Bonanza Flat rescued in the nick of time
The story of Bonanza Flat might have been grief for another lost place, but it turned out to be an affirming example of community coming together to save a place we love.
Local government, businesses, conservation groups and individuals raised enough money to purchase the 1,350-acre property at the top of Guardsman Pass in the Wasatch Mountains, one of those places that many people assumed was part of the National Forest but it was actually a private inholding.
The property narrowly escaped development as a high-end resort, but when the Talisker Corporation went bankrupt in 2016, a bank took over the property and wanted to sell. The catch was a $38 million asking price. Utah Open Lands and the town of Park City led a massive fundraising effort, but by the deadline in March there was still a shortfall.
Luckily, the seller granted a three-month extension, and just two days before the drop-dead date the Salt Lake County Council finally agreed to chip in, putting the effort over the top. Hurray for all of us working together!