During this winter’s heavy snow season, Deer Valley Resort’s parking lots filled up more days than expected, resulting in guests parking on Deer Valley Drive in the Snow Park Community. Deer Valley’s development agreement outlines that, once the nearly 1,300-space parking lots are filled, Deer Valley can only use street parking for up to 10% of its operating days, usually 12 to 13 days per season. If that allotment is exceeded, the resort is required to meet with the planning commission to revisit parking options.
As the Park City Council has set its sights on reducing traffic in and out of town and relying more on transit, Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson says Wednesday’s work session will be more of an opportunity to hear how Deer Valley responds to the city’s push for transit.
"There are substantially more buses that deliver skiers to Park City Mountain Resort than deliver skiers to Deer Valley Resort, and there are no pure, direct routes from anywhere to Deer Valley," Erickson said. "You always have to go through the transit center, and so we're working collaboratively with Deer Valley to kind of re-arrange that."
Complaints from residents about traffic and safety brought the issue of street parking to the attention of the city council in March, just weeks before the end of the ski season. Deer Valley Real Estate and Resort Planning Director Steve Issowits said resort guests had parked on the street 27 days during the season, so the city prohibited street parking until the resort’s closing day. Erickson says there are pedestrians, resort guests, cyclists and more who use that area on Deer Valley Drive, and they’re trying to come up with a solution for everyone.
"We want to, one, make sure transit can get through," Erickson said. "Two, we want to make sure emergency services can get through, and three, we want to make it safe for pedestrians to walk up to the base of the resort."
During high-traffic events, such as the world championships and Deer Valley’s summer concert series, the resort and the Park City Transit and Special Events teams worked to route more buses to and from the resort. Erickson says that plan could serve as a model for addressing parking and traffic at the resort going forward. Another option, which staff doesn’t necessarily recommend, is Deer Valley could potentially build out the parking lot.
“They have some ideas of what they'd like to do to expand parking by about 80 additional spaces," Erickson said. "There's some questions about how that zoning works out there, in terms of their approval and how the original parking lots were approved, so the answer is generally yes, we would consider it, but there's some technical details before we can get to a real answer with the planning commission.”
Erickson doesn’t think this will be a one-off conversation. He expects the city will monitor the parking situation at Deer Valley throughout the winter.
“As we adjust transit and we adjust some of the other things, we’ll get to a really good solution," Erickson said. "If we're just kind of non-surgical on this and come in with a big axe, it's not going to work. I think we need to be careful and precise on how we handle this situation.”
The planning commission is scheduled to discuss Deer Valley parking at the beginning of its meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m., during a scheduled work session.