The Park Record editorial, November 20-23, 2010 | ParkRecord.com

The Park Record editorial, November 20-23, 2010

What has Amazon done for you lately?

At first blush, holiday shopping on the Internet seems like a great idea. No driving, no lines, no shipping. But now that the novelty of filling an electronic shopping cart from the comfort of your couch has worn off, it is time to take a look at the deeper tradeoffs.

Our biggest criticism of online shopping especially with mega retailers like Amazon is that once the dollars leave our community, they never return. That is not true when money is spent with local retailers.

Once you hit "Confirm purchase" online, the total is siphoned from your credit card and that’s that. The money evaporates into cyberspace and rarely, if ever, returns to the community.

However, when you shop locally, a portion of the sales taxes that are collected are automatically reinvested in city and county services. Those revenues fund a number of programs including the free buses. And, thanks to the recently re-approved Recreation Arts and Parks tax, local purchases also generate funds for community grants.

The benefits go beyond tax revenues. Almost every merchant in Park City and Summit County donates merchandise, money, time and space to local nonprofit groups. They are constantly asked and most often say yes to pitching in products and services for hundreds of fundraisers.

Now it is our turn to return the favor.

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Besides it’s time to get up off the couch. We should all take the advice we give our kids on a daily basis. That is, to "turn off the computer and get outside!"

Shopping in Park City during the holiday season should be a part of your family’s tradition. With the twinkling lights, the special events and the bracing clean winter air, trekking around Main Street, Bonanza Park, Redstone, Newpark and all around Kimball Junction can be a festive occasion. Many of the merchants are experts in their line of who specialize in offering the latest, the best and most unique products. And in between bouts of purchasing there are restaurants and bakeries and coffee shops where you can reboot your shopping chakras.

And that goes for the quaint downtown centers in Coalville and Kamas too, where the gifts have an authentic Western flavor.

So let’s review:

Shopping online: Fast, easy, sterile.

Shopping locally: Supports the community, festive, healthy, an adventure.

You choose.

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