|By Shane Farver, Standard-Examiner,
Ogden, UtahMcClatchy-Tribune Business News
Mar. 3, 2007 -HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- A large Department of Defense hotel/condominium project is in the works in Park City.
Hill Air Force Base, Summit County and Park City officials met recently to discuss hopes for the facility to be built in the lower village of The Canyons ski resort.
This was not the first choice for the location of the project. The Air Force had earlier planned to build at a site known as Red Maple.
Congress granted the Air Force the 26 acres of federal land after the loss of the Hillhaus Lodge that was located at Snowbasin ski resort. Ownership of the lodge was transferred to Snowbasin owners prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics. The lodge now houses the Snowbasin ski patrol.
The site at Red Maple caused some contention between Air Force and government officials. The area is zoned to be recreational open space, Councilwoman Candy Erickson said.
"We were hoping that we could convince the Air Force to move the location somewhere else away from that area," she said.
However, a federal entity is not bound by municipal zoning laws.
She said the Air Force and government officials have moved closer to an understanding since a meeting in late February.
"It was nice to have everyone at the table and try to get all the misconceptions out of the way," she said.
Negotiations as to where the facility will be located are ongoing.
"Park City, Summit County and the Air Force share common goals and are working collaboratively," said Lt. Col. Michael Robbins, deputy Ogden Air Logistics Center plans and programs officer, in an e-mail. "It has always been the intent of the Air Force to be a good neighbor and work with the local governments to find a suitable site."
The project could include 24-hour check-in, an international reservation system and room or condo service, Robbins said. Amenities could include underground parking, conference facilities, an exercise facility, pool, tennis courts and mountain bike rental, he said.
The Air Force will own the land the project is located on, but will lease it to the developer, the Wadman Development Team. In return for providing a site, Air Force personnel will be provided discounted rates on rooms, Robbins said.
Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott said she thought the most recent meeting with Hill Air Force Base officials was positive. With a son who is serving in Iraq and a husband who retired from the military, she says she has the military's best interests at heart.
The Canyons should serve as an excellent place for the facility, City Manager Tom Bakaly said.
"We would like the military men and women that come here and relax in the best place possible, and that's The Canyons," he said.
Hill officials and the Wadman Development Team are expected to again meet with Summit County and Park City officials later this month.
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