Citizens and users of Deseret Peak Complex got to see a draft master plan with possible options for the facility during a public open house last Wednesday.
Held at the Tooele County Building, the open house featured architectural renderings that expand and diversify the facility’s venues and show what the facility may look like in the future if the Tooele County Commission — and taxpayers — want Deseret Peak to progress to a higher level.
“We’re happy with the turnout we received,” said Mark Vlasic, president of Landmark Design, the Salt Lake-based landscape architecture and planning firm that’s developing the master plan.
“We tried to get public comments during the open house and we got a few,” he added. “Now we’re waiting for email comments from the public to come in.”
The master plan cost $57,000 and is the first official planning document being created on Deseret Peak since the facility opened in 1999, according to Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne. Funds for the plan came from the county’s general budget.
The renderings, on easels in a row for open house guests to review, highlighted two options. The first builds on existing county property, including the property on the south side of state Route 112 that is used for parking during Country Fan Fest. Over time recreation facilities on the current site would be moved to the south side and the existing site would focus on fair activities, RV parking and museums.
In the second option, land on the east of Sheep Lane would be purchased or swapped for other county-owned property. Without crossing a major thoroughfare, the land east of Sheep Lane would create a more contiguous complex but require more ambitious plans, according to Landmark.
The second option also includes moving Sheep Lane’s intersection with SR-112 further east to make the land swap contiguous with Deseret Peak’s existing property.
The renderings are available for review on the county’s website at www.co.tooele.ut.us. Look for the “Proposed Deseret Peak Recreation Complex Master Plan” tab on the home page. Included with the renderings is an Operational Review and Opportunity Analysis on Deseret Peak by Victus Advisors.
That analysis includes a historical overview of operations, a venue analysis, recreational trends and recommendations for Deseret Peak. General recommendations include upgrading overall appearance, increased marketing, secure more multi-day events with spectator crowds, improve signage, and provide additional RV hookups.
Public comments regarding the master plan can be emailed to deseretPeak@ldi-ut.com. Vlasic said emailed citizen comments on the proposed master plan will be received through the end of February. He said comments will be reviewed and applied during the plan’s completion. The next public meeting on the proposed master plan will likely be in April, he said.
The draft master plan was reviewed by officials from the county, Tooele and Grantsville cities two weeks ago. During the review, it was discussed there is about $2.5 million in repairs needed on existing buildings and infrastructure at Deseret Peak.
During last Wednesday’s open house, both Milne and county commissioner Myron Bateman said those repairs will be carefully weighed as the master plan goes through finalization.
Both commissioners also emphasized the master plan is not a signal that the commission is preparing to move ahead with any of the proposed options, which are estimated to cost in the millions of dollars.
Milne stressed the master plan is to serve only as a planning document so the commission can make knowledgeable decisions on Deseret Peak’s current and future needs and response to growth.
Vlasic said when finished the master plan will also serve another vital function.
“The plan will create more relevance for Deseret Peak and [address] what is the vision for the place,” he said.