|By Patrick Parkinson, Park Record, Park
City, UtahMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Apr. 28, 2010--Summit County officials are anxiously awaiting word from the Air Force as to where the military plans to locate a hotel that would cater to servicemen. Previous indications are that the Air Force is eyeing an unspecified site at The Canyons.
"All we get is, it's at The Canyons," Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson said in a recent telephone interview. "[Military officials] called and said they want to have an announcement. I said, I think it's foolish for you to announce anything until you've told us what you are going to announce."
An Air Force spokesman would not say whether the military plans to put a hotel near the Snyderville Basin ski area.
The Air Force project may include The Canyons hotel and a commercial center at a separate location in Summit County. The development could attract a big retailer to the Park City area, which would help offset the hotel operator's costs of providing room discounts to soldiers, according to government officials.
Summit County Manager Bob Jasper told The Park Record that he was also told that Air Force officials are interested in locating the hotel at The Canyons.
"The question is, what at The Canyons," Robinson said. "What we haven't heard is anything specific. They want to go to The Canyons. My problem with the Air Force is that they are real slow to decide."
Land at The Canyons was suggested several years ago as a location for the hotel. The military had considered building the resort at Quinn's Junction and local
officials said a more appropriate location was at the base of a ski area.
"It's a bit ironic," Robinson said. "[The Canyons] is where we were trying to put them."
A spokeswoman for The Canyons would not comment, referring questions about the project to the military.
Wolf Mountain Resorts Managing Partner Kenny Griswold controls a chunk of land at The Canyons, which is leased to the resort as ski terrain.
"We've heard rumor of this, we just don't know any of the specifics," Griswold said about the possibility of the Air Force building at The Canyons. "Anything that is positive, I'm all for."
The Air Force has not approached him about building a hotel on property Wolf Mountain controls at the resort, Griswold said.
When the Air Force was seeking proposals for the hotel, Talisker Corp., which owns The Canyons, submitted a possible plan, Robinson said.
"Different people responded and The Canyons was one of them," Robinson said. "I'm sure that they didn't do it on the back on an envelope. I'm sure they went to quite an effort to make their case as to why The Canyons would be a good spot."
He didn't know what Talisker specifically proposed. The Air Force might be considering using an existing building at The Canyons.
"Until somebody wants to sit down with us and tell us what they really are proposing, we're in not much better shape than you are," Robinson said. "Is it new? Is it old? Is it on two acres or on 50? Is it 1,000 rooms or two? We don't have a clue."
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