Like the Chamber/Bureau says, shop locally
July 18, 2007
At times, Park City merchants wonder what benefits they cull from the Park City Chamber/Bureau, a power player in the local tourism industry. The Chamber/Bureau, many merchants have said, pays little attention to them, instead pouring its money into campaigns to attract visitors. The benefits of the strategy are evident: once the visitors are in Park City, they spend their money at the local stores and restaurants, Chamber/Bureau leaders say. It has been the Chamber/Bureau’s strategy for years, as Park City’s mountain resorts, and the city’s economy, have flourished.
But the Chamber/Bureau, even as it successfully markets Park City as a tourism destination, its key role, has graciously launched a new campaign that attempts to boost business for shops, galleries and other retailers. That, in turn, could bring more business to restaurants and nightclubs. It uses slogans like "Live local. Play local. Buy local" and "Recycle Your Dollars."
The new ‘Buy Local’ promotion is overdue and should be seen as an olive branch from the Chamber/Bureau to smaller local businesses, especially those on Main Street. There has been tension, however slight, between some shop owners on the street and the Chamber/Bureau for at least a decade.
With the campaign, shop owners, on and off Main Street, should be pleased with the leaders at the Chamber/Bureau. It starts as Main Street tries to remain competitive with Kimball Junction and as the North of Main merchants continue to solidify the district as a complement to Main Street. All should benefit, however, from the campaign.
It will hopefully reintroduce Parkites to the Park City shopping scene, and visitors will learn what is available in the local marketplace. Shopping here is some of the best in the state, with the occasional chain-run stores not terribly detracting from the unique, Park City-only offerings. There are numerous finds when someone looks in the Park City phone book. Shoppers like to spend their money at places where the owner is working the register, and those sorts of stores abound here.
It seemed to take a while, but the Chamber/Bureau is realizing the benefits of shopping locally. And telling people as much.