Permit, please? The application process for event organizers
March 18, 2011
Believe it or not, summer is only a couple of months away, which means concerts, festivals and other special events are just around the corner.
Park City Municipal has already received special-event applications from organizers who want to bring a little music and culture to the area.
However, organizers must adhere to the following steps to ensure their events are safe and enjoyable for the public.
First, they must fill out an application, said Bob Kollar, special events director of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.
"If the event is in the Park City limits then it goes through Park City Municipal," Kollar said. "Those applications can be found by visiting http://www.ParkCity.org ."
If the event falls outside the city limits, then the jurisdiction is Summit County, he said.
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"Applications for county events are available at their website: http://www.co.summit.ut.us ," Kollar said. "Also, if organizers are looking to use fields or facilities that are controlled by the Snyderville Basin Recreation District, then they apply at http://www.basinrecreation.org ."
After an application is received, it goes through a screening process and reviewed by committee.
"The committees are comprised of people from the business community usually ones who are involved in hotels and lodging citizens at large, folks from the Parks and Recreation Department, each of the area’s skiing resorts, the Arts Council and representatives from the Utah Olympic Park," Kollar said.
The applications are graded against established criteria, designed to weigh the positive economic impact the event will bring to the community against the negative impact, Kollar said.
"Negative impacts could be anything from traffic congestion to how much waste will be generated and the ramifications on fields and facilities in those jurisdictions," Kollar said.
Lastly, the committee examines how the event fits within the community.
"Does it fit with the branding the Chamber Bureau is marketing?" Kollar said. "Does it fit within the lifestyle Park City citizens and visitors have come to know? If there are any conflicts, it receives a lower score."
If there are two or more applications for events that fall on the same day or time frame, the committees will look for the event that scores higher and is more of a benefit to the community, Kollar said.
Max Paap special events coordinator of the city’s sustainability department said there are two types of applications.
"We have a special-events application and a master-festival license," he said. "The master festival license needs a little more litigation and a little more time for review and will most certainly have to go in front of the city council for mitigation."
That’s because a master festival license usually involves road closures and/or parking needs, Paap said.
"We mitigate from a public-safety standpoint," he said. "The most significant point is if the event involves groups of more than 500 people and if city property is involved."
Also, it’s important for Park City officials to be aware of what’s going on in the surrounding areas, Paap said.
"We don’t want to step on each other’s toes," he said. "It’s not good for either party if we have two big events in Park City and Summit County at the same time."
Still, there are events that cross jurisdictions, Paap said.
"Take the Park City Marathon, which has been going on for a long time," Paap said. "That’s a joint venture between the city and county, and when you think about traffic control from Kimball Junction to Park City, it’s important the county sheriff understands what to expect. So we’ve stepped up the communication with the county in past few years."
Sometimes organizers just don’t understand in which jurisdiction the event or events will take place, Paap said.
"A good first stop is our office," he said. "Then when we find out where the event will be taking place, we can direct the organizers to the right people."
Special-events applications need to be submitted to the proper offices at least 60 days prior to the planned event and master-festival license applications need to be submitted at least 90 days out, Paap said.
"Putting on an event is an expensive process and we want to make sure the event fits the venue," he said. "We also look at what kind of experience an organizer has, because we don’t want people hosting events that create more problems than benefits."
It’s always better to submit an application earlier than later, Paap said.
"Sometimes the best events had applications submitted up to 16 months in advance," he said. "We’ve also run into instances when organizers will come into our offices earlier than that and we flesh their ideas out."
An application fee accompanies each submission, Paap said.
"The fees compensate the review processes in each of the jurisdictions, and they don’t include the venue rental fees, which change from venue to venue," he said.
Brian Richards, community conductor of musical affairs for Mountain Town Music, said the application process is painless.
"Our events have been going on pretty consistently for about eight years, now," Richards said. "So it’s easy for us to organize an event. We’re not reinventing the wheel. We don’t have to talk about street closures or anything like that. We go in and tell them what we’re doing and fill out a couple of applications."
When Mountain Town Music gets involved with bigger events such as the Park City Art Festival or the Park Silly Market, the application responsibility falls on the event organizers.
"We pull applications for Miner’s Park and Deer Valley, when we hold our individual shows," Richards said.
Teri Orr, executive director for the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, whose Big Stars, Bright Nights summer concert series are held in Deer Valley, said her organization relies on Deer Valley’s administration to handle the big permits.
"When we know we’re going to have a sold-out show, we tell everyone as soon as possible so we can try to arrange the best exit strategy in terms of traffic control, which also means trying to sync the traffic lights from there to Kimball Junction.
"Also, depending on the show, we run between 30 and 40 volunteers and up to 25 security people," she said. "There are also medical personnel, and once guests exceed a certain number, the Park City Police are recruited to help with security."