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Deer Valley Could Have a New Base Parking Area as Early as Next Winter

Deer Valley Resort

Park City’s next major development proposal was presented to the city’s Planning Commission Wednesday night.


Deer Valley has had an approved Master Planned Development with Park City since 1977 that includes developing the Snow Park parking lots. Rich Wagner is the project manager for the Snow Park development and told the Park City Planning Commission Deer Valley will not seek any additional density or building height beyond what was approved 44 years ago.


“We’ve specifically put all of this together requesting no variances,” he said. “Adhere to allocated density, we’re not asking for more. 45 foot max building height, we’re not asking for higher. Adhere to the allocated 21,000, roughly 21-22,000 square feet of commercial density, we’re doing it. 25 foot boundary setbacks, we’re doing it.” 


However, Deer Valley is seeking an approximate 20% reduction in parking stalls. According to the resort, there are currently 1,340 parking spots at Snow Park.


Broadly, the project aims to move the current surface-level parking underground to construct a new base village. According to the application, the new village will be fully integrated with the resort’s ski lifts and will offer expanded lodging, retail, and dining options.


Additionally, the resort is proposing to reconfigure traffic patterns at the base so Deer Valley Drive South becomes the primary access route for public transit, while visitors who arrive via car will loop around the ponds on Deer Valley Drive North. A transit hub and various pickup and drop-off zones are also included in the initial plans.


Wednesday’s work session was intended to be a wide-ranging project overview to get commissioners acquainted with the project.


Commissioner Laura Seusser voiced a desire for Deer Valley to examine the various year-round uses of the base area and take those into consideration when presenting detailed plans to the commission in the future.


“I think we need to look at how the public uses the resort base now and try to capture a lot of that in the development,” said Seusser. “There’s a lot of activity around the ponds, for instance, during the summer. People park and they fish and they walk and they bike around the ponds and they park in the Snow Park lower parking lot. I think it’s important for Deer Valley to look at how the public accesses the different amenities around the resort base and considers that in their plans.”


The resort began the permit application process with the city late last year. Deer Valley Real Estate and Resort Planning Director Steve Issowitz told the planning commission he has been working on the resort’s plans for the Snow Park parking lots on and off since the mid-2000s.


Phase one of the project would construct the parking structure and the transit and mobility hubs. Deer Valley hopes to break ground on that phase next spring, but such an aggressive schedule could get bogged down with the planning commission’s busy schedule -- which includes Park City Mountain Resort’s own plans for their base area. 


Phases two and three would encompass the additional aspects of the project like lodging and residential construction.


City planner Alex Ananth said a schedule for hearing the Deer Valley application has not been finalized yet, but added that each of the base area projects will likely get its own meeting in order to not overwhelm the commission.


“It’s hard right now with the planning commission’s very full schedule, so I think we’re looking at some options as having general public hearings once a month and then a PEG night and then a Deer Valley night, but we haven’t decided on a final format yet,” Ananth said. “Depending on how meaty a topic is, we will look to do that when we can so we’re not always starting a project at 8 o’clock at night.”


If the Snow Park Project is approved by the city on Deer Valley’s preferred schedule, the first phase of construction is expected to be complete by winter 2023.


More information on the Snow Park project can be found here.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.