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MIDA breaks ground on Sundance Inn in Utah County

The Sundance Inn will be built at the heart of the resort.
Grace Doerfler / KPCW
The Sundance Inn will be built at the heart of the resort.

MIDA’s latest project for veterans has started construction at Sundance Mountain Resort.

The Military Installation Development Authority will offer lodging and recreation programs for veterans at Sundance through its latest project, the Sundance Inn.

MIDA is a quasi-governmental organization created in 2007 with the mission of serving veterans and members of the military. It creates revenue for its programs by partnering with local government entities to invest in economic development projects. MIDA has projects in Davis County, Wasatch County, and now Utah County as well.

Construction started June 12 with a groundbreaking ceremony. There leaders also announced the new venture’s name: the Mountain Veterans Program.

Similar to the Vail Veterans Program, Sundance will host rehabilitative sports for veterans recovering from amputations, post-traumatic stress and other serious injuries.

Bill Jensen, an owner and principal partner in the project, said he believes in the healing power of the mountains.

“Getting over their physical injuries, the program we do really does build their confidence,” he said. “But… the emotional healing is really the lifelong challenge that our nation, this program, our community need to stay conscious of and do our best to address.”

He said he hopes construction of the 63-room lodge will take about 18 months. Half a dozen rooms will be ADA-compliant.

Bill Jensen speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Sundance Inn.
Grace Doerfler / KPCW
Bill Jensen speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Sundance Inn.

Traveling to and recreating at the Sundance Inn will be free for veterans and their families through the Mountain Veterans Program.

Gary Harter, a member of MIDA’s board who retired from the Army, applauded the collaboration of MIDA, Utah County and the resort to make the project a reality.

“There’s a debt that we all owe for all those who wore or continue to wear the uniform of our great country,” he said.

He said over 150,000 veterans live in Utah alone.

MIDA estimated the lodge will cost $35 million to construct when it announced the project in December. The military organization will receive 75% of the new tax revenue generated by the lodge, which will initially go to repaying the construction bond, and Utah County will earn the rest.

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