Park City Leaders Announce Plan to Move Forward With Purchasing Bonanza Flat
Community Engagement Manager
Park City Municipal Corporation
Park City Leaders Announce Plan to Move Forward With Purchasing Bonanza Flat
Funds are still needed, but Park City won't turn its back on Bonanza Flat
PARK CITY, UT (June 12, 2017)—Citing the promise made to Park City voters when the $25 million bond passed and the outstanding work of the nonprofit coalition and agency partners, Park City leaders announced today their plan to move forward with purchasing the 1350-acre Bonanza Flat property for $38 million. The City plans to close on the property Thursday, June 15. Park City Municipal will host a press conference and community celebration on Friday, June 16, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm at the Bob Wells Plaza (located at the base of the City Hall steps on Swede Alley).
What started out as a $13-million funding gap has been whittled down to approximately $500,000. In a five-month, all-out fundraising campaign, artists, local businesses, and recreationalists on the Wasatch Back and Front have pitched in to play a part in preserving Bonanza Flat. Early on, a single-night event at Montage Deer Valley netted over $1.1 million in donations. “We have always been committed to saving this tremendous landscape,” said Park City Mayor Jack Thomas. “We want the community to rest assured that we will step up to the plate and purchase the land, but we are reliant on all of the commitments made to-date to truly get this across the finish-line.”
One factor that helped turn the tide on the final dollars needed was the sale of the $25 million bond itself. Due to Park City’s exceptional bond rating, the City was poised in the market to get the best value for their bond. The result is that Park City has an additional $2.7 million to add to the $25 million already approved by voters. The City is reserving $700,000 of the bond premium in contingency to cover closing costs and anticipated trailhead enhancements. “We need to be good stewards of the land,” said Councilman Andy Beerman. “We know that the public loves this land, and, because of that, we want to make sure we are able to manage its use in a sustainable manner.”
The City stressed the importance of pledges made to the nonprofit coalition as well as the recent commitment from Salt Lake County. “We still need those,” said Beerman. On June 6, Salt Lake County Council voted 5-2 to provide a critical $1.5 million, but this commitment hangs in the balance pending the County’s final budget hearing on June 20.
The nonprofit coalition spearheaded by Utah Open Lands has raised over $2.5 million. “We still have outstanding pledges and grant requests, as donors have wanted to wait until they really knew this was going to happen before giving,” said Wendy Fisher, Utah Open Lands Executive Director. “We can safely say this is really going to happen. Now is the time to cut those last-minute checks.”
Just in the past week, Kodiak Cakes has held breakfasts, partnered with the Park City Trails Series, Skullcandy, Traeger and other local business and pledged $10,000. Locally owned clothing company Kuhl committed $25,000. Park City’s Leadership 23 class challenged Leadership Class alumni and held an online auction that raised over $25,000. From an anonymous donor who pledged over $300,000 at the start of the campaign to a personal $25,000 challenge grant made by the Park City Mayor and City Council, dollar-by-dollar, day-by-day, the $13 million gap has dwindled. “With this outpouring of support, Council and I felt that we needed to let everyone know we will make this happen,” said Thomas.
Deer Valley Resorts and Vail’s Epic Promise stepped in midway through the campaign with a $30,000 challenge grant. That was matched in a 48-hour period through the Summit Land Conservancy. Rock and Reilly’s teamed up with Professional Snowboarder Andrew Muse, holding an auction to raise $16,000, which was matched by an anonymous donation to Utah Open Lands. Friends of Alta led off with a board-member challenge of $35,000, which was matched within weeks. Wasatch Back Country Alliance used proceeds from a canyon shuttle day to add to an impressive total of funds raised by their group. Mountain Trails Foundation and KPCW used an on-air pledge drive to double their financial support, and the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club had individual members in Wasatch County challenging each other to get into the giving spirit for the land they love. One of the earliest fundraising efforts was by artist and local resident Bridgette Meinhold, who donated her artwork to raise $22,000 in a single evening.
From High West Distillery to a birthday party at the State Room that requested donations instead of birthday presents, the five-month campaign to raise funds for Bonanza Flat has been called historic and miraculous. “In 27 years of raising funds to save treasured landscapes, I have never seen 11 different nonprofits, three counties, three cities, numerous business and countless individuals come together, coming close to closing a $13 million need,” said Fisher. Fisher noted that this all began with the citizens of Park City stepping up to do the heavy lifting by passing the $25 million bond last November. “Without the leadership of the Park City Mayor, City Council and the residents of Park City, Bonanza Flat would already be lost,” said Fisher. The 11-member nonprofit coalition includes Save Our Canyons, The Wasatch Back Country Alliance, Friends of Alta, The Nature Conservancy, Mountain Trails Foundation, Summit Land Conservancy, Wasatch Mountain Club, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, Trails Utah and Utah Open Lands.
About Park City Municipal CorporationPark City Municipal Corporation is the government seat for Park City, Utah. A former silver-mining town, Park City is now home to two world-class ski resorts and was the mountain host for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games. The town of 7,500 also hosts many special events, including the Sundance Film Festival and the Kimball Arts Festival. For more information, please visit www.parkcity.org
Sometimes reducing your environmental impact can be a little overwhelming. There is a lot of new information and sometimes it changes very quickly from new research or developments. Start off small and take it a day at a time and soon you'll be able to incorporate a lot of these ideas into your daily life. Here are 10 ways to get started reducing your impact at home.
1. Sign up for the SCPW Challenge- Park City worked with Summit Community Power Works to bring this online resource to life. Here you will find 70 actions you can do at home to conserve, with all available rebates and incentives, and step-by-step instructions on how to complete each action. It's even more fun when you get your neighbors to participate and form a team to win prizes and recognition!
2. Conserve Energy - Start off by being conscious of the energy you use at home, noticing what lights are on, when the TV is on, etc. Then make a concerted effort to turn off lights and electronics when they are not needed. Conservation is not about doing without, but about using energy wisely.
Many Park City residents use snow melt products, such as heat tape, to prevent ice dams on their roofs. These snow melt systems are needed for certain roofs, but they also use a huge amount of electricity and often times we forget to turn them off when it gets warmer. In fact, some systems use as much electricity as the entire home. Make sure your snow melt system is turned off during warmer months - some systems have been found to be operating during spring/summer, costing lots of money and inflating the community's carbon footprint. If you find yourself forgetting to turn off your heat tape, you can purchase a timer that will do it for you.
4. Replace Inefficient Bulbs - Your energy audit will likely reveal that you have some inefficient bulbs in your home. Make sure to replace those with more efficient lighting options like LED bulbs which use a fraction of the energy and last much longer than older lighting technologies. You'll begin saving money immediately with this low cost and easy upgrade.
5. Unplug - Avoid phantom loads that come from gadgets and electronics that draw power even when they're off. Unplug chargers, printers, gadgets, coffee makers, toasters and other similar electronics to avoid wasting unnecessary energy. You can also plug these devices into a power strip and shut off the power strip when not being used.
6. Improve Indoor Air Quality - Sometimes your home's indoor air quality is worse than the air outdoors due to inadequate ventilation and the release of toxins indoors from furniture, chemicals, equipment and more. Learn more about the sources of indoor toxins and how to reduce them to make your home safer.
7. Upgrade Inefficient Appliances - Reduce both water and energy use by upgrading to more efficient appliances. Look for ENERGY STAR labeled appliances that are guaranteed to be more efficient. While the initial cost of the appliance may be slightly more than a regular one, the money you save on energy will more than cover the cost of the upgrade.
8. Clean Greener - Cleaning solutions in your home may actually be toxic and causing you harm. Start cleaning your home with more natural cleaning supplies that are safer for your family, pets and the environment. Look for all natural, biodegradable and non-petroleum based products.
9. Buy Green Power - One of the cheapest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon emissions is to support renewable energy from your electric utility. Our very own Rocky Mountain Power has a program for exactly that called Blue Sky. Sign up today!
10. Install a Programmable Thermostat - Making sure you don't heat or cool your home when you're not there (or when you're asleep and cozy under covers) is one of the easiest ways to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Programmable thermosats allow you to control temperature settings for when you are at home, away, and asleep.