Park City's resorts are taking in a strong summer season this year. While winter may have left something to be desired in the way of snowfall, summer visitor numbers are up at all three resorts.
Summer months have always been important, said Coleen Reardon, the Deer Valley Director of Marketing, but that importance is rapidly growing.
"A good summer sets us up for a nice winter," Reardon said. "We'll be heading into winter, our big business months, ahead of the game."
Summer months at the resorts have been on a steady path of growth since the economic downturn in 2008, but with the warm weather and dry conditions, visitors from the Wasatch Front and surrounding states have flocked into town.
"It's been a perfect storm of a summer," said Tom Pettigrew, the Park City Mountain Resort Director of Skier Services. "We had extraordinarily warm weather in June, especially in contrast to last year where we had a long, rainy spring."
And the resorts are offering more than ever before in activities, pulling in new visitors. Canyons Resort added the popular 'Movie Under the Stars' series and an extra night of concerts alongside extra Zipline and bike tours.
"There is a lot more going on, and we're seeing how that is getting people to the resort," said Mike Goar, the general manager of Canyons Resort. "There is a new energy about the place, and it feeds off of itself."
"When there are a lot of people, it creates energy," he added. "That's what has changed the most. We have enough of a mass of people in day for events and activities that it creates a healthy energy that makes people want to come back."
From the Wednesday Farmer's Market to mountain biking, Goar said he has seen one activity or event feed into another, with total visitor numbers dramatically up from last year. The resort has seen a double-digit increase in the number of visitors compared to last year, Goar estimated.
"Park City has certainly become a destination for the one-day or weekend getaways for people from Salt Lake County and the Wasatch Front," he said. "They come from this hot environment to a cool mountain community. And with more events, more activities, the more offerings, we're giving people this variety of things to do.
"Between the three resorts, the Utah Olympic Park, Main Street and the restaurants, people can keep busy and fill up a week pretty easily."
Mountain biking has been a longstanding part of the resorts' summer business, with Deer Valley adding mountain biking 20 years ago, but adding Ziplines, concert series and movie nights has increased interest in the summer months.
"Summer is a key component to the resort's year-round health," Pettigrew said. "When we have summers that are strong, that enhances our ability to enter into the winter season in a strong position. We have the customers return that have visited in summer and the ability to keep more staff because we need employees in a year-round capacity.
"It's a financial buffer. If we were closed, there would be no income over summer for our company."
For Deer Valley Resort, events such as the Park City Arts Festival that draw thousands into town also mean big business on the slopes. The resort broke records last weekend for sales in its restaurants and concession stands, Reardon said.
"I think people are getting a little more confident in spending money," she said. "People miss vacations and are willing to travel more, even if that's just getting out and enjoying what's going on locally.
"And it really doesn't hurt to have hot summer in the valley, where people are getting away in the mountains."