If you aren’t familiar with Bonanza Flat (more commonly known as Bonanza Flats), it is basically Park City’s little known playground. Gorgeous fall colors sweep the area dotted with serine alpine lakes, wild flowers and mountain peaks. It is simply a crown jewel of this entire region. It is not surprising that developers have long eyed Bonanza Flats for ski, golf and luxury community development. The 1,350-acre parcel is located just downhill of Guardsman’s Pass in Wasatch County.
Why Funds Are Needed
Outdoor enthusiasts were delighted when Park City struck a deal to purchase the area. City hall proposed a $38 million-dollar price to the property’s landowner for the land to become part of the city’s open space program. Park City had previously voted on a $25 million-dollar bond before the deal had been finalized.
There remains a $13 million-dollar gap that government agencies, conservation groups and individuals are working together to fill — and there is a deadline. The City is required to make a full payment towards the purchase on March 15th, so you can see that there is some urgency here.
Summit County has agreed to contribute $5.75 million towards the cause through the county’s open space budget, as well as others.
What Can You Do
Supporters are urging people to contact their local government councils to act in the same way as Summit County. Some caution that had development gone ahead there would have been negative impacts on air and water quality, as well as traffic congestion. Preserving open space is a public benefit that we can all enjoy.
Other groups are dedicated to raising the money. Many nonprofits in Park City, Salt Lake City and Heber are actively fundraising. Here are a few links:
- Utah Open lands
- Summit Land Conservancy
- Friends of Alta
- Wasatch Backcountry Alliance
- Save Our Canyons
Local businesses have been hard at work for the Bonanza Flats cause. Gallery MAR held an art auction raising $23,000 and the Montage held an event in conjunction with Zions Bank, the Janet Q. Lawson Foundation, Girl Scouts of America and private donors. The Notch Pub in Samak held a fundraising night with live music and a 20% donation of the night’s profits. Salt Lake City’s Brewvies held a film screening and raffle with donations from Black Diamond, Voile and Patagonia. Bohemian Brewery was on hand with discounted beer and free pint glasses. I personally made a large donation through my company’s Sotheby’s Cares Foundation.
As the clock ticks down on the deadline we are sure that the community will come together to support this special place. I hope you will, too.