If someone wrote “I live in Park Citie,” would you care? Would it influence your opinion of him. Does it matter if he doesn’t spell city correctly?
If your government did the same thing, would it influence your opinion of them? How about your local newspaper? Do they have to get it right?
As many people are aware, Park City Municipal has inked a deal to purchase Bonanza Flats for $38 million. That’s a big win. The only problem is that Bonanza Flats doesn’t exist. It’s actually called Bonanza Flat. It’s not a series of flats; it’s only one.
Before you think that the Park Rag is just stretching to write something on a random Wednesday, this is somewhat of a hot topic within parts of the community. Emails and letters from citizens have been fired off to city officials and the Park Record over the years. It appears the requests to “get it right” have fallen on deaf ears. Most references in city documents still call it Bonanza Flats. In fact, the official Bond Facts document for the $25 million “Bonanza Flats” bond (produced by the city) incorrectly call it Bonanza Flats. All references we could find in the Park Record do the same. Only KPCW had it correct.
So, how do we KNOW it’s Bonanza Flat (and not FLATS) and why do we care?
Let’s go back to the magical year of 1940, when Park City was still known as Sin City and prostitution reigned (oh, those were the days). The United States Department of Interior had just produced a document called Triangulation in Utah 1871-1934. On pages 22 and 23 it directly calls out Bonanza Flat (not Flats).
So for almost 80 years, it has been called Bonanza Flat by the US Government. What about today? If you have a US Geological Survey (USGS) topographic map, this is what you would see:
The point is that the real name of the land is Bonanza Flat. Because of Park City’s purchase, this piece of land will be discussed endlessly over the next year. Why not use the right name?
Some people don’t care about the semantics. That’s OK. However, some people who have shaped our community for decades do. They feel that each individual piece of our history matters, and if it is lost, it will likely never be regained.
From the Park Rag’s perspective, now that we know it’s Bonanza Flat (sans the s), we can’t believe the city used the wrong name in an official bond mailing sent to all Park City residents. It took our little blog almost 10 minutes to find the official name.
We hope the powers that be reconsider and start using the right name going forward. It’s not only correct, but it’s respectful to some of those who care deeply about our history (and getting things right).