Driving from Park City on S.R. 248 as the road turns southward and Brown’s Canyon opens to the east, there is a giant white-wrapped structure rising on a hill with twin cranes standing sentinel over the roadway.
It’s a 250-unit condo/hotel/ice arena concept called the Black Rock Mountain Resort that aims to capitalize on what its developers see as the growing four-season attraction of this one-time winter-only destination.
It’s also an example of the regional effects of the Park City area’s growth, with the complex intended to serve as an amenity hub for two other developments at the western end of Brown’s Canyon: Black Rock Ridge and the Deer Vista gated community.
Altogether, the three developments are entitled to more than 700 units at the mouth of Brown’s Canyon, with the potential to reshape an area that’s growing faster than almost anywhere in the region and add traffic to a corridor that already suffers from significant rush hour congestion.
All three are in Wasatch County and are being developed by Mark 25 Homes, whose president Justin Griffin said construction of the Black Rock Mountain Resort is progressing smoothly. He’s optimistic the first phase — a 69-unit building visible from S.R. 248 — will be finished and open by the end of this year.
Once entirely built out, the development will feature 196 condominium units, 44 of which have a locked-off portion that will enable owners to use the rooms in different configurations, such as for nightly rentals. The owners will have the option of using the resort’s preferred rental agency to put the units on the rental market, Griffin explained.
The first phase includes 66 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units each covering 1,280 square feet, as well as three penthouse apartments that Griffin said are already under contract.
It will also include 30,000 square feet of commercial space, with a deal in place with for what will become Maxwell’s Black Rock, and plans for a small shop to sell things like milk and eggs, Griffin said.
The condos will sell for about $400,000 to $600,000, depending on the view, Griffin said.
There will also be an NHL-sized indoor hockey rink, with plans to add two more rinks in the future. The green wall currently visible from S.R. 248 essentially marks the back of the rink, which will initially have parking on top, Griffin said. He plans to install an outdoor rink on the space in the winter.
Black Rock Ridge owns the Utah Outliers Junior Hockey Club, which may relocate to Park City from Salt Lake City, Griffin said.
He said plans are in the works to partner with a hockey-tournament booking company to make the event center a year-round draw for hockey tournaments, working with other local ice arenas. Griffin envisions roughly one tournament a month taking place over three to five days with 50 teams and a couple thousand fans. That would fill the hotel and boost the local economy, Griffin said, but also add traffic to the S.R. 248 corridor.
Wasatch County planners, in a 2016 staff report reviewing what was then called the Jovid Mark Hotel and Event Center, wrote the intersection of Brown’s Canyon Road and S.R. 248 would essentially fail with the expected traffic from special events like hockey games.
But last August, the Utah Department of Transportation found the intersection did not warrant traffic signals. Since S.R. 248 is a state road, UDOT would likely pay for the majority of the cost of installing a signal.
Wasatch County staff and the developer have said UDOT has a plan to install a traffic signal at the intersection in 2021 or 2022, but UDOT Region 2 spokesperson Courtney Samuel said there is no plan to do so.
The 2018 UDOT study said traffic would have to increase by 18 percent in one of its measurements to warrant a signal.
“Once this intersection meets the criteria, UDOT will install a traffic signal,” Samuel wrote in an email. “We will continue to monitor this location closely as changes occur.”