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Park City Businessman Matt Alvarez Dies at 85

pic of matt alvarez

Matt Alvarez, who was known in the Park City area for decades as a businessman, city official and ski enthusiast, died on Thursday. He was 85.


Alvarez, who had lived in recent years in Oakley, was hospitalized after a fall Monday. 


He was born in September of 1935 in Oak Creek, Colorado, just a short trip away from Steamboat Springs, and learned to ski at age 12. He graduated from the University of Utah with a mechanical engineering degree and worked for companies like Hercules and Morton Thiokol during the Space Race.


In 1965, Alvarez, his wife Helen, and their family moved to Park City and he opened the ski shop Timberhaus. The family lived above the shop, which was in a tall white building that still marks the corner where Park Avenue turns into Heber Avenue. They also opened branches in Snowbird and Vail.


In the late 1960s, Alvarez co-founded the Park City Ski Club to train young athletes, which evolved into what is now known as the Park City Ski Team.


In 1974, he also started the town’s first civil engineering firm, Summit Engineering.


In the late 1960s, he served on the Park City Council and later shifted to the Planning Commission. His son Matias notes they found a 1970 news clipping that recorded the council was concerned about rampant growth.


The family moved to Rossie Hill, and Matt and Helen lived there for 40 years.


Alvarez sold the Timberhaus in 1988.


Helen Alvarez also served in the early 1980s on the Park City Council—as they presided over the development of the Deer Valley Drive throughway and the Miner’s Hospital move to City Park.


Helen told KPCW it was a sad day. But she was happy remembering that Matt was a devoted yodeler and yodeled during his last moments in the hospital.


Matt Alvarez is also survived by their sons, Matias and Marko. 

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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