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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Tennis club takes 'big hit' in wake of North Salt Lake landslide

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Aug. 11 5:35 p.m. MDT

 A landslide from last week damaged tennis courts near 739 Parkway Drive, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

A landslide from last week damaged tennis courts near 739 Parkway Drive, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

(Michelle Tessier, Deseret News)

NORTH SALT LAKE — Evacuated families aren't the only ones affected by North Salt Lake's landslide that destroyed a house one week ago.

The slide also damaged a building at the Eagleridge Tennis and Swim Club, 711 S. Parkway Drive. Since then, nearly 70 club employees haven't been allowed back at work, according to club manager Cody Sessions.

"It's awful. This club is a family. Everybody knows everybody, and this is our daily routine," Sessions said. "We've got between 60 and 70 employees and at this point in time, myself, our office manager and the owner are the only ones doing anything. Everyone else has been told they can't do anything."

The slide took out a retaining wall and moved forward about 30 feet, colliding with a large tent that covers three of the club's six tennis courts. The interior frame of the tent was bent on one side, which puts pressure on the entire building, rendering it unsafe. The entire structure has to be taken down before employees can return to work and patrons can use the club's other facilities.

"We've been told by the fire chief that if we can take down the tent, then we can open up our doors," Sessions said. "So our main focus is to try and find the funds and find the right people to take it down safely."

Scott Kjar, vice president of EaglePointe Development, says the developer and the city are working with the club's owner to find someone to take down the tent.

"That's kind of job 1 for us because every day they're closed, they're losing money," Kjar said. "Without arguing who's responsible for what, we just want to get everybody back open and running."

The waiting game, however, is frustrating, Sessions said.

"There have been talks, but has any action been taken? No," he said. "I think everyone just wants it to be back open because it is a part of their lives. They want to have their routine back."

The club also has an aerobics facility, a snack bar and a pool, which the city allowed to be refilled Monday, Sessions said.

Efforts continue to help those displaced by the slide. One family has moved back into their home, which sits adjacent to the slide's west side.

Kjar said multiple businesses have stepped forward since the developer announced plans to build a new home for the Utrilla family on Friday.

"We've got contractors who are willing to help, we've got a plumber already signed up and ready to go, we've got a builder who's willing to help with the build job, we've got a lumber company who's willing to help with the lumber," Kjar said. "We've had some good response."

The developer is also working to update utrillafamily.wordpress.com so that people can donate to the cause via the Internet.

The family is in the process of deciding between three lots in the vicinity, and the project will move forward once a lot is chosen, Kjar said.

Crews drilled and took soil samples at the slide over the weekend and discovered that movement has slowed even further, according to Barry Edwards, the city manager of North Salt Lake.

"It's down to inches a day," he said.

Weather forecasters predicted precipitation for the area, which may delay the formulation of a construction plan, according to Edwards.

"We're just gathering data right now, trying to figure out what our next steps are and trying to anticipate the weather coming down," he said. "There's not much we can do on the rain, other than be vigilant."

Contributing: Peter Samore

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com

Twitter: MorganEJacobsen

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1. stevan madrigal
murray, UT,
Aug. 12, 2014

Who was permitted to build the retaining wall at the tennis facility?
That appears to have cut the toe of the slope of the hill.