The Park Record editorial, November 4-6, 2009
November 3, 2009
Park City may seem somewhat empty right now, but attendance at several recent local celebrations has been high. From the Kimball Art Center to the Glenwood Cemetery, residents and visitors have turned out in enthusiastic hordes. That trend was particularly evident this past Saturday as throngs of kids and parents bagged treats and giggled at a parade of costumed canines on Main Street.
The events, a sampling of which included ghost stories at the cemetery, a Lego contest at the Kimball, scarecrows at the McPolin Farm, the unveiling of the newly restored history museum, and a fundraiser for young local athletes, are reminders that Park City is much more than a tourist destination it is a vibrant year-round community. In fact, off-season celebrations give residents a welcome chance to reconnect outside of the harried peak-season events like art and film festivals.
But it is important to remember who makes these events possible. In most cases they are hosted or at least generously supported by local merchants.
At the museum opening, chefs from surrounding restaurants provided an array of appetizers; at the Winter Welcome sports gear stores donated merchandise for the auctions; and on Halloween, Main Streets retailers and restaurateurs pitched in with treats and lots of elbow grease. Most of these merchants are called on hundreds of times each year to support various charitable causes, and invariably they find some way to participate.
That is especially important to remember as area residents hunt for bargains in this penny-pinching economy. Sure, an item might be a few cents cheaper online or at a mega-retailer in the valley. But it is unlikely any of those big-name corporations will volunteer to cater a local fundraiser, pick up the tab for amenities at the local dog park or help staff a footrace.
The best way to thank Park City-area merchants for their many contributions is to patronize their businesses. So, if you and your kids enjoyed Halloween on Main Street, nibbled on gourmet hors d’oeuvres at the museum, or got a great deal on an auction item at a fundraiser, make an effort as soon as possible to shop or go out to dinner at one of the establishments that made it possible.
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These days everyone is watching the bottom line, but when it comes to comparing bang for the buck, be sure to include the intangible value that local businesses offer to the community.