The construction industry in Park City in October enjoyed its best month of the year, another signal that 2012 could be a recovery year even if the numbers will not approach the record-breaking tallies recorded before the recession struck.
The Park City Building Department reported the year-to-date figure sat at $54.5 million through the end of October. Through the same period the year before, the number was $33.6 million. The industry is more than 62 percent ahead of the numbers recorded in 2011.
The October number was a little less than $12.4 million, the best of the year by a wide margin. The No. 2 month of the year -- September -- was $8.5 million. The back-to-back big months were likely encouraging to an industry that hopes the recovery of the area's construction trade continues into 2013.
The Building Department said alterations and additions accounted for virtually all of the value of the month. It said the alterations and additions totaled more than $11.3 million of the overall total for the month. A house valued at just more than $1 million was the only other permit of significant value that was issued in October.
Alterations and additions have had an outsized impact on the construction numbers since the onset of the recession. Property owners since then have decided to redo their places or enlarge them instead of putting up new buildings. Permits for alterations and additions, though, typically are not as valuable as those issued for new buildings.
The October tally was pushed up by two high-dollar permits for additions. One of them, at 7700 Stein Way, was valued at $4.5 million. Another one, located at 632 Main St. and known as the Silver Queen Hotel, is pegged at $3.2 million.
The two permits followed the month after another pair pushed up the September report. The report that month included two $1 million-plus permits, each of them in the low seven figures. One of those was on Main Street close to the building at 632 Main St.
The Building Department in October also issued a series of permits valued in the low six figures alongside the lower-value ones.
The October number was well above the figure from the same month a year earlier. In October 2011, the department issued permits worth $3.7 million.
The Building Department in October did not issue a permit in categories like duplexes, multi-family buildings or commercial buildings. The department averaged a little more than 101 inspections per day in October, up sharply from September but down from the 119-per-day average in the previous October.
The number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits was mixed compared to the previous month and the previous October.
It is difficult to project what sort of year-end numbers the Building Department will record with November and December remaining. The numbers sometime tail off in the last months of the year as winter seats in.
The construction industry is an important leg of the Park City economy and it was buzzing as records were set in the years between the 2002 Winter Olympics and the onset of the recession. The long-term future of the industry in Park City itself is unclear, though, as there are a dwindling number of large development sites remaining.