Park City businesses report strong summer
Ryan Summerlin September 20, 2013
Sunday, Sept. 22, marks the first day of fall, which means that summer is over and Park City is gearing up for another busy winter season.
Sunnier than normal weather brought out hikers, bikers and outdoor lovers to the Park City where they found that they could not only enjoy recreational activities but world-class shopping, meals and entertainment as well.
The farmers’ markets and concert series put on by Mountain Town Music thrive in the summer season. Brian Richards, Executive Director of Mountain Town Music, said that this summer season was no different.
"We had a great turnout this summer, about 200,000 people at around 205 different concerts this year," Richards said. "We have one more weekend to go, and so far it’s looking good."
Teri Orr, Executive Director of the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, said this summer was arguably the best summer ever at Deer Valley. Attendance numbers were "markedly up," and she attributed that to both the strength of the acts and aggressive marketing of those events.
"It was hailing 20 minutes before One Republic and 30 minutes before Lyle Lovett, there was a downpour, but they cleared up and the show went on," Orr said. "Mother Nature is an unreliable business partner, but thankfully we were blessed by the weather, which is a huge factor in outdoor concerts."
Despite construction, Main Street also fared well this summer. Alison Butz, Executive Director of the Historic Park City Alliance, said she usually hears of businesses taking a seasonal break around this time, but it is a good sign that she hasn’t heard anything like that yet.
"We had a great visitor turnout at Main Street," Butz said. "We won’t have city sales tax data until October, but I’m happy to say it looks and sounds like we had another successful summer."
Hans Fuegi, owner of Grub Steak Restaurant and President of the Park City Area Restaurant Association, also felt good about the summer turnout. He said that there was a slight increase in business every month and that the average check amount also went up.
Lodging establishments like Canyons resort, Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR), and Deer Valley resort had excellent business this summer, and they are already looking forward to the winter season.
Mike Goar, general manager of Canyons, said that new biking activities and conferences drew many local and destination visitors to the resort.
"Through Canyons Bike Park, plus special events like the Wasatch Enduro, it has really become a ‘must’ on mountain bikers’ summer travel schedules," Goar said. "Also, we started the summer with one of the largest conferences in Canyons’ history, Instructure, and will end it with the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit later this month."
Andy Miller, Communications Manager at PCMR, attributed the busy summer season to the unusually sunny weather and the new biking and hiking activities the resort has implemented over the last several years.
The new Crescent chairlift gave visitors access to a part of the mountain they have not been able to see during the summer, and staple attractions like the Alpine Coaster and Alpine Slide kept visitors entertained.
"From what I’ve heard so far, we are doing even better business than last summer," Miller said, "and we have Nov. 23 circled for opening day for our 50th anniversary winter season."
Coleen Reardon, Director of Marketing at Deer Valley, said that both visitor and revenue numbers were great this summer and that the usual "ramp up" has begun for the winter season.
"We were ahead of pace in lodging and had a record year for our summer lift pass program," Reardon said. "We’ve had an amazing year with banquets, groups and weddings, and we were way ahead of last summer in all areas."
Farmers’ markets, concert series, and resorts may be closing down for the summer, but the winter season is upon Park City. After a fruitful summer, most are in good shape and looking forward to the winter.
"There is actually some snow in the forecast for next week, so that makes it feel like it’s coming even sooner," Miller said. "We are excited."