine for good reason: providers such as East West Health Anodyne are seeing patients regain physiological control of their health thanks to reduced pain and inflammation, activated stem cells and decreased disease.

Regan Archibald, a licensed acupuncturist, functional medicine practitioner and founder of East West Health Anodyne, is an expert in the emerging field of peptide therapy. In the last year alone, he says peptide therapy usage has increased by 8,500%.  

“The beautiful thing about peptides is they open up the cellular and genetic pathways in the body, and they remove the things that get in the way of healing,” Regan says. “Our bodies are designed to heal; the healing never stops, and the disease never goes on vacation. One of the things peptides do is stop the process of disease to promote health.”

Regan created East West Health Anodyne in 2004, helping patients achieve their goals through a team of medical doctors, health coaches and acupuncturists. With the addition of peptide therapy to the practice, Regan is especially happy with the whole body health and wellness options under one roof. 

A comprehensive medical strategy

Peptides can be thought of as small proteins that act as highly specific signaling molecules in many crucial functions in our bodies. They assist in hormone production, cell signaling, and cell-to-cell communication.

At East West Health Anodyne, the Acupuncturists come up with herbal strategies and the medical doctors prescribe the peptides. With Regan’s expertise and access to the world’s leading research, he helps inform the doctors on what peptides can do for patients. 

“And together, we come up with a great strategy,” he says. 

Not all peptides are created equally, so it’s important to see specialists who know what they’re doing and who prescribe peptides made by qualified compounding pharmacies. It’s not always safe to buy cheap versions on Amazon, which are often made for research or for lab animals, Regan says. 

Peptide therapy uses

Peptide therapy helps people regain physiological control of their health. Peptides help reduce pain and inflammation, activate stem cells and decrease disease.
Getty Images

Peptides are different from hormones, which block negative feedback to the brain and can cause side effects down the road. Instead, peptides are very well tolerated because they gently nudge the body in the right direction. 

Regan likens peptide therapy’s benefits to an engine that’s not working well in a car. Peptides clean up the carburetor and pistons, creating better signaling and communication between all the parts.

“That’s what disease is in the body — missed signaling,” he says. 

Within one month of peptide therapy, one of Regan’s patients is seeing extraordinary results. After steroidal injections, physical therapy, lower back surgery and other traditional medicine approaches, the patient’s severe arthritis in his thumb and lower back hadn’t improved. One month of peptide therapy has changed all of that. 

Peptide therapy is beneficial for fitness and recovery. Specifically, many patients find that peptides aid in weight loss and help build muscle mass, which gets them back outside to enjoy their favorite activities.
Getty Images

Another diabetic patient has started to put on muscle mass for the first time, regaining energy and eliminating brain fog. Regan says she has more energy than she’s had in decades.

“Patients who have failed with other traditional treatments are succeeding in peptide therapy,” he says. 

Even Regan is experiencing personal benefits. He started using peptides for fitness and recovery, and has been able to put on 15 pounds of muscle, “in my 40s, and that’s not easy to do.”

Park City’s new planning director: ‘Congestion is obviously an issue’

Gretchen Milliken arrived as the Park City planning director at the beginning of February. She most recently served as the director of advanced planning and sustainability for Louisville Metro Government in Kentucky and is a licensed architect.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

Gretchen Milliken spotted one of Park City’s challenges quickly.

The newly installed planning director at City Hall has lived in the Park City area since August after relocating from Louisville, Kentucky, and, like many others in the community, sees the amount of traffic as a challenge.

“Congestion is obviously an issue,” Milliken said in an interview shortly after she started in one of the municipal government’s highest-profile posts.

Milliken will have broad influence in growth matters as the planning director. She manages the day-to-day activity of the department and will be heavily involved in long-range strategies as well. Planning and zoning issues have long been some of the most controversial in Park City, and the person in the planning director role is responsible for weighing a landowner’s rights against the wishes of the community as they are outlined in the development rules.

Milliken’s early recognition of congestion as a key issue in the community is likely unsurprising to Parkites, who have for years lodged complaints about the topic. Traffic is typically one of the issues that becomes especially challenging when projects are put before the Park City Planning Commission.

Milliken said Park City could become a leader in alternative forms of transit and sustainable development as part of the overall efforts to cut traffic. She said transit can be integrated into large developments and described a transit network in conjunction with bus lanes as being a viable option. Bicycle lanes and pedestrian connections are also traffic-fighting measures she mentioned.

She said aerial connections, such as via a gondola network, could be further studied as part of an overall solution to traffic. Milliken also mentioned rail connections as something that could someday be researched. She acknowledged the price tags attached to options like gondolas and trains, saying political decisions would need to be made before systems like those are pursued for Park City.

Milliken, 53, succeeded the late Bruce Erickson as the planning director. She arrived at the municipal government at the beginning of February after City Hall conducted a national recruitment.

A licensed architect, Milliken most recently served as the director of advanced planning and sustainability for Louisville Metro Government in Kentucky and for 20 years worked for architectural and urban-planning firms in Stockholm, Sweden. She is married to Aldy Milliken, the executive director of the Kimball Art Center.

The planning director addressed in general terms the related issues of the denseness of a development and the height of buildings. A dense development with taller buildings is sometimes a preferred alternative since that sort of project oftentimes leads to the protection of other ground controlled by a landowner as open space. City Hall has supported that sort of concept for years. She pointed to the goals outlined in an overarching document that guides growth in Park City called the General Plan and a community-crafted vision. She said a dense project promotes City Hall’s desires for sustainable development and a transit-friendly approach.

“Cluster development, creating density, that’s what allows for a car-free lifestyle,” she said, also noting the importance of transit connections to nodes of development.

Milliken, meanwhile, said the rules that regulate development in Old Town could be clearer than the current set. She said she would like to address the design guidelines in the historic district in the next one to two years in an effort to update and clarify them. She wants the guidelines to be “user friendly” for property owners, developers and architects.

“I see lots of opportunity. Every city has its issues and its challenges,” she said in summarizing her early perspective on Park City.

Record editorial: Bill would help ensure Utah isn’t leaving money on the cutting room floor


Many Summit County residents were disappointed last summer when news broke that “Yellowstone,” the Paramount Network television drama, was headed to greener pastures after filming its first three seasons in the Park City area.

For local viewers, it was fun to look out for recognizable landmarks, and there was a sense of pride in knowing that many of the picturesque landscapes that were featured in the show are in our backyard.

But the biggest impact of the show’s departure, by far, will be felt economically.

The “Yellowstone” production spent tens of millions of dollars in the area — money that went to restaurants and hotels and a range of other local businesses. But now Montana, which offered the show a larger tax incentive than Utah could muster, will reap those benefits instead.

The show’s departure underscores the need for Utah to increase the pot of cash in its film incentive program, which provides tax rebates to productions that spend a certain amount of money in the state. Lawmakers have an opportunity to do just that before the legislative session closes next month.

S.B. 167, sponsored by Sen. Ron Winterton, whose district includes a large chunk of Summit County, would boost the available money from $6.8 million annually to $10 million. That would help Utah better compete against other states for productions like “Yellowstone,” though it is not as not as transformative as a bigger increase would be. Winterton initially called for a $15 million pool but reduced the dollar figure to improve the chances of passing the legislation.

The larger allotment would have been even better because the film incentive program generates economic rewards that far outpace the investment needed to make it more effective.

It’s a matter of simple accounting: More Hollywood productions equals more money. The 19 of them that took place in Utah in 2018, for instance, collectively spent $88 million in the state and generated 1,900 jobs, according to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Lawmakers would be mistaken not to do all they can to make sure films and TV shows aren’t bypassing Utah — or abandoning the state — on their way to places that are more willing to open the pocketbook for the promise of a lucrative return on investment.

Summit County, in particular, is in a prime position to benefit from the legislation, in large part due to the presence of Utah Film Studios in Quinn’s Junction. The bill’s passage would be a boon for the studio itself, but as “Yellowstone” proved, the economic boost a film or TV production provides extends into the broader community.

The barn door may have closed on “Yellowstone” in Park City. But the Legislature can make sure Utah — and Summit County — rope in the next big production that considers setting up shop in our state.

Letters, Feb. 27-March 2: Push School District to adopt clean energy goals


District must strive for sustainability

The Climate Action Now (CAN) Club is very passionate about our future and the need to transition away from fossil fuels and change our overall reliance on them. There is a high level of carbon emissions in our atmosphere, and it’s causing significant harm to our climate — hotter temperatures, drought, stronger storms, larger wildfires, sea-level rise and more. Therefore, it’s critical for all sectors of society to stop burning fossil fuels and move to 100% clean, renewable energy.

School districts play a very important role in addressing climate change, as they are often major energy users within municipalities. That’s why we are asking the Park City School District (PCSD) to join the nationwide movement towards clean and renewable energy. CAN and our high school’s Earth Club are collaborating with Sierra Club and other community members to ask the district to make a 100% clean energy commitment. By committing to clean energy, PCSD has the chance to be the second school district in Utah to commit to 100% clean electricity by 2030, and phase out all fossil fuels by 2040 — by electrifying heating, cooking, transportation and cooling systems. The benefits include improving indoor air quality and health of students and staff, saving money (which can be reinvested into underserved students and classrooms), strengthening community resilience, enhancing learning opportunities in STEM and climate solutions and creating local jobs.

We expected PCSD to jump at the opportunity to join efforts and set an example as a climate leader, however, the district has yet to formalize a commitment and has stalled to bring our initiative forward for a formal board vote. To secure a commitment to 100% clean energy, we need your help: Please call the district at this number: 435-645-5600 or email your PCSD Board of Education member and ask that they vote yes in making a district-wide commitment to 100% clean energy. Park City and Summit County are taking huge strides to create a more sustainable future, it’s time for the Park City School District to join them.

Nina Serafin and Tess Carson

PCHS Climate Action Now Club

*****

Victory for Parkite

Park City resident Alex Schlopy, 28, qualified for the finals in slopestyle at “The Rev Tour at the Aspen Snowmass Open.” There were over 80 competitors at the event. I’m told there were smiles all over the mountain at his performance.

It is Schlopy’s first competition in six years. A former World Slopestyle Champion, X-Games Gold Medalist, Dew Tour Finals Champion and World Cup event winner, Schlopy fell off the map after narrowly missing the 2014 Olympic Team. His first significant result as a junior was at the Aspen Open when he was 14 years-old. It now comes full circle.

Alex’s story of spiraling into addiction and self-sabotage is well documented locally and in the national freeski press. This comeback has him grinning from ear to ear. The U.S. Ski Team knew his story and accommodated Alex with an entry into the event after having a personal meeting with him two months ago. Hats off to them!

Thanks to the Park City community for supporting him and helping him become a productive, clean, motivated person over the last few years cannot be adequately expressed.

Alex trains at Woodward and PCMR. His friends and family are all over town wishing him success in his “rebirth” into the world of competitive skiing.

Alex finished 12th in the finals after attempting difficult rail tricks in hopes of a top-five or podium finish. But, frankly, his qualifying for the finals is a win no matter what.

Todd Schlopy

Midway

PCMR development, arts and culture district talks await new Park City planning director

A City Hall proposal to build an arts and culture district in Park City is one of the high-profile projects that awaits the new planning director at the Marsac Building. Gretchen Milliken arrived at the Marsac Building at the beginning of February.
Courtesy of Lake Flato Architects

Gretchen Milliken, the new Park City planning director, steps into the influential post amid the discussions about one major development proposal and with the likelihood another one is approaching.

Milliken arrived at the Marsac Building at the beginning of February and most recently served as the director of advanced planning and sustainability for Louisville Metro Government in Kentucky.

The Park City Planning Commission by the time of her start date was months into the talks about a Provo developer’s blueprints for a large project at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. The development proposal at PCMR is, by a wide margin, the highest-profile project currently under review by the Planning Commission.

A Provo developer called PEG Companies wants to build residential and commercial square footage at the location of the current PCMR parking lots. A former owner of PCMR secured development rights on the land in the 1990s. The rights were included when Vail Resorts acquired PCMR. Vail Resorts later reached a deal to sell the land to PEG Companies in a transaction that is not expected to be completed until after a Planning Commission decision.

The Planning Department that Milliken leads is responsible for drafting reports about the proposal, reviewing studies and making presentations to the Planning Commission.

It is unclear when the Planning Commission will be prepared to cast what will be a closely watched vote regarding the proposal at PCMR. Milliken, though, would be expected to have a key role as the materials are prepared for an eventual decision.

City Hall itself, meanwhile, is continuing to debate the plans to develop an arts and culture district off Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard. It is an especially ambitious concept that would house the Kimball Art Center and the Utah offices of the Sundance Institute. Workforce or otherwise affordable housing is also planned in the district. The Planning Department would process the application for a district.

Milliken’s eventual role in the talks about an arts and culture district is unclear and complicated by her marriage to the executive director of the Kimball Art Center.

There is also the possibility another large development proposal could be put to the Planning Department with Milliken as the director. Deer Valley Resort holds longstanding rights to develop the parking lots outside Snow Park Lodge. A project timeline, though, is not known.

Tom Clyde: Mountain lions running amok

It seems like there is a lot to worry about lately. There is the plague, which is still hanging on despite some encouraging trends. With that, there is the vaccine shortage. Just for good measure, we have a goosey stock market, uncertain economy and Texas has shown us the result of the utility grid failure. Then just for good measure, we have airplane parts falling out of the sky over the Denver suburbs. These are strange times. Oh, yeah, and there are mountain lions wandering around Park Meadows. I guess that gives you something to do while waiting at the bus stop, looking for lions.

Park Record columnist Tom Clyde.

Out at my house we had some real mountain lion action. It’s apparently lion hunting season. I didn’t really know that we had lion hunting season, but this being Utah, there is a season for anything that moves. I was driving over to ski, and noticed a family unpacking their lion-hunting gear at a Forest Service access road near the house. They had a couple of trucks with plywood shelters for their hound dogs, a trailer full of ATV’s, piles of camouflage clothes and, what really stood out, a pre-teen kid wearing a Spider-Man costume packing a rifle as tall as he was. Whatever. I went skiing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the dogs immediately picked up a lion’s trail, and chased it across our hay farm. The hunters followed along on the highway (using GPS trackers on the dogs — who knew?). The dogs got the lion more or less treed in some rock cliffs next to one of our barns. My niece, who owns the house next door, went out to see what the ruckus was all about. The hunters explained their dogs had a lion cornered, and they wanted to get permission to access the property to get their dogs.

My niece and her husband joined in the hunting party, and they all walked back to the barn. They climbed up the mountainside and were close to the lion when it decided it had had quite enough. It took a flying leap, ran behind the barn with the pack of hounds in hot pursuit, and then ran up a cottonwood tree on the other side of the barn.

They had plenty of firepower with them, just in case a treed lion objected to having its tail yanked on by a kid in a Spider-Man costume.”

So everybody walked that way, and stood at the bottom of the tree looking at the lion. It was apparently 15 or 20 feet up the tree. Close enough to have poked it with a long stick. They all got their pictures with the lion in the tree. For reasons nobody can explain, nobody thought to get a picture of the kid in the Spider-Man costume with the lion. The pictures my niece snapped with her phone are spectacular. After watching for a while, the hunters gathered up their excited hounds and went back to their trucks. They didn’t shoot the lion, and explained that they seldom actually shoot one. The excitement was all about the chase. One guy said he liked to get close enough to pull the lion’s tail. Chasing the lion was enough. I didn’t know that was a thing. They had plenty of firepower with them, just in case a treed lion objected to having its tail yanked on by a kid in a Spider-Man costume.

In the course of the conversation, they said they had spotted this female with two cubs (the same group that appeared in the video from a neighbor’s driveway last week, we assume). The dogs went after the adult as the cubs went different directions. The “cubs” are essentially adults now, so they will probably reconnect with the mother without a lot of effort. They said the week before, they were out here hunting/chasing, and tracked a large male.

Putting it all together, it’s now clear that within a half mile of my hot tub, there are four adult or nearly adult mountain lions settled down for the winter. More significantly, at least one of them has been separated from her cubs, chased by a bunch of hounds and run up a tree. She has every reason in the world to be in a really ornery mood. Having a bunch of lions lurking in the woods is one thing, but having a bunch of really pissed off lions hanging around is another.

I guess they have been here for months. I haven’t seen a deer all winter. Normally there are herds of them wandering off the farm and down to the river at dusk. The river is essentially dry and completely frozen over, so they might be drinking somewhere else. But there haven’t been deer on the highway. Normally there are road-kill carcasses all over the place. Driving after dark is terrifying. For a while I thought maybe UDOT was being more attentive to cleaning them up, but then I realized how ridiculous that sounds. There aren’t any deer around because there are four mountain lions getting fat and happy on them. An adult lion in cold weather supposedly will take a deer a week. So four lions times 16 or so weeks, and that begins to be a lot of deer not crossing the highway. It all makes sense.

Except the Spider-Man costume.

Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.

Tech Center development application appears to have new life

A massive development proposal at the Tech Center site appears to have new life after county councilors indicated they were open to some of the ambitious elements the developer has discussed, such as an underground transit hub and a gondola stretching over the project.
Courtesy of Dakota Pacific Real Estate

 

The Tech Center development proposal seemed to enter a new phase on Wednesday, with county councilors indicating their receptiveness to innovative ideas like swapping land with the developer or collaborating on expensive projects like an underground transit hub, Kimball Junction intersection fixes or a pedestrian bridge across S.R. 224.

Dakota Pacific Real Estate suggested many of these ideas in its original application 18 months ago, which was shelved after the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission recommended the developer return with a project it could fund itself on land it owns.

“We’re now kind of starting right back at the beginning of where they started a year and a half ago,” said Councilor Malena Stevens, who was a member of the Planning Commission when the application was submitted.

Dakota Pacific is seeking to create an 1,100-unit residential project at the Tech Center site, undeveloped land near the Skullcandy headquarters southwest of Kimball Junction that is currently entitled for a 1.3 million-square-foot office park.

The original application contained what developers called “aspirational” components that could help address county priorities, including a bus rapid transit hub with 1,000 underground parking spaces, a pedestrian bridge connecting both sides of Kimball Junction, a proposal for how to improve the two traffic-choked intersections near the S.R. 224-Interstate 80 interchange and a gondola swooping over the project.

The developer acknowledged that it wouldn’t be able to pay for those improvements on its own and that it would take collaboration with the county to swap land where the current transit center is, for example, and with the state agencies involved in redoing the Kimball Junction interchange.

“Candidly, we were looking for somebody in the county to throw us a bone saying, ‘Yeah, you know what, this does make sense. So how are we going to get this started? Are you guys going to set up a meeting with UDOT, what are we going to do?’” said Jeff Gochnour, Dakota Pacific Real Estate director of development. “But we never really got that sense.”

So Dakota Pacific submitted a pared down application late last spring, which was given a negative recommendation by the Planning Commission in September.

The development proposal at the Tech Center site is rendered atop this image looking west from the intersection of Ute Boulevard and S.R. 224. The existing Sheldon Richins county building is seen in the foreground.
Courtesy of Dakota Pacific Real Estate

Now, the County Council is prepared to revisit those initial ideas to determine whether there might be a way to accomplish them.

“Maybe it was inevitable that we get to this point,” Councilor Chris Robinson said, adding that the county’s approval process hadn’t served the developer particularly well. “… I don’t believe the Planning Commission would be empowered to do this, to engage with UDOT, to engage, to discuss the equities of trading lands and bringing in partners and stuff that’s just so far outside their wheelhouse.”

Robinson was participating for the first time in a public meeting about the Tech Center proposal after recusing himself last fall. The County Attorney’s Office determined that Robinson’s voluntary recusal, made because he had received Utah Jazz tickets from someone associated with the development team, was non-mandatory, and that he was clear to participate in discussions. Robinson reimbursed the developer for the tickets.

He spoke at length and was seemingly energized by the prospect of leveraging the developer’s plan to tackle big county goals like connecting the east and west sides of Kimball Junction, enhancing the Kimball Junction transit center and working with the Utah Department of Transportation to improve the Interstate 80-S.R. 224 interchange.

The developer and the County Council also indicated their support for exploring a different funding mechanism for infrastructure improvements in the area, one that would capitalize on the future tax revenue created by development on what is now empty land.

The general idea is that if the county were to designate the project site as a special area known as a “CDA,” the difference in property taxes between what the owners pay on empty land and what they would pay on developed land would be paid back to the CDA, funding infrastructure projects like the ones eyed as ‘aspirational’ improvements to the area.

The money could be used to build a new transit center, contribute to UDOT’s project to improve the Kimball Junction interchange or pursue projects like a pedestrian bridge connection.

Councilors indicated they would be interested to learn more about the funding option in coming meetings.

Robinson asked Gochnour to establish a rough price tag for some of the more ambitious aspects in the original plan.

“I think (costs) ought to be (estimated) so that we can see whether it’s just a pipe dream that none of us can afford, or whether there’s really a way forward,” he said. “I’m hopeful we can find a win-win here that’s going to be good for the community, good for the developer and good for our visitors.”

Other councilors appeared to agree with Robinson’s assessment, including Doug Clyde and Glenn Wright.

Clyde, in particular, offered his sharpest comments on the proposal to date.

He called the existing approval, which envisions uniform blocks of office buildings with adjoining surface parking lots, “horrifying.” But he said it would be a mistake to think the plan is so bad it would never be built.

“I’ve got shelves of books that explain how land planning goes wrong, and they all start with similar sorts of ridiculous assumptions,” he said. “If you’ve got an entitlement, you’d better expect it’s going to be built, and you’d better expect you’re going to see the full impact of that.”

The development agreement restricts projects to only technology-related businesses, a provision that has slowed development at the site, and one Dakota Pacific is seeking to change.

Wright and Robinson indicated they agreed with Clyde’s assessment that the office park would eventually be built.

Clyde lambasted the 2008 development agreement that laid out the office park concept.

“It was made for all the wrong reasons, it had no respect whatsoever for the consequences of those decisions, and we have an opportunity to change that,” he said. “We should change it now.”

The council indicated it would begin holding regular work sessions with the developer in public meetings held on days other than regular County Council meetings, which are normally held on Wednesdays.

“Now we’re going to start talking turkey,” Robinson said.

Park City sees possibility of tapping Olympic-related monies for major transportation upgrades

A sculpture off S.R. 224 commemorates the 2002 Winter Olympics, when the Park City area hosted approximately 50% of the competitions. Park City sees there being possibilities for funding opportunities for transportation projects should another Olympics be awarded to the region.
Park Record file photo

Park City leaders twice in the last week spoke of the prospect that a second Winter Olympics could create funding opportunities as City Hall continues to consider what are anticipated to be high-dollar infrastructure projects, particularly transportation improvements.

The recent Olympic mentions are more evidence of the desire of the municipal government to parlay a Games into something that will advance City Hall’s own goals for the community. Salt Lake City is the U.S. bid city for a future Games, with the event in 2030 or 2034 appearing to be a possibility. The Park City area is key to the overall Olympic concept, with three major competition venues identified on the Games map.

There is typically a vast amount of federal monies made available to an Olympic host once it is selected. The funds are considered to be needed to prepare for a Games, and much of it is put toward infrastructure. City Hall envisions tapping those funds should an Olympics be awarded and wants to ensure it is poised to proceed with projects as the International Olympic Committee makes decisions about future hosts.

Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council are amid a series of lengthy, difficult discussions about the plans to build an arts and culture district along Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard. The district is seen as a crucial location for transit as well. The talks, which continued on Thursday, are unfolding with financial questions related to the impact of the spread of the novel coronavirus still a worry.

The Olympic funding possibilities were briefly broached at the meeting. City Councilor Tim Henney said there is talk of the IOC making a decision about the upcoming Games within a year, contending “there’s a high likelihood that Salt Lake and Park City are going to play a significant role and have a great chance.” If that is the case, he indicated, the broader discussions about infrastructure are also looming.

“Transportation solutions of that magnitude and scale, you know, have to have something that brings federal dollars, state dollars, significant money to the table. … We’re not that far away from having real conversations about using the Olympics as an organizing principle,” Henney said.

The comments by Henney followed two days after the mayor delivered the annual State of the City address, touching on the Games in his remarks. Beerman said the Olympics in 2002 contributed to an era of growth that followed those Games.

“The problem is ever since the Olympics we’ve continued to boom and in a lot of ways we’ve outgrown both our physical and our social infrastructure. So my hope is the Olympics will put a mark on the map that this time we can catch up to those things,” Beerman said. “That gives us a time that we know we have to have our transit dialed in by 2030, we know we need more housing by 2030 and we know we need to deal with some of these inequities in our community.”

He also mentioned the possibilities of Park City benefiting from monies that would be linked to Olympic preparations.

“I think just like the athletes are going to be training … for the Olympics it will put our community on a training program and give us some firm goals. And it will also give us the opportunity to get some state and federal funding that will help push those forward,” Beerman said.

City Hall is attempting to address issues like transportation and housing that have perplexed Park City leaders for decades. They are some of the most difficult topics, though, since transportation and housing projects are usually costly and require significant land, meaning any Games-related assistance in the funding would be welcomed.

The strategy of successfully tapping Olympic monies has a local precedent as the municipal government in the years before the Games in 2002 secured assistance from Washington to fund most of the cost of the construction of the Old Town transit center and the related roundabout.

The concept of Park City seeking funds related to Olympic preparations is starting to be mentioned more often even with it appearing the IOC will not decide the hosts of the Games in 2030 and 2034 for some time. In one instance, some of the elected officials in October appeared to see there being a possibility for Olympic-related financial assistance if City Hall pursues the construction of an aerial transit network.

Cannabis pharmacy opens

Deseret Wellness, Park City's newest medical marijuana pharmacy, opened its doors on Thursday at 1351 Kearns Boulevard in Suite 110-B.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

Deseret Wellness, a cannabis pharmacy on Kearns Boulevard, opened its doors at 11 a.m. Thursday. The pharmacy is the only site on the Wasatch Back.

Utahns established a medical cannabis program by ballot measure in 2018, which was subsequently changed by the state Legislature. The program’s rollout has been slower than originally planned, and faced regulatory hurdles, but the pharmacy owners said Park City and Summit Officials have been easy to work with.