Local News

Hard news covering local government: Park City, Summit County and Wasatch County - city and county councils, planning boards, water entities and issues specific the Wasatch Back.

Local News Hour - February 19, 2021

Feb 19, 2021

Today on the Local News Hour:

(02:01) - Utah Avalanche Forecast Center Report

(07:23) - Joe Spink shares information on the newly formed Snyderville Transit Board  

(23:30) - Executive Director of Connect Summit County Deanna Rhoades has details about the first Utah State of Mind Virtual Conference to discuss the most recent data and promising treatments.

(37:18) - Summit and Wasatch County Senator Ron Winterton with an update on the Legislative Session.

A bill that would ban transgender girls from playing on women’s sports teams in schools passed the House floor Wednesday. On Thursday, Utah’s Governor weighed in on the bill.



Summit County Rep. Kera Birkeland is sponsoring H.B. 302. During discussion on the floor, Birkeland said her bill is about creating fairness for cisgender women, meaning women who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.  

Courtesy of Mountain Trails Foundation

After 40-plus years in the outdoor recreation industry – with 11 of those years leading the Mountain Trails Foundation – Charlie Sturgis is stepping down this June.


The youthful 69-year-old can still be found out on the local trails skiing and riding and this summer, he will have even more time to be outside doing fun things.


The executive director announced he will be retiring from Mountain Trails Foundation in June.


NVOZ Heber City

The North Village Overlay Zone discussion will appear once again on next month's Heber City Council agenda. Wasatch County granted approval decades ago for a resort center development on the southwest corner of U.S. 40 and River Road. The Council is concerned about the approved project and how it fits into the area's plans.


Heber City Council has discussed the North Village Overlay Zone, which includes the Resort Center development, for more than a year. They're working to clarify zoning codes and address future annexation plans.

Renai Bodley Miller

Park City Mountain Resort’s operations were briefly interrupted on Tuesday. 


Just after 10:30 Tuesday morning, the lifts at PCMR were at a standstill due to a power outage.


Some resort guests vented their frustrations about the lift stoppage on social media, using angry emoji and the hashtag “refund.”



Thankfully, about 40 minutes later, PCMR announced that lifts were coming back online and the mountain would resume normal operations.  

University of Utah Ski Team

The western NCAA skiing regional championships kicked off today Thursday with alpine events hosted by the University of Utah at Park City Mountain Resort. Nordic events will be at Soldier Hollow early next week.


The last year has been an interesting one in the world of sports, collegiate skiing has been no exception.


Despite COVID-19 restrictions casting a shadow on all competitions, collegiate skiing kicked off in January across the country in the NCAAs western, central, and eastern divisions.

Utah's 7-day rolling average for new COVID-19 cases is 830 per day, which is the lowest it's been since mid-September.

The Utah Department of Health announced 1,151 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, which is about 100 fewer cases than the state saw at the same time last week.

Summit County reported 19 new cases, In comparison, last Thursday, Summit saw 24. 

Wasatch County reported 15 new cases. Last Thursday, the county saw 7.  

Utahns 65 and older are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Starting Thursday people 65-69 can get immunized from any vaccine provider, according to Utah Governor Spencer Cox. 

"We were scheduling to do this on March 1, but we are moving it up," he said. "So we always want demand to outpace supply. That's how we make sure that every vaccine is being used, that we always have vaccines in arms instead of on shelves."

Utah Department of Health

Summit and Wasatch Counties Republican Sen. Ron Winterton is sponsoring a bill that would give school districts the ability to decide if face coverings are necessary.

Winterton said the basis for the bill started last summer. 

For 11 years, Charlie Sturgis has been synonymous with our local trails system.

Today, on the Local News Hour, he tells us he will be stepping down from his role as Executive Director of the Mountain Trails Foundation this June. 

Today on the Local News Hour:

(02:32) - Avalanche Forecast Center Report

(05:38) - Summit County Council Member Chris Robinson recaps Wednesday's meeting.

(20:41) - Heber City Council member Mike Johnston discusses his recent presentation regarding the North Village Overlay Zone.

(37:35) - Charlie Sturgis on his departure from the Executive Director role at Mountain Trails Foundation.


Heber City Planning Staff Report

The Old Mill Village developers want the Heber City Council to approve a Master Development Agreement to create a high density, residential development in the southern outskirts of the city.

Sean Higgins

It’s looking like car-free Sundays on Park City’s Main Street will return this summer after the Historic Park City Alliance forwarded a positive recommendation to the city to bring the popular weekend event back for a second year.


What started as a last-minute fix to bring some economic activity to a struggling business community at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic turned into something pretty extraordinary.


Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Park City’s contract with the Sundance Institute enabling the annual Sundance Film Festival runs through 2026. Sundance’s Managing Director Betsy Wallace says that although planning for future in-person festivals have some uncertainties, thanks to COVID-19, the organization is staying in Park City.


Sundance’s modified contract with the city in 2013 provided, among other things, that the event’s schedule would shift so it didn’t conflict with Martin Luther King Day, which is an important period for Park City’s ski hospitality industry.

Pendry Park City

The Historic Park City Alliance business community was told at this week’s board meeting that lodging numbers were down 50% last month.


Local businesses did expect to take a hit in January with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing and the Sundance Film Festival moving to an all-virtual model -- the question was just how big that hit would be.