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PCMR project has pitted ‘neighbors against neighbors,’ a critic contends

Sherie Harding owns property on Three Kings Drive close to the Park City Mountain Resort parking lots, one of numerous owners on or close to the perimeter of the lots.

Like many others who live or own properties close to the PCMR lots, Harding is closely monitoring the talks about a major development proposal. Harding, though, is worried that the people with properties close to different sections of the expansive lots are not coordinating as they craft their concerns about the project.

In a late-August letter to the Park City Planning Department, Harding contended the discussions have pitted “neighbors against neighbors.” The department released the letter and other correspondences as the Park City Planning Commission readied for another meeting about the proposal scheduled on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

“It is becoming apparent that neighborhoods are working against each other. This may not be a conscious effort, but it is what is happening,” the two-page correspondence says.

Harding describes some of the input regarding the number of parking stalls that will be built in garages at various locations within the project as she outlined her argument. The layout of the parking and the number of stalls could have greater impact on some nearby properties than others, she says.

“Is it a strategy of the developer to pit surrounding neighbors against each other? Rather than divide neighborhoods into fragments let us work together for the good of all,” she says in the correspondence.

Harding addresses a series of other topics like the historic operations of the lots and the impacts of the project on views from nearby properties, but the idea of competing interests between neighborhoods that are in such close proximity to one another is an intriguing angle of the ongoing discussions about the project.

In an interview, Harding said there are talks about creating a coalition involving people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding the lots or who own properties there. A coalition could be formed at some point after the Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, she said.

Detailed information about a coalition was not available early in the week. It was not clear what sort of support one would generate and whether the membership would tend to be centered in the area surrounding the lots or whether a coalition would draw supporters from elsewhere in Park City and into surrounding Summit County. Coalitions have been formed during previous debates about large development proposals, such as Empire Pass and Treasure.

A coalition formed in upcoming weeks, though, would debut months into the talks between Provo developer PEG Companies and the Planning Commission about the 10-acre development proposal. The project involves residences, a hotel, retailers and restaurants. The public input has been heavily weighted against the proposal.

A previous owner of PCMR in the 1990s secured an overall development approval for the base area that included rights attached to the parking lots. The lots and attached development rights went to Vail Resorts when it acquired PCMR. PEG Companies earlier reached an agreement with Vail Resorts to acquire the lots for the development and is waiting to finalize the deal until after the talks about the project. It seems the Planning Commission could be prepared to cast a vote as early as late in the year, but a precise timeline is not clear.

The Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday is scheduled to be held virtually starting at 5:30 p.m. The Planning Commission will take public input via an e-commenting system. More information about the commenting system and materials for the meeting are available on the City Hall website, parkcity.org. The direct link is: granicus_production_attachments.s3.amazonaws.com/parkcity/992b378ab819113cb92330964e5c507e0.pdf.

Park City mining-era structure destroyed in fire (updated)

A fire destroyed a silver mining-era structure in Deer Valley on Saturday, the Park City Fire District said, indicating a campfire grew out of control before consuming the building known as the White Pine Cabin.

Bob Zanetti, the deputy fire chief at the Park City Fire District, said two men spent the night at the location and started a campfire in the morning. The fire spread out of control to the White Pine Cabin, he said. The Fire District received a report at just before 8 a.m. from mountain bikers who saw the fire. The bikers attempted to extinguish the flames before the firefighters arrived, Zanetti said.

The Fire District was at the scene for approximately three hours as the fire was extinguished and the firefighters ensured no hotspots remained. The fire burned an approximately 144-square-foot area, he said.

The campers were at the scene when the firefighters arrived, but further information was not immediately available about them.

The location is uphill from the Empire Canyon Lodge and just off the Orion ski run at Deer Valley Resort. The area in the vicinity of the location of the fire was important during Park City’s silver-mining days. There are well-known relics from the mining era running from the higher elevations of Empire Canyon to the lower ones, offering a history lesson of sorts to skiers, hikers and mountain bikers over the years.

Park City was founded as a silver-mining camp in the 19th century. The industry drove the Park City economy for decades, with the various mining firms putting up buildings necessary for the operations in the mountains surrounding Old Town.

The silver-mining industry eventually deteriorated with a steep drop in prices of the precious metal and by the middle of the 20th century Park City’s economy had tanked. The ski industry later rose to become the economic driver. The silver-mining heritage, though, is now seen as something that sets Park City apart from some of the competing mountain resorts in North America. Park City leaders and the influential preservation community in recent decades have pushed to protect the deteriorating buildings from the mining era.

The fire at the White Pine Cabin is another dramatic episode involving a mining-era structure or building. It occurred shortly after a move that was widely seen as a triumph in the preservation efforts with Deer Valley Resort’s securing of a City Hall approval to restore the hulking head frame of the Daly West Mine to an upright position five-plus years after it collapsed. The head frame location is outside the Empire Canyon Lodge and the Montage Deer Valley.

The White Pine Cabin was made of logs and research conducted to draft the text of a historical marker indicated the cabin could have served as a shack for miners or a building that was used by a mining firm itself.

Sally Elliott, a co-chair of a group called Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History that is heavily involved in the preservation of mining-era locations, said the relics show the hardships of the mining era. She said it was thoughtless that the men “would even consider striking a match” when the vegetation is so dry.

“I’m just heartbroken when we lose any structure,” she said.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

Park City intends to move giant Olympic-era torch sculpture

Park City is preparing for another leg in a torch relay of sorts that dates to the era of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

A giant sculpture of a torch, created by artist Bill Kranstover as the Games approached, first resided along Main Street and was moved to the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive years later.

As City Hall readies to develop an arts and culture district along the two roads, stretching inward from the intersection, the sculpture must be moved again. A City Hall panel known as the Public Art Advisory Board at a meeting earlier in the week recommended the sculpture, which is owned by the municipal government, be moved to a nearby location at 1251 Kearns Blvd. The sculpture would remain under the ownership of City Hall and maintenance would remain the responsibility of the municipality. It would be put in a location where it remains visible to the public. The 1251 Kearns Blvd. owner would fund the move.

The Park City Council is expected to consider the move at a meeting in October.

The sculpture was originally installed outside the building along Main Street that at the time housed the Kimball Art Center. It stood above the high-profile intersection of Main Street and Heber Avenue during the Olympics and then for years afterward, becoming a landmark on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip.

The Kimball Art Center eventually considered development options for the property, with the deck where the torch sculpture was located being prime ground in any expansion of the organization’s building. The Kearns Boulevard-Bonanza Drive intersection, one of the busiest in Park City, was ultimately selected as the next location for the sculpture. It has stood there for nearly a decade. The Kimball Art Center opted to sell the Old Town property instead of pursuing its own development there, and the buyer has since put up a building on the land where the sculpture once was located.

City Hall holds plans to develop an arts and culture district and is making a series of moves in preparation for the commencement of the major work. Buildings will be demolished and then the arts and culture district, expected to be anchored by the Kimball Art Center and the Utah headquarters of the Sundance Institute, will be built. The sculpture’s current location at the intersection is within the footprint of the arts and culture district.

The land at 1251 Kearns Blvd., known as the location of The Yard, is under the ownership of a business entity involving Mark J. Fischer and John Paul DeJoria. A representative of the business entity, Mike Sweeney, addressed the Public Art Advisory Board, saying it is important that the sculpture remain. He called it “kind of like a beacon” as he noted the plans to develop an arts and culture district. Sweeney said the sculpture would work in a spot so close to the district.

The 1251 Kearns Blvd. location would ensure one of the largest physical legacies from the Olympic era remains visible. The sculpture and the Olympic Welcome Plaza at the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Park Avenue are two of the most prominent physical Games reminders inside Park City.

The Park City area hosted upward of half of the competitions during the Olympics while Main Street was turned into a pedestrian-only celebration zone for the Games. The sculpture was seen by the masses in 2002 and for years afterward highlighted the importance of arts to the community. It also served a more utilitarian role as a meeting point along Main Street.

House District 28 race pits prominent Democrat against political newcomer

For the first time since 2012, voters will choose who represents them in the state Legislature’s House District 28.

Political newcomer Carol Hunter, a Republican from Salt Lake City, is mounting a campaign against incumbent Rep. Brian King, the House minority leader and one of the most prominent Democrats in the Statehouse.

King, who is vying for his seventh term, did not face a general election opponent in the previous three election cycles. That, Hunter said, is precisely why she decided to run, declaring her candidacy on the final day of the filing window in the spring when no other Republicans had entered the race.

“That just is wrong,” she said of King going unchallenged in recent elections. “You have to be reminded that you work for people. And if you don’t have a competitor, it’s hard to get that reminder.”

For his part, King said he is running again to push a progressive agenda in the largely Republican Legislature. He added that representing the slice of Summit County that is in District 28 — Summit Park and a part of Pinebrook — is important to him as the lone Democrat among left-leaning Summit County’s Statehouse delegation.

“I don’t represent a huge part of (the county), but I think it’s very important for Summit to have the voice of the Legislature that is not just coming through the Republicans but is coming through a Democrat,” he said.

Hunter, a consulting engineer and former vice president at Rocky Mountain Power, identified environmental responsibility as a key plank of her platform. She said she oversaw energy-efficiency programs during more than three decades at Rocky Mountain Power and aims on Capitol Hill to bring “the science and the economics to the table” to address air quality and promote clean modes of transportation. She added that her background gives her the skills to make progress on environmental issues.

“One thing you learn really quick is building consensus,” she said. “If you can’t get consensus real quick, stuff doesn’t get done and, ultimately, either the economy suffers or people suffer. That’s true in the utility business, and I also think it’s true in the business of government.”

King, too, highlighted issues like clean water, clean air and protecting public lands. He also intends to continue to promote gun control legislation, as he has in recent legislative sessions, though with little success.

“The only way that we’re going to make progress on gun violence is if we have people stepping up and saying, ‘This is a priority’ and they start voting in a way that reflects those priorities,” he said. “In other words, you have to have candidates who are concerned that if they don’t address gun violence, they’re not going to get the vote of people and are going to lose elections.”

The candidates, meanwhile, have differing views about the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. King praised Gov. Gary Herbert’s overall leadership but characterized his unwillingness to enact a statewide mask mandate as “inexplicable.”

He added that state officials should not view steps to fight the pandemic as a choice between public health and the economy.

“That’s a false choice,” he said. “Any public servant or candidate who talks about this in that way should not get anybody’s vote because it misunderstands a fundamental truth, which is that our economy is going to reopen successfully only to the degree that the virus is contained.”

Hunter said she wears a mask in public but has mixed feelings about a statewide mandate, indicating that she has “great faith in Utahns that they will do the right thing.”

“I personally have a personal mandate to wear a mask and to socially distance,” she said. “And I would pray that everybody has that. But do I criticize the governor for not making a mandate? I don’t know. I go both directions on that.”

The November election will be conducted primarily through mail-in balloting. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 23, with ballots slated to be mailed to registered voters three weeks before Election Day Nov. 3. For more information, visit the Summit County Clerk’s website at summitcounty.org/281/Voter-Registration-Elections.

Park City told to consider one-way route on busy road

There are some who want traffic to depart Old Town on Park Avenue outbound.

But not return on the same road.

Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council on Thursday evening received input from someone describing what would be a dramatic change to the traffic flow in tightly packed Old Town. Peter Tomai, who lives on Park Avenue, addressed the elected officials remotely as they held a discussion about concepts to temporarily redesign the stretch of road between the Deer Valley Drive-Empire Avenue intersection and the intersection with 9th Street, a heavily traveled section of Park Avenue.

Tomai spoke about the prospects of that section of road being made into a one-way route in the outbound direction. There are numerous residences on Park Avenue between the two intersections as well as the Park City Library and one of the entrances to City Park. Under the concept outlined by Tomai, traffic headed into the Main Street core would be shifted to Deer Valley Drive, a road with more capacity than Park Avenue.

In an interview afterward, Tomai said he wants the one-way route to be considered as a long-term solution. Two-way traffic on Park Avenue, he said, “leads to abuse of the residential zone” with commercial traffic and ridesharing vehicles on the road.

“It’s too tempting to just go straight up Park Avenue for through traffic,” Tomai said.

A similar concept was instituted during the Sundance Film Festival in January and was among the most aggressive measures City Hall has taken to combat traffic during Sundance. Drivers needed an access pass for two-way traffic on that section of Park Avenue. Traffic is especially bad during Sundance and officials over the years have made moves to discourage drivers like increasing parking prices in the Main Street core and heavily restricting other parking, deciding on the one-way route for the event earlier this year.

Making such an alteration to the functioning of Park Avenue on a broader basis would require an extensive discussion that would be expected to involve the neighborhood, businesses along Park Avenue and in the Main Street core and City Hall transportation planners as well as the Park City Police Department.

Some of the people who live along that section of Park Avenue or on nearby streets would be anticipated to support a one-way route, which would be expected to reduce traffic and make turning easier. Others, though, could criticize a concept as eliminating one of the key Old Town routes.

The elected officials for now opted against pursuing a concept like the one described by Tomai with the possibility of discussions later between City Hall and the neighborhood. A timeline is not clear. Several of the city councilors mentioned a one-way route in their comments, but none of them dwelled on the idea.

The City Council wants staffers to move forward with an option that calls for a redesign of Park Avenue with parking on the curb and an adjacent southbound bicycle lane. The mayor and City Council also touched on the speed limit on Park Avenue with talk of a reduction to a 15 mph limit. More research was desired before moving forward with a different speed limit.

Park City police declare Black Lives Matter mural vandalism a cold case, a ‘discouraging’ outcome

The Park City Police Department will no longer put resources toward the investigation of an act of vandalism last summer that targeted a large Black Lives Matter mural on Main Street and another mural with a social justice theme, acknowledging the agency was unable to generate further leads to follow in the case.

The Police Department recently shifted the status of the investigation to inactive, meaning the agency considers the vandalism a cold case. The police will not spend time on an inactive case unless new leads are generated. In the case of the vandalism, there were limited leads from the outset, and it seems unlikely two months later significant new ones could be generated.

“We are not actively pursuing anything further. We have no additional leads to follow up on,” said Darwin Little, a police lieutenant who was heavily involved in the investigation, adding that the police have “come up dry” in the probe.

The vandalism occurred just days after artists created the murals on Main Street over the Fourth of July weekend. The giant Black Lives Matter mural, measuring 300 feet in length and with 14-foot-tall letters, especially drew attention as it was created. The murals were designed to advance City Hall’s social equity efforts.

The vandal or vandals in the overnight hours several days later covered the word “Black” with gray paint and covered a clenched fist symbol that stood for the letter “I” in the word “Lives.” One of the other murals, reading “Peace, Unity, Love” was also targeted. The artist who created the Black Lives Matter mural returned to Main Street a short time later to repair the vandalized artwork and slightly alter the piece. The murals, which are temporary, have largely faded in the two-plus months since they were made.

The Police Department in late August cleared a person of interest in the case. The police focused the investigation on the Davis County man shortly after the vandalism. The police said an officer stopped a vehicle late at night several days later and found the driver matched the description of a person seen on surveillance footage from the night of the vandalism obtained from a Main Street business. The police said at the time perpetrators sometimes return to the scene to observe the location after a crime is committed.

The man was never arrested or charged after a police interview. The man told the police he was not in Park City the night of the vandalism and that he had demonstrated in support of the Black Lives Matter movement or in protest of the police killing of George Floyd. The police, though, learned the man once worked for a paint contractor and said enough paint was used in the vandalism to cover 2,000 square feet of the Main Street asphalt.

The Police Department obtained a search warrant and further permission from the man to gather GPS data from the person’s mobile phone. The information showed the phone was not in Park City the night of the vandalism, leading the police to clear the person.

Little acknowledged the Davis County man was the only viable lead in the investigation. The lieutenant said the Police Department spent at least 20 man-hours on the investigation, including the initial response, canvassing Main Street, reviewing surveillance footage, executing the search warrant, interviewing the person of interest and interviewing former employers of the person.

He said graffiti cases are difficult since the perpetrators work so quickly. Little said an act of graffiti is a “very frustrating crime” and “very tough to solve.”

“Discouraging we could not report back to the community with a positive outcome, with closure to it,” Little said.

Park City police blotter: Loud rap music heard in Old Town

On Sunday, Sept. 13 at 11:13 p.m., a person suspected to be intoxicated was reported at or close to the intersection of Main Street and 7th Street. Public police logs did not provide details.

A suspected vehicle burglary was reported on S.R. 224 at 8:59 a.m. Public police logs did not provide details about the losses or any damage to the vehicle.

People were reported to be loud and playing loud music somewhere along Daly Avenue at 1:38 a.m. Earlier that night, at 12:44 a.m., the police received a complaint from Daly Avenue about people “blaring rap music.” It was not clear from public police logs whether the cases were reported at the same location. The police logged the cases as suspected disturbing the peace.

On Saturday, Sept. 12 at 11:29 p.m., a suspected drunken driver was reported on Marsac Avenue. Public police logs did not provide details.

The police at 3:10 p.m. received a complaint from someone about a neighbor who was playing loud music on Iron Canyon Drive. The person told the police it was “not relaxing” to be outside, according to department logs. The case was logged as suspected disturbing the peace.

On Friday, Sept. 11 at 11:59 p.m., someone on Norfolk Avenue reported “hearing drunk party noise.” The police logged the case as suspected disturbing the peace.

A hit-and-run traffic accident was reported on Stein Way at 11:18 p.m. The victim’s vehicle was in a garage at the time and found damage to the back of the vehicle, the police said.

A police officer stopped a driver at 5:19 p.m., indicating the person made a prohibited turn from Marsac Avenue to Hillside Avenue.

The police at 12:14 p.m. received a complaint about the scent of natural gas on Main Street close to Swede Alley. The police were told customers on Main Street told the person who called the authorities.

On Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7:02 p.m., the police were told of a confrontation on Main Street. A man, described as tall, having a pot belly and having gray hair with blue eyes, approached others “very angry saying they hit his car,” according to department logs. The people indicated they were not close to the vehicle and then drove off “because he got aggressive,” the police were told. The police logs indicated the confrontation was not physical.

A hit-and-run traffic accident was reported at or close to the intersection of Heber Avenue and Swede Alley at 4:45 p.m. Public police logs did not provide details. In an apparently unrelated case, a hit-and-run report was logged at 2:15 p.m. on Empire Avenue. The damage in the Empire Avenue case occurred sometime in the six days prior to the report.

The police at 1:30 p.m., received a complaint from someone on Prospector Avenue about a neighbor who was “blasting football.” The police classified the case as suspected disturbing the peace. A camper was reported to be on fire along S.R. 248 in the vicinity of Quinn’s Junction at 11:38 a.m. The camper was located close to a trail crossing, the police were told.

The Police Department at 9:21 a.m. was informed that a taxi firm had reportedly been using Miners Hospital as a location for staging. The practice had occurred for several weeks, the police were told.

On Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 4:24 p.m., a driver hit a vehicle in a Bonanza Drive parking lot, the police were told.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 6:26 p.m., a driver hit a car on Main Street and left the scene before returning, the police were told.

On Monday, Sept. 7 at 9:54 p.m., up to four people were reported to be stuck in an elevator on Prospector Avenue.

Park City police pull over fast-moving drivers, including a case involving interstate speeds

The Park City Police Department last week pulled over drivers who, the agency said, were traveling at speeds well above the posted limits, including in one case someone driving at interstate-highway speeds on one of the entryways.

The police regularly conduct traffic patrols that net drivers for speeding and other violations. Speeding has long been one of the top law enforcement complaints of people in Park City.

Some of the cases last week included:

• on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 11:08 p.m., a police officer pulled over a driver at or close to the intersection of Park Avenue and Holiday Ranch Loop Road, indicating the vehicle was traveling at 50 mph in a location where the posted speed limit is 40 mph. The driver also “rolled through” a stoplight while making a turn while the light was red, the police said.

• on Sept. 12 at 7:11 p.m., an officer pulled over a driver on S.R. 248 in the vicinity of Quinn’s Junction, indicating the person was traveling at 68 mph in a location where the posted speed limit is 50 mph. The police said the driver acknowledged they were speeding and said they were “running late to the rodeo,” according to department logs.

• on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 1:35 p.m., a driver was stopped on S.R. 224 at 53 mph in a location where the posted speed limit is 40 mph.

• on Sept. 8 at 1:15 p.m., a driver was pulled over on S.R. 224 at 54 mph in a location where the posted speed limit is 40 mph.

• on Monday, Sept. 7 at 9:05 a.m., a driver was stopped on S.R. 224 at 59 mph in a location where the posted speed limit is 40 mph. Someone in the vehicle acknowledged the driver was speeding, indicating they were “in a hurry to get to the airport,” the police said.

• on Sept. 7 at 7:24 a.m., a driver was pulled over at 60 mph in a location where the posted speed limit is 40 mph on Marsac Avenue.

The police on Sept. 12 at 8:12 p.m., meanwhile, pulled over a driver after, according to department logs, the person drove the wrong way on a one-way road. The person was pulled over on the 1300 block of Lowell Avenue, but it was not clear from the logs where the suspected violation occurred.

The Police Department last week reported numerous other traffic stops for what appeared to be minor offenses in various locations.

Speeding and other traffic offenses have long been one of the chief law enforcement complaints in Park City as Parkites especially worry about speeding drivers in neighborhoods. The Police Department regularly conducts traffic patrols.

Deer Valley owner says reservations at this point are not required to ski

Deer Valley Resort owner Alterra Mountain Company on Monday outlined some of the details of the plans for the first ski season in the era of social distancing, indicating reservations as of now will not be needed to ski at Deer Valley during the upcoming season.

The firm, though, said it will put in temporary regulations or eliminate some sorts of day passes to control the number of people on the slopes. It said the plans could be modified, but operational changes designed to address social distancing can be accomplished that eliminate the requirement of a reservation system.

The firm also eliminated walk-up sales of lift tickets, meaning that advance purchase is necessary for daily lift tickets. It said most products with undated lift tickets have been discontinued for now.

The Colorado-based Alterra Mountain Company release did not address the individual resorts. Deer Valley has long capped the number of skiers allowed on the slopes on any given day. It was not clear whether the social distancing measures would impact the skier caps at Deer Valley, long a key selling point of the resort that is meant to reduce crowds. The release also said skiers can learn details about safety measures from the individual resorts.

Deer Valley is scheduled to open on Dec. 5. Deer Valley anticipates releasing more information about resort season passes and the resort’s operations plan by the middle of October.

“The health and safety of all guests and employees is a top priority for all Ikon Pass destinations and each will help minimize the risk of contagion by following all local and federal health and safety protocols. All guests should check with each destination prior to arrival to learn about face covering requirements, social distancing, and cleanliness and disinfection protocols and any other requirements that might impact their visit,” the release said.

The Deer Valley website early in the week continued to offer information about the summer operations plans designed to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. The summer operations includes steps like cleaning, limits on guests, social distancing in lift lines and restrictions on restaurant seating.

The website early in the week did not include a readily available operations plan for the winter. It seems likely Deer Valley later in the fall will provide more details about the ski season operations. Information about topics like the restaurant seating, ski lessons and the management of lift lines and lift seating is likely forthcoming. Some of the details are expected to depend on the public health orders in place at the time.

The information from Alterra Mountain Company was released less than three months prior to the scheduled start of the ski season at Deer Valley. It was also timed shortly after Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts outlined its plans for the ski season. The Vail Resorts blueprints, offering significantly more detail than the initial plans released by Alterra Mountain Company on Monday, include a reservation system. The system is crucial to the overall operations plans at Vail Resorts properties like PCMR.

Park City summer sales offer some comfort as Main Street businesses await the winter

Main Street was still struggling in late June, the traditional start of the busiest stretch of the summer-tourism season in Park City, after the novel coronavirus forced an early end to the ski season and widespread business shutdowns in the spring.

There was little activity on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip, and some businesses remained closed by choice with sales on the street still slow. The leader of the Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents businesses in the Main Street core, at about that time indicated there were approximately 10 businesses under threat of closing permanently based on the drop in sales on a year-over-year basis. Alison Kuhlow, the executive director of the organization, at the time called the future uncertain for the approximately 10 businesses, which represented a range of industries like restaurant and retail.

As Park City enters the fall shoulder season, a stretch when sales usually drop from the summer, Main Street is in a stronger position than it was entering the spring shoulder season, Kuhlow said in an interview. The summer was better than anticipated along Main Street, she said, explaining that there remains a danger to some businesses even as others appear to have shown resiliency during the warm-weather months.

The sales in the summer were crucial for the long-term viability of some of the businesses that had been seen as threatened earlier in the year. She said the numbers in July and August especially prepared them for the stretch between Labor Day and the scheduled start of the ski season, when business normally jumps.

“For some, I heard it’s been able to get them there, to feel comfortable making it to December,” Kuhlow said about sales in the summer, adding there is a desire for the ski season to be better than some project. “We’re all hopeful the winter season is going to surprise us.”

Kuhlow made the comments regarding the possibility of permanent closures on Main Street in June, at a point when the economic damage from the early end to the ski season was becoming clear. Unemployment numbers in the Park City area had soared, City Hall had released dire budgetary projections and it was unknown whether visitors would return so quickly.

In the three months since the June comments, Park City has enjoyed a striking comeback even amid the cancellations of a series of special events like the Park Silly Sunday Market, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival and the Tour of Utah bicycling race. City Hall, in a move designed to draw people to Main Street, launched weekly pedestrian days on the street in the summer and fall that have proven to be popular. The community has appeared especially busy on the weekends, with Main Street looking jammed on many evenings. The unemployment numbers dropped sharply even as they remain elevated, and the municipal financials likely have at least stabilized even though projections have been downgraded.

According to Kuhlow, though, the Main Street sales numbers remained depressed during the period between March and the end of July on a year-over-year basis. A survey that garnered 34 responses by Thursday from businesses in the Main Street core showed sales off by an average of 36% during the March-to-July period compared to the same period in the previous year.

The research shows numerous sectors suffered between March and the end of July. Certain categories, though, posted solid sales, she said, pointing to galleries and home furnishings. The strength in galleries and home furnishing stores closely tracked a real estate surge.

Kuhlow in June declined to identify the approximately 10 businesses that were under threat of permanent closure. She continued to guard the list this week but acknowledged the Main Street Deli was one of the businesses that had been under threat in late June. The deli has since permanently closed after what was initially planned to be a temporary shutdown in the spring amid the spread of the sickness.

She said this week there remains concern even after a solid summer. There are unidentified businesses that could still be forced to close in the coming months, she said.

“Definitely still threatened, for sure,” Kuhlow said, adding, “There’s no certainty for winter.”