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Major vacation development coming to Kanab

A rendering of the project overview from the SITLA information package posted on their website.

A high-density vacation and residential development called Mineral Village is being planned in Kanab. A company named Mountain West Development Group is entering into a development lease with the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA) to develop 101 acres of SITLA land south of the Jackson Flat Reservoir.

According to SITLA, Mineral Village will consist of 200 vacation rentals, 139 single-family homes, also referred to as vacation homes by the developer and a hotel. The proposed hotel will have 128 guest rooms, making it one of the largest hotels in Kanab.

The Mineral Village project will likely not help alleviate Kanab’s affordable housing shortage as the single family/vacation homes are expected to sell for an average price of $650,000.

The Mineral Village development will be located between the Kaneplex Road and the Arizona border, across from the water district’s headquarters and the Kaneplex Arena. Vacationers and residents will have easy access to the recreational opportunities at the Jackson Flat Reservoir.

Mountain West states on its website that “we pride ourselves on developing smart, desirable neighborhoods, always with unmatched views.”

This is the same plot of land that the Kane County Water Conservancy District (KCWCD) was looking to lease to build a destination golf course. SITLA’s decision to go with the vacation development project, rather than a golf course, was based on the determination it will generate more money for the Trust. Aaron Langston, deputy assistant director at SITLA’s south Utah division, wrote in a staff memorandum dated January 20, that Mountain West’s development “was deemed to be in the best interest of the Trust.”

Mineral Village is expected to generate around $15.7 million from home sales and hotel operation for SITLA. The actual payments are contingent upon the developer’s ability to fund, build the homes and vacation rentals, sell the homes, and the profitability of the hotel; as well as the developer’s ability to meet the specified timeline.

SITLA will hold a 14.6 percent “membership interest” in the hotel. SITLA expects that it will be able to sell its membership interest for $3.6 milllion, if it chooses, 10 years out.

SITLA is bound by Utah law to choose the land use that will have the highest return for school and institution beneficiaries. SITLA administers 3.4 million acres of land across Utah and primarily generates revenue through energy and mineral leases and royalties, real estate development, sales, leases and easements. The money generated is placed into a trust, and the return on the trust’s investments are paid to support Utah public schools and state institutions.

The designated SITLA beneficiary of this project is the Miners Hospital. The Miners Hospital is part of University of Utah, and “was established in 2004 to provide health care to disabled Utah miners with mining-related illnesses or injuries,” according to its website. Mountain West chose the name Mineral Village to honor the Miners Hospital.

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