This ski resort city's decision to upgrade its athletic offerings has one health club crying foul.
Pat Bannister, who runs the Prospector Athletic Club, says Park City's addition of new courts, weights and exercise equipment is a deliberate effort to undercut his business."It's like the city owning a gas station and charging 25 cents less than anybody else, just because they don't have to make a profit," Bannister said. "I might be naive, but I believe the purpose of government is to support local business."
Bannister complained to the City Council Thursday night that the city's recent improvements to the municipally owned Park City Racquet Club and its intention to sell monthly passes amounts to unfair competition.
The city is considering annual fees of $150 to $300, or less than half of what Prospector charges.
"The city can provide recreational opportunities, I agree with that wholeheartedly. But not when it gets to the point of encroachment on a private business," Bannister said.
He said at least five customers have terminated their membership in favor of the city's facility; he estimated 30 more are considering it.
Mayor Brad Olch insisted Park City's motives are innocent.
"We were the only recreational facility we could find that did not have a monthly pass," he said. "We're just responding to the demands of our clientele - the residents of Park City. We're trying to make it easier to pay and play."
Besides, Olch said, the city's gym existed first.