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Park City's purchase of Bonanza Flat almost a done deal

Park City will close a $38 million deal on Thursday to purchase Bonanza Flat, a 1,350-acre parcel sandwiched between Deer Valley, Brighton and Park City ski areas.
Park City will close a $38 million deal on Thursday to purchase Bonanza Flat, a 1,350-acre parcel sandwiched between Deer Valley, Brighton and Park City ski areas.
Todd Curtis

PARK CITY — Park City will close a $38 million deal to purchase Bonanza Flat, a 1,350-acre parcel sandwiched between Deer Valley, Brighton and Park City ski areas, on Thursday.

Last year, Park City voters approved a $25-million bond to purchase the property, leaving a $13 million funding gap. According to a press release from the city, a five-month fundraising campaign has whittled down that gap to approximately $500,000.

“We have always been committed to saving this tremendous landscape,” Park City Mayor Jack Thomas said in the statement. “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.”

City leaders said one factor that helped close the gap was the sale of the bond itself. Due to Park City’s exceptional bond rating, the city said it was able to get the best value for the bond, resulting in an additional $2.7 million. City officials said they are reserving $700,000 of the bond premium to cover closing costs and anticipated trailhead improvements.

“We need to be good stewards of the land,” Councilman Andy Beerman said in the statement. “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.”

According to the release, a nonprofit coalition spearheaded by Utah Open Lands raised more than $2.5 million from various government and private entities.

“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,” Wendy Fisher, executive director of Utah Open Lands, said in the statement. “We can safely say this is really going to happen. Now is the time to cut those last-minute checks.”

Bonanza Flat was previously owned by United Park City Mines and had more recently come into ownership by Talisker, which envisioned building a resort. However, the land was foreclosed on, prompting negotiations with Park City officials who hoped to preserve the land open space.