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New Dutch Bros location in Provo set to open on New Year's Eve

After beginning construction just two months ago, the new Dutch Bros location in Provo will be celebrating its grand opening on the final day of 2020.

The drive-thru coffee chain that originally started in Oregon has been expanding, making its way into Utah with the first store opening in May in St. George.

Now the chain has made its way into Northern Utah with shops in the Salt Lake area and the grand opening of the first in Utah County.

It has been a process for Matt Kilgore, the head of operation, who has been fully immersed in the beginning stages of the opening and will continue to be deeply involved afterward.

It started with close to 300 interviews in a span of two days. Those applicants for the positions were then cut down to about 90 and then down to 45.

After hiring was completed, a team of “mobsters” is brought in to teach the art of being a “broista” at the shop.

“Leading up to it (the grand opening) we are doing a lot of training as we’ve hired all our crew,” Kilgore said. “We’re just making sure that everything is in the right spot, where it needs to be, and prepping the shop for our ultimate success and preparation.”

The trainings involve two days in the shop followed up by additional instruction where new hires are shadowed for about two weeks until they pass their final test.

A big part of the training for the grand opening also involved health protocols and safety, especially given the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s pretty crucial to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure our trainings are safe and comfortable, as well as our customers coming through understanding that we are taking every precaution we can to keep the crew safe so that we can keep the community safe as well,” Kilgore said.

When the extensive menu was brought up, Kilgore chuckled and said, “We have a few different items, I guess you could say.”

Crew members also need to know all of the various drinks and processes that go with making those drinks. Dutch Bros actually utilizes an app that includes training tools and breakdowns of the various drink components.

“The whole entire menu, we call it our manifesto, is all online there so they have that at their fingertips as far as a phone, iPad or tablet,” Kilgore said.

One thing that sticks out to many about Dutch Bros is the culture that comes with the shops.

The service is quick and the long lines are often not as long of a wait as people think. Kilgore added that he hopes to bring more to the Provo community with that culture.

“The one word that comes to my head, the culture I want to push for and teach is service,” Kilgore said. “I want to be the shop, I want to be the Dutch Bros that gets out in their community and serves. Not necessarily just in a way of volunteering their time but just being that person that is OK asking if somebody is doing all right through the window.”

He hopes workers will be open-hearted and -minded to add to a similar culture that already radiates through the Provo community, according to Kilgore.

While that extensive menu can be a challenge for new hires to memorize, it also can be a daunting task for first-time customers.

Kilgore said the new location in Provo, also the first in the county, will make it easy for first-time customers by showcasing three of the barista favorites.

This will be shown on large boards around the shop on top of the normal menu.

“We really simplify it and we simplify it down to each category,” Kilgore said. “We are a coffee shop first, but we also have iced and blended energy drinks, we have our frosts, we have our teas, our lemonades, our Italian sodas and more.”

The goal of this is to focus in on those who have never been to a Dutch Bros before. With the help of crew members, Kilgore was quick to mention that they want to serve the community with whatever they can think of.

When asked about the main theme he would like to get across to the community, Kilgore brought up the three core values that Dutch Bros lives by.

“Our main goal in the community as a coffee shop is speed, quality and service,” Kilgore said. “Those are the three core values that we stand by, that we strive for. More than that, we aren’t just here to serve the community, we want to be a part of the community. We are here to be a part of the community and live life with the community.”

The new store will open on Thursday at 1310 N. University Ave. with crew members looking to help people find drinks they will enjoy.

Short-term rental ordinance, all-abilities park among 2020's top south Utah County stories

From Spanish Fork Sen. Deidre Henderson being elected Utah’s second female lieutenant governor to a new all-abilities park to Springville’s attempt to regulate short-term rentals, these are the top south Utah County stories of the year:

Spanish Fork senator Deidre Henderson elected Utah’s next lieutenant governor

Utahns voted in November to make Republican Spanish Fork Sen. Deidre Henderson the state’s next lieutenant governor.

Henderson ran alongside current lieutenant governor and Gov.-elect Spencer Cox in a crowded Republican primary race that included former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. and Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, his running mate, as well as former House Speaker Greg Hughes and former Utah Republican Party Chair Thomas Wright and their respective running mates.

The Cox-Henderson duo took an early lead in the GOP primary as the first round of results poured in on June 30, with Huntsman and Kaufusi a close second.

Cox and Henderson ended up with 36.15% of votes statewide while Huntsman and Kaufusi received 34.95%. Hughes and Wright received 21.02% and 7.88%, respectively.

In the general election, Cox and Henderson received 63% of votes while Democratic candidates Chris Peterson and Karina Brown got 30.3%.

The Spanish Fork senator received national attention on multiple occasions this year before she announced her run for lieutenant governor, including for her bill to reclassify bigamy as an infraction instead of a third-degree felony.

“(Polygamists) are tired of being treated like second-class citizens,” Henderson told a Utah State Legislature committee in February. “They feel like Utah has legalized prejudice against them.”

The bill to decriminalize polygamy passed 70-3 in the House and unanimously in the Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 28.

In March, Henderson and Utah’s five other female senators stepped off the Senate floor in protest of a bill that would have required women seeking abortions to receive an ultrasound and for physicians to make “each unborn child’s heartbeat audible for the pregnant woman.”

Henderson tested positive for COVID-19 in August and has spoken publicly about the resulting health complications.

Springville adopts ordinance regulating short-term rentals

In October, Springville became the latest city in Utah to attempt to regulate short-term rentals, which have been popularized by companies like Airbnb and Vrbo, in a way that both respects the rights of homeowners who want to rent out their property and prevents “business-type activities” from taking place in residential zones.

The Springville City Council voted unanimously on Sept. 15 to adopt an ordinance allowing regulated short-term rentals to operate in residential zones. There is a requirement, however, that the homeowner be present during the short-term stay, with the exception of 90 nights throughout the calendar year when the owner can leave.

The ordinance also requires that the homeowner get a permit and business license and regulate noise and parking.

The vote came after nearly two years of discussion between city officials and property owners of how to best regulate short-term rentals.

Wes Ostler, a Springville resident whose 8,000-plus square-foot home was at the center of the short-term rental debate, called the owner-occupied clause “arbitrary, difficult to enforce and redundant,” noting that other parts of the ordinance would ensure that the neighbors of short-term renters can have “quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their property.”

“The first three parts of this ordinance protect that very well,” Ostler told the Springville City Council on Sept. 15. “We do not, however, get to have a say in who our neighbors are.”

The Springville short-term ordinance will go into effect on Friday.

Adventure Heights all-abilities park opens in Spanish Fork

Adventure Heights in Spanish Fork, a 10-acre park that opened in September, provides fun for kids of all abilities.

The all-abilities park is packed with accessible amenities, including a wheelchair swing, sensory garden designed for children with autism, a slide made of metal to eliminate static electricity that negatively affects kids with cochlear implants and a mountain with a gradually inclining, ADA-accessible trail running through it.

Spanish Fork resident Lealofi Inoke, who was a part of design discussions of the park along with other local parents of children who have special needs, spoke at the park’s grand opening about the joy of bringing her daughter Sabrina, who has a rare brain disorder, to Adventure Heights.

“We’ve already been here two nights this week, and she can go on the playground with her wheelchair,” Inoke said on Sept. 12. “She can go on the swing with her wheelchair. She can climb Ford Mountain in her wheelchair.”

The all-abilities park, which cost about $5 million to design and construct, was funded through impact fees and private donations.

South Utah County ranchers, businesses among hardest hit during COVID-19 pandemic

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, with restaurants and schools shut down or operating in reduced capacity, Utah’s sheep and lamb industry was hit hard.

The American Sheep Industry Association in an April 8 report described the “loss of the food service market due to the COVID-19 pandemic” as “devastating to the American lamb industry,” noting that all “American lamb companies report(ed) weakening sales to their food service customers and distributors in response to government orders to close dine-in food service, and as a result, have reduced or suspended operations.”

These impacts hit home in Utah, which is fifth in the nation for lamb and wool production, according to Sierra Nelson, executive director of the Utah Wool Growers Association.

Matt Jarvis, owner of Jarvis Sheep Company in Palmyra, which sells breeding stock rams to other ranches and farms, said he was “definitely worried” about the short- and long-term effects the pandemic would have on his ability to sell breeding stock.

“It’ll have a devastating impact,” the south Utah County rancher said in May. “Because a lot of them won’t have the money to buy the rams with.”

Other south Utah County businesses were devastated by the coronavirus pandemic as well, including Leslie’s Family Tree in Santaquin, which closed its doors in November after 36 years of operation.

The restaurant, which first opened in 1984, normally thrives on tourists and travelers heading to southern Utah or to Salt Lake City.

“The pandemic is killing me,” said Leslie Broadhead, the restaurant’s owner. “We’ve been known kind of all over the state, with a lot of travelers from other states, and we’ve never had a problem as long as gas prices have been down then people will get out and come see us. This pandemic has just been horrible.”

Multiple south Utah County cities, including Santaquin and Spanish Fork, used federal CARES Act funding to launch economic relief programs aimed at helping small local businesses.

Springville student asks question during VP debate

The ears of south Utah County residents watching the vice presidential debate in October likely perked up when the debate moderator read a question written by a Springville Junior High School student.

The student, eighth grader Brecklynn Brown, came up with her question as part of an essay she wrote for a contest sponsored by the Utah Debate Commission and Utah State Board of Education.

Students were asked to submit 300-word essays answering the question: “If you could ask the vice presidential candidates one question, what would you ask and why?”

Brown’s question, which was the last question of the vice presidential debate at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, read as follows: “When I watch the news, all I see is citizen fighting against citizen. When I watch the news, all I see are two candidates from opposing parties trying to tear each other down. If our leaders can’t get along, how are the citizens supposed to get along?

“Your examples could make all the difference to bring us together,” the question continued. “How is your presidency going to unite and heal our country?”

Democratic candidate and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said she loved “hearing from our young leaders,” adding that “when I hear your words, Brecklynn, I know our future is bright.”

Vice President Mike Pence, the Republican candidate, said that “here in America, we can disagree, we can debate vigorously,” but added that “when the debate is over, we come together as Americans.”

Top Utah County stories (6): Robert Redford sells Sundance Ski Resort

Editor’s note: In a series running through Dec. 31, the Daily Herald is sharing its picks for “Utah County’s Top 10 News Stories for 2020.” We will be running recaps of those stories, two per day, through New Year’s Eve. This story is ranked No. 6.

At the time one of Robert Redford’s classic movies was making its way into theaters across America, the Sundance kid bought a plot of land just up Provo Canyon in Utah County.

In the 1969 purchase of what would become Sundance, an ode to the character he played in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” Redford had a vision for Sundance and that vision played a major role in what became the famous ski resort, arts community and more.

On Dec. 11, some 51 years after that initial purchase, Redford announced the sale of the resort to Broadreach Capital Partners and Cedar Capital Partners. That sale was voted the No. 6 top story in Utah County News for 2020 by the Daily Herald.

In an interview with the Sundance Institute, Redford said he was looking for a sense of place, a sense of community and a sense of home back before he purchased what would become Sundance Mountain Resort. He did not find this in Los Angeles, where he grew up and made a name for himself.

“When I was a kid, there was spaces in between the various communities of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Hollywood,” Redford said in the interview. “And then when the war ended, that city that I loved began to change. When all of the money came back into our economy, suddenly there was pavement and skyscrapers. It felt like the city that I loved was sort of being slowly pushed into the sea.”

He began searching for that sense of place and stumbled upon it while driving from Colorado to California.

After establishing the community he was searching for, Redford began welcoming in other artists and creators, which led to the creation of the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival.

“As stewards of this unique place, it has always been my vision that the Sundance Mountain Resort would be a place where art, nature and recreation come together to make the world a better place — now and in the future,” said Redford in a press release. “Change is inevitable, and for several years, my family and I have been thinking about a transition to new ownership for the resort. We knew that at the right time, and with the right people, we could make the transition. Broadreach and Cedar share our values and interest in maintaining the resort’s unique character, while honoring its history, community and natural beauty. This makes them well-suited to ensure that future generations can continue to find solace and inspiration here.”

To revisit a famous phrase from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” locals might well be asking, “Who are these guys?” in reference to the new ownership group.

Broadreach Capital Partners owns other properties including the Biltmore in Santa Barbara, the Carlyle in New York and the Sunset Millennium in Hollywood.

Cedar Capital Partners owns a number of properties around the world including the Monte Carlo Grand in Monaco, the Savoy in London, the Hotel Du Louvre in Paris and more.

The press release stated that the two partners are intending to work closely with the community in Sundance to continue with the same mission Redford had.

Other plans include the enhancement of the skiing experience, expanded on-mountain amenities, increased hotel bed space and continued commitment to creative activities and cultural programming.

“In 1969, Robert Redford had a courageous vision to create a haven for discovery and new ideas, immersed in a rich cultural history honoring individuality and creativity,” said Philip Maritz, managing director of Broadreach Capital Partners, in the release. “We are deeply honored to assume stewardship of this magical resort and its unique programming, and are committed to maintaining the balance between responsible development and land preservation that the Redford family has passionately cultivated. We intend to thoughtfully enhance this experience and continue the Redford commitment to guests, staff, the Sundance Institute and community, and most importantly, the natural environment itself.”

The sale only included the assets of Sundance Mountain Resort and does not impact Redford’s involvement or the structure of the Sundance Institute, the Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Catalog, Sundance TV or the Redford Center.

According to the release, Redford and his family also have entered into a partnership with Utah Open Lands to put over 300 acres of pristine wildlife habitat, streams and wetlands into permanent protection. Located at the base of Mt. Timpanogos, the newly established Redford Family Elk Meadows Preserve includes the meadow below Stewart Falls, along with popular trails for hiking and cross-country skiing.

Top Utah County stories (5): Conflicts on multiple issues highlight rift on county commission

Editor’s note: In a series running through Dec. 31, the Daily Herald is sharing its picks for “Utah County’s Top 10 News Stories for 2020.” We will be running recaps of those stories, two per day, through New Year’s Eve. This story is ranked No. 5.

Different positions on a variety of local government issues, from mask mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to changes to Utah County’s structure of government, make up Utah County’s fifth biggest story of the year.

Different positions on mask mandates

Images of a Utah County Commission meeting in July were broadcast on TV stations across the country after the meeting, which was packed with about 100 residents there to protest Gov. Gary Herbert’s K-12 mask mandate, was abruptly cut short.

The July 15 meeting lasted only a minute as Commissioners Tanner Ainge and Nathan Ivie voted to postpone it over health concerns.

“This is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing,” Ainge told the crowd, which screamed and booed. “We are supposed to be physically distancing, wearing masks.”

A handful of national media outlets covered the canceled commission meeting, including NBC News, the Washington Post and The Hill.

Nearly everyone at the meeting had gathered a half-hour earlier for an event organized by Commissioner Bill Lee to discuss his proposal to ask the governor to give Utah County “compassionate exemption from the one-size-fits-all mask mandate in Utah County’s public schools.”

The differences in opinion on mask mandates between the commissioners only widened in the following months.

In September, as COVID-19 cases continued to climb in Utah County and throughout the state and facing pressure from state officials, Ainge and Ivie signed on to a Utah County Health Department public health order implementing a countywide mask mandate.

Lee complained that his colleagues did so behind his back and without going through the proper legislative channels.

“I think this is very detrimental to our ratification process,” Lee said during a meeting on Sept. 30. “It feels like it was a rammed-through process. And it does not feel like it was one in which we have dialogue and conversation.”

Ainge defended the decision to implement a mask mandate, noting that Herbert indicated that restrictions in Utah County could increase and “asked for a mask requirement as soon as possible.”

“I was willing to follow that direction and guidance from medical experts,” said Ainge. “And timing was of the essence, and so we went ahead and issued this order together with our local health director Ralph Clegg.”

Prop. 9 defeat and opposing opinions on county government changes

When a ballot initiative that would have transformed the three-member, full-time county commission to a five-member, part-time county council and created a full-time county mayor position failed in November, it did so with Lee’s help.

Proposition 9 had strong support of both Ainge and Ivie, as well as nearly every city official and state legislator in Utah County. Lee opposed the switch to a mayor-council form of government, arguing that such a change would be “a consolidation of power into one person, which is the mayor.”

On Aug. 27, Lee and Saratoga Springs resident Heidi Balderee created “Stop Prop 9,” a political issues committee that raised over $29,000 and spent thousands on advertising in opposition to Proposition 9.

“Doubling the amount of politicians will inevitably lead to more spending, more government and more control — just like it has done to Salt Lake County!,” stated the website notopropnine.com, which was funded by Stop Prop 9. “You have a choice in November: Do what the politicians are saying is best for us OR stick with the limited form of government that has kept our taxes low for decades.”

Meanwhile, Ainge Advisory, LLC in Alpine, a law firm established by Ainge, donated $1,000 to “Better Representation for Utah County,” a pro-Proposition 9 PIC.

When the ballot initiative failed in November with 59.29% “No” votes and 40.71% “Yes” votes, Ivie said he was “extremely disappointed.”

“The opposition did a great job spreading a false narrative and people believed it,” Ivie said.

“Prop. 9 didn’t pass. That’s OK,” Ainge tweeted. “It’s a privilege to live in America and vote for candidates/issues we care about in free and fair elections. Knowing that we live in a country where the rule of law prevails takes most of the sting out of any particular election outcome.”

Lee said he was “thankful for all of the people who donated their time, money and efforts to defeat this proposition.”

Tom Sakievich to replace Nathan Ivie

The makeup of the county commission will change significantly in 2021 as Commissioner-elect Tom Sakievich will replace Ivie.

Lee has been the odd man out on the commission on a number of issues, including a 67.4% increase to the county portion of property taxes that the commission approved 2-1 in December 2019.

When Sakievich defeated Ivie in the Republican primary on June 30 with 60.5% of votes compared to Ivie’s 39.5%, Lee pointed to Ivie’s vote on the property tax increase as the reason he lost.

“Are you going to listen to the people on this thing?,” Lee said in a July 1 meeting where he proposed the commissioners “scrap this whole” tax increase rather than sign off on it. “I don’t know if anyone else watched it or not, but I was shocked at the numbers. This election turned out to be about that issue.”

Sakievich, a former Marine and resident of Spanish Fork, has criticized the property tax increase and argued for deeper county budget cuts and lower tax rates.

Sakievich also has said he wants to use tourism dollars to fund the Utah County Attorneys, jails and Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputies who spend about 70% of their resources in parks and canyons.

“We should be able to get access to those funds to take care of our sheriff and county attorney,” the commissioner-elect said in June.

Sakievich defeated Democratic candidate Jeanne Bowen in the November general election with 73.82% of votes compared to Bowen’s 26.18%.