Park City’s former Silver King Mine, located near the present Bonanza chairlift at Park City Mountain Resort, produced millions of dollars in silver during our town’s mining heyday. The mining company built the historic Silver King Boarding House in 1897. The first floor housed offices, a kitchen, and a dining room. The engineering offices and sleeping quarters for company officials filled the upstairs.
The boardinghouse was closed in 1953, about the time Park City was included in a listing of western “ghost towns.” The building was later remodeled by Park City Ski Area and used as a bunkhouse for the United States Ski Team from 1973 to 1975, when lack of funding and access difficulties shut it down.
By 1986, the lodge was in the way of ski area expansion and slated for demolition. Locals David Hampshire, Vince Donile, Harry Reed, and Nick Badami stepped in to save it. On September 3, 1987, seven bulldozers moved the 140-ton structure 3,000 linear feet and 500 vertical feet to its present location. Donile leased it and completed a $1 million renovation, confirming Mid-Mountain Lodge’s place as a popular lunch spot at the resort.
As the lodge celebrates the 25th anniversary of its uphill journey this fall, one artifact from the move still stands: during the event, Donile was bombarded by suggestions on how to move the lodge, what to do with it after it was moved, what colors to paint it, and more, so he installed a suggestion box for the unsolicited advice. He nailed it to the top gable of the building’s roof, where it remains today. Only one suggestion ever made it into the box: a request that the suggestion box be moved to a more accessible location! —compiled from information provided by Park City Mountain Resort