MIDA (Military Installation Development Authority) is a state authority created in 2007 by the Utah legislature to facilitate the development of military property in Utah and to promote additional economic development in our state.
In the 1990s and in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, a chalet named the Hillhaus Lodge at Snowbasin Resort had to be removed. The structure served as a MWR (Morale Welfare Recreation) facility for military, and it was agreed that a new structure would be built elsewhere in the northern part of the state.
In the early 2000s, it was suggested that a new hotel be built near Park City to serve as the lodging replacement with only part of it serving the military and the remainder to be a for-profit hotel open to the general public. In 2010, Park City and Summit County contemplated a property deal to relocate the commercial aspects of that project near the Home Depot in Summit County. That property is referred to as “Red Maple.”
Tax Increment Financing
Tax increment financing (TIF) takes many forms, and MIDA has one all its own. Here is a simplified explanation of how TIF works. A property (or properties) is evaluated for a base value. This base is the starting point of what the property is currently worth and taxed at. Through property investments and improvements, such as new building, the property value goes up. The difference between the base value and the new value is the increment.
Typically, one or more entities participates in this increment and gives up all or a portion of the increment value as an incentive for a set period of time. Typically TIF developments take place in locations where there are obstacles to overcome, or as a way of upgrading something beyond what would normally become of the property or space. Communities use TIF to incentivize businesses to locate within their jurisdiction or to get a contaminated or dilapidated property redeveloped because there are extra costs associated with those types of projects. The idea behind TIF incentives is that if an entity did not offer this incentive, it might not end up with any investment in that area, and the increment helps to pay for itself in the long-run through both improved use of the property and long-term tax revenues beyond the life of the increment.
In MIDA’s case, the replacement hotel is owned by MIDA, and therefore exempt from property taxes. The cost of the hotel is offset by the increment from adjacent lodging and retail properties that will be constructed onsite.
Jordanelle Area Development
Wasatch County had been planning the Jordanelle Specially Planned Area (JSPA) that had unique code to create a recreation village. Wasatch County envisioned that area as a four-seasons, high-quality place to live, work, and play, akin to the Kimball Junction & Canyons Village areas in Park City. In 2010, the negotiations started to unravel a bit for the possible Summit County Red Maple location, near exit 2 on US Highway-40. At that time, Wasatch County offered the JSPA as a possible location for the MWR hotel.
This began a long process of negotiations and planning discussions. There were a number of agreements and even state code amendments made. The scope of the initial project was much smaller than it is today. The new hotel site was officially announced in early 2011. It was recognized that a large hotel operation would provide an incentive for the area to progress and satisfy demands for services and recreation while generating tax revenue. By incentivizing the commercial properties to develop, Wasatch County can provide services without needed to rely as heavily on property taxes - thereby offsetting some of the taxes for residents.
In late 2017, Extell Development bought a large portion of land around the hotel site and shared plans to expand and create new ski facilities. Around this same time, Wasatch County approved the agreements for the project and the overall master plan.
In June 2021, Extell and MIDA held a groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremony in recognition of the first development beginning at the MIDA site. Learn more about that groundbreaking and ribbon cutting here.
Interlocal Agency Agreement
The present interlocal agreement between MIDA and Wasatch County establishes a boundary for the MIDA Recreation Facility Project Area. That area is a large portion of land on the west side of the Jordanelle Basin from the edge of Hideout down to property southwest of the Jordanelle Dam and Highway 40, extending as far west as Brighton Estates and north to Deer Valley.
There’s also a separate boundary within this project area called the MIDA Control Area. Properties within the MIDA Control Area fall under MIDA’s land-use authority. They have representatives on the Development Review Committee and there is a Wasatch County Council member on MIDA’s governing board.
Wasatch County is the partner for providing several municipal services and will be paid through the tax increment generated in the project area. Wasatch County will also help provide building inspection services in addition to doing the tax and fee assessments as outlined by state code.