Police discover ‘mystery deck’ in Park City woods

May 3, 2018, 6:14 PM

PARK CITY, Utah. – Earlier this week, police made an unusual discovery in the woods just above Park City’s Old Town. They found a well-built deck and fire pit they believe teenagers have used for parties.

KSL hiked in to take a look, and discovered why the city wants it taken down.

“They made it nice and level, and did some good workmanship,” said Captain Phil Kirk with the Park City Police Department.

A police officer on patrol spotted some activity in that area Monday and notified the building department.

“We decided to go visit the area take a look and see what was going on,” said Michelle Downard, chief deputy building official for Park City.

The structure was found a couple hundred feet up a muddy slope above Daly Creek. There was a two-level platform with a fire pit, a couple of stools, and even a ladder for climbing up a tree for a higher perch.  The double deck was tucked into the woods, and not easy to find or spot from above.

“We have discovered other places where they have built little hangouts, and this isn’t the only one,” said Kirk. “This one looks like they spent considerable time and effort and money in order to build. The others were rudimentary and crude by comparison.”

It’s a cool perch in the mountains, but, there’s a problem with that.

“You’ve got to get permission from the property owner,” said Kirk. “You can’t just build on somebody else’s property.”

According to the city, the property is owned by Talisker Corporation, a long-time ski resort and property developer.

“They were not aware [of the deck],” said Downard. “They had not given permission to anybody to be up there, to have activity of this nature.”

“It’s just kids being kids,” she said.

Officials with the city building department said they need to make sure any structure people use is permitted and safe.

“We want to make sure that we have the safeguards, and the oversight there, just to make sure that nothing unfortunate happens,” she said.

A Park City teenager told KSL anonymously that a couple of high school boys built the deck around four years ago. People have used the hideout to hang out ever since.

Kirk said the fire pit was the biggest public safety concern.

“There’s lots of vegetation, lots of trees up there, and it’s remote enough that if there was a fire, a lot of people’s homes could be burned, and a lot of people could be injured,” said Kirk.

The city has asked Talisker to remove the deck, and will follow up to make sure it is done. The city has asked anyone who spots unusual structures like this to let them know.

“It’s just making sure that it’s done in a safe [and legal] manner,” said Downard.

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Police discover ‘mystery deck’ in Park City woods