Powdr. Corp. Hopes to Create an Action-Sports Facility in Park City

The Snyderville Basin-based company Powdr. Corp. has resurrected its plans to expand Gorgoza Park with an indoor/outdoor action-sports facility: Woodward Park City.

Last week, a conditional-use permit application was submitted to the Summit County Planning Department by PlanWorks Design, on behalf of Powdr. Corp. Gorgoza Park, a winter tubing facility located along Interstate 80 near Pinebrook, has been under Powdr. Corp. ownership since the late 1990s.

"Powdr. Corp. has been wanting to bring one of those facilities to the area for some time," said Michael Barille, of PlanWorks Design. "They recognize how many kids are involved in action sports and want to help them learn those skills in a safe environment.

"We think it will be a great fit and addition to the existing resorts," Barille said.

Powdr. Corp. currently operates four Woodward Camps throughout the United States. Woodward Park City would mark the fifth location. The facility would serve athletes in several different sports, including skiing, snowboarding, gymnastics, skateboarding and BMX freestyle bicycling.

According to the application, Woodward Park City would include a nearly 52,000-square-foot indoor action-sports center, equipped with indoor trampolines, ramps, foam pits, pump tracks, concrete skate park and a digital media studio. Other amenities would include a food court, lounge and coffee house, and party room.

At build out, the project would span nearly 130 acres across the hillside.

According to the application, several outdoor enhancements would be included, such as "lift served snow sports riding terrain, teaching terrain, expanded snow making and continuation of the existing tubing operations." The terrain would be serviced by a four-person chair lift. An outdoor skate park, expanded mountain biking trail system and freestyle-mountain biking terrain are also planned.

The project strongly resembles the facility that Powdr. Corp. had proposed for the lower parking lots at the base of Park City Mountain Resort several years ago. The company was negotiating with Park City Municipal Corp. on the project when Vail Resorts bought the resort.

"After that, they took some time to reevaluate whether that was the right spot and decided it would be a great spot," Barille said. "We started concept planning about 18 months ago."

According to planning application, the facility's concept is consistent with Gorgoza Park's 1999 Specially Planned Area (SPA). The SPA included the potential for Powdr. Corp. to expand the facilities for more action-sports-related activities. The tubing hill was created in early 2000, but the site was never expanded beyond that.

The application mentions future expansions of the site that would potentially include cabins to house summer-camp participants and two additional outdoor plazas.

The site is anticipated to be used year round, Barille said. However, he said he does not expect a significant impact on traffic. He emphasized that the primary customer would be between the ages of five and 15. Gorgoza Park currently provides 104 parking spaces and the project calls for an additional 129 spaces.

"We think that the traffic patterns will be primarily be for drop-offs and it will avoid the after-school crush that happens at the Jeremy Ranch intersections," Barille said. "We will be making sure we are not exacerbating any traffic issues that are already there."

Barille said interest has been expressed in expanding the public transit loop or providing a shuttle to the site. However, no plans have been finalized. He also said nothing has been determined regarding employee housing or the affordable housing component attached to the project.

The application is currently being reviewed by county planning staff. A work session and public hearings before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission has not yet been scheduled. A conditional-use permit would ultimately require approval from the Basin Planning Commission.

A day after the permit application was submitted to the county, Powdr-Woodward LLC submitted paperwork to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for two trademarks related to the facility: Woodward Park City and Park City Woodward. 

Powdr-Woodward is scheduled to host a community open house on Tuesday, June 21 from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Park City Chamber/Bureau's Visitor's Center, 1794 Olympic Parkway.

Jody Churich, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Woodward, said the purpose of the open house is to be as "transparent and open to the community as possible."

"We really want to address their concerns," Churich said. "We had a third-party conduct a traffic study and the nice thing about this facility is it is really focused on youth. We are also certainly mindful of affordable housing and we would love it to be part of the later phases."

Barille, who is the former Summit County Planning director and has a long history working with the county, said he is prepared to address any concerns residents in the nearby neighborhoods may have, including those about parking and affordable housing.

"I hope because it (action sports) is such an integral part of our culture there won't be a whole lot of pushback," he said. "Yes, it is a big building and we need to be prepared to answer questions about architecture, slopes and fitting this large building in a narrow site right through the highway corridor. I think we need to make sure we show a good lighting plan and landscape plan that soften the edge of the new development where it borders a neighborhood.

"Because of the size it will make people think it will be a lot of traffic, but it will be more like going to a gym than a big-box retail store," he said. "But we need to be prepared to talk through that."

Photo: A rendering shows the proposed Woodward Park City action-sports facility that Powdr. Corp. wants to build at Gorgoza Park, a winter tubing facility located along Interstate 80 near Pinebrook. An application was submitted last week to the Summit County Planning Department. (Image courtesy of PlanWorks Design)

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Park Record Fri, 06/17/2016 - 16:30