Vail Resorts announced last week the sale of the parking lots at the base of Park City Mountain Resort to Utah County-based developer PEG Companies. Development at the base of the resort has been on the table for more than 20 years.
Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson says since the development agreement was approved in the 1990s, a few different developments at the base of PCMR have been considered, including a Four Seasons Hotel and the Woodward facility—both of which ultimately moved elsewhere. But Park City has changed a lot since the ‘90s. Erickson won’t know what PEG has in mind for development of the 10-acre lot until they submit the application, but he says the city will ask PEG and Vail to respond to some of the technical issues that weren’t part of the equation decades ago.
"We didn’t anticipate the sort of rideshare companies, and we don't know quite how to react to them—as you see on Main Street, or Swede Alley or anything else," Erickson said. "We did not anticipate the effect of the second-home market and we didn't anticipate group season passes, either Ikon or Epic."
Housing for seasonal and year-round employees in Park City is already scarce, and the potential for more commercial development will likely result in even more employees. But PEG will only be required to adhere to the housing resolution that was in place when the development agreement was approved 20 years ago—long before affordable housing became a priority for the City. The development is already short 23 housing units, from when the Marriott was constructed. Erickson says there’s a way to get housing up to today’s need.
“If we end up re-opening the master development plan, then they'll be subject to the 2017 housing resolution," Erickson said. "That will be a subject of hard discussions with the housing authority, in order to make sure that we're delivering the housing that the resorts need.”
That’s likely the ideal for the city, but there’s no requirement for PEG to reopen the MPD. Erickson says a development agreement is a written contract, with vested rights and—for the most part—no expiration clauses.
"All of the development rights were stripped off of the mountain, including, if you remember, they wanted to put condominiums where the Three Kings lift is and all the way up the side of that hill," Erickson said. "And there was a proposal back in the late '90s, early 2000s, to put a golf course all the way up to the top of Payday—all that's been stripped off and put in the base area, which is very good planning, and so both parties entered into a contract that is still valid and the right thing to do."
Erickson says the Planning Department will look at whatever PEG proposes to make sure it’s in compliance with current vested rights, rules and regulations.