Tooele County has a plan for the Deseret Peak Complex.
Tooele County Parks and Recreation Director Corey Bullock gave a presentation to the County Council on recommendations on how to spend the $5 million in capital project funds allocated to the Deseret Peak complex in the County’s 2023 budget during the Council’s Jan. 17 work session meeting.
Bullock said his recommendations were based on a recently completed master plan for the Deseret Peak Complex that was developed for the county by Victus Advisors, a Park City-based consulting firm that specializes in sports, recreation, arts, entertainment and event facilities. The County contracted with Victus in April 2022. In December 2022, Victus and their partner in the study, Think Architecture, gave a preliminary report to the County Council.
Before launching into details of plans for the $5 million in capital projects, Bullock talked about plans for spending the 2023 budget for routine capital projects and maintenance, which is separate from the $5 million master plan allocation.
Visitors to the Deseret Peak Complex will notice that staff will start removing broken and unnecessary vinyl fencing, stepped up weed control and curbs painted along with a higher level of maintenance and the cleanup of old vehicles at the complex.
In the 2023 budget, the County Council funded a new maintenance lead and two maintenance workers for the Deseret Peak Complex. Those employees will be hired and put to work, Bullock said.
The County’s Weed Control and Facilities Management departments will move their operations to the Deseret Peak Complex. As a result, two buildings and a fenced yard will be built at Deseret Peak to house them and their equipment along with some equipment used by the Parks and Recreation Department.
A new iron fence will be installed around the pool and new pool toys will be added. The air conditioning in the indoor arena will be replaced. Restroom facilities will be added.
The Midvalley Trailhead, east of Sheep Lane from the Deseret Peak Complex, will be relocated to the south. It will eventually be connected to the Deseret Peak Complex trail system.
“People will be able to get on the Midvalley Trail in Tooele and end up at Deseret Peak,” Bullock said.
All of these projects are funded separately from the $5 million in capital funds that will be used to start work on the County’s new master plan for the Deseret Peak Complex, according to Bullock.
“The $5 million in master plan funds will be spent on those things that will provide the most opportunity to invite more people to the facility that we can do without interrupting the current activities at Deseret Peak,” Bullock said.
Among the master plan funded projects there will be a new walking path around Deseret Peak.
“It will be big enough to run a 5K,” Bullock said.
The path will be paved with asphalt. The trail will help dress up the facility along the street and connect with other internal pathways.
The County will build a destination playground with a pavilion and restrooms at Deseret Peak, according to Bullock.
A destination playground is one that people make plans and preparations to go to, Bullock said. It will be able to be reserved and rented for birthdays and family outings. A destination playground is not just another park playground, but it is a facility designed with attractions to be accessible to all ages and ability groups, according to Bullock.
The parking lot for the softball area will be upgraded. The current capacity is not adequate, according to Bullock. Bullock said he has asked for a design that will double the parking capacity from 110 to 220 vehicles.
New branding and wayfinding signs will be added to the Deseret Peak Complex making it easier for people to find their way around to the different attractions and venues.
The south entrance to the complex will be updated and redesigned to provide better access to attractions on the complex’s west side including the Oquirrh Mountain Mining Museum, the MotoCross Track and the Fire Museum.
“The idea is to make it possible to have multiple events going on at the same time,” Bullock said.
A new entrance will be added to the convention center by adding a vestibule-like area on the west end that will allow for ticketing and entrance into either the convention center or indoor arena. In the future, an entrance to the outdoor arena could be added, Bullock said.
New bleachers will be added to the rodeo arena boosting the seating capacity from 3,000 to 4,500.
“The events we hold here frequently sellout,” Bullock said. “This will alleviate some of those issues.”
In addition to the $5 million for master plan projects at the Deseret Peak Complex, the County Council also allocated $500,000 for trail improvements for Tooele County’s trails.
One of the trail projects will be to pave the Midvalley Trail. Bullock said he has been talking to the County Roads Department and it looks like the paving can be done in-house for around $150,000.
Bullock said he would like to see a master map and plan for Oquirrh Mountain Trails from Ophir to Lake Point developed, including Middle and Settlement canyons.
Salt County has developed a master trail plan, including Butterfield Canyon, he said.
“Their plan for Butterfield Canyon includes a hiking and biking path to connect with Middle Canyon,” Bullock said. “That kind of puts on us to have something to connect to.”
Preliminary talks with Kennecott have been very encouraging. According to Bullock, Kennecott is very amenable to allowing access to their land for trails.
Bullock said he also envisions a connection between the Mormon Trail Loop and the Midvalley Trail.
Bullock came to Tooele County as the Parks and Recreation Director in March 2022 from Salt Lake County. He is a certified public manager with a master’s degree in public administration. He has over 20 years experience in parks and recreation management including work as a parks manager for Salt County, managing an equestrian facility, and working as a special events coordinator for the Salt Lake County Fair.