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Large Hotel Near Park City, Utah Seems Unlikely; Developer Wants to
Build 140 Condos, County Agreement Called for 140 Hotel Rooms


By Christopher Smart, The Salt Lake Tribune
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

March 29, 2006 - A Chicago development firm could get a thumbs down today from the Summit County Commission on a proposed hotel near Park City.
    
Terrace Development had proposed a 275,000-square-foot complex in the Sun Peak neighborhood, just north and over the hill from the Utah Olympic Park.
    
The 1994 agreement between Summit County and the original Sun Peak developer allowed for a 140-room hotel. But earlier this year, Sun Peak residents argued that approval was for only 140,000 square feet, rather than the current proposal that envisions 140 suites - or condominiums - where each unit could be comprised of several bedrooms, kitchens and other amenities.
    
A second proposal - to build the hotel at the Olympic Park itself - remains up in the air. Time ran out in the 2006 Utah legislative session before lawmakers could approve the alternative plan, as outlined in the park's charter.
    
Terrace Development's James Haft could not be reached for comment on whether his firm would proceed with a smaller hotel at Sun Peak - or whether it would hold out for one twice that size at the Olympic Park.
    
But it's clear, County Commissioner Sally Elliott said Tuesday, that Terrace Development will not be building a large hotel at Sun Peak.
    
"It's all in the minutes," she said of the 1994 agreement. "The previous County Commission approved a hotel comprising only 140 small rooms."
    
That finding was helped along by affidavits from former Commissioners Pat Cone, Shauna Kerr and Eric Shiferli, who all stated they signed off on the small plan, rather than one that envisioned 140 spacious condominiums.
    
"A long time ago, the intent was a hotel might be appropriate there," Elliott said. "But it might not be a wise financial decision anymore. It doesn't seem like a good place for one now."
    
Bear Hollow Drive, once the only route to the Olympic Park, is now lined with single-family homes. Although a ski academy originally was planned there, the area is now a residential neighborhood.
    
A new route from Kimball Junction to the ski jumps and bobsled runs is more direct and has been built for larger traffic volumes.
    
Sun Peak residents fear a hotel in their area would turn the quiet Bear Hollow Drive into a noisy and dangerous thoroughfare.
    
"This is a residential neighborhood. The road is not adequately designed for commercial traffic," said Jeff Kaiser, the president of Sun Peak Homeowners Association. "But we support the decision by the commission [against a large hotel]."
    
John Bennion, president of the foundation that runs the Olympic Park, said he remains optimistic that the Legislature would approve a hotel plan.
    
Both houses earlier this year passed legislation in favor of the proposal, but the session ended before the House could adopt Senate amendments, Bennion said.
    
Bennion hopes the proposal would be considered again at a yet-to-be-scheduled 2006 legislative special session. 

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Copyright (c) 2005, The Salt Lake Tribune

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