Park City visitors and locals can take a walk on the wild (west) side with historic tours
The Park City Museum’s historic walking tours are designed to be a fun way for local residents and visitors to get outside, take a stroll down Main Street and learn about the town’s unique Wild West history.
The once-a-day tours, which start at 2 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays through Aug. 28 in front of Grappa Restaurant, 151 Main St., are for groups of six, appropriate for ages 13 and older and last for approximately 75 minutes, said the museum’s Education Director Diane Knispel.
“Because the museum limits how many people it allows in the shop due to COVID protocols, we decided to meet at the top of Main Street at Grappa,” Knispel said. “We are also asking people to wear masks.”
People should also wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water and sunscreen and wear a hat or other sun protection, Knispel said.
Participants can register by emailing Knispel at email@example.com, and reservations and payments must be made 24 hours in advance. The cost for a tour is $10 per person, and a combination ticket for a tour and Park City Museum admission is $22.
“People can go on the tour one day and visit the museum on another,” Knispel said. “As long as they have their receipt, we can do it.”
Advanced reservations are required, she said.
“This way, if we don’t get enough people to sign up, we will cancel the tour so the guides won’t have to come in,” Knipsel said.
The tours start right at 2 p.m., so Knispel asks participants to meet at Grappa at least 10 minutes early.
“Normally we would meet at the museum and take the trolley up the street,” she said. “But we didn’t know if people would be comfortable riding the trolley and the trolley schedule could change because of everything going on.”
After the group meets, the guides will lead them down the street and talk about the different buildings, personalities and events from Park City’s mining days, including the Great Fire of 1898 that took out most of Main Street’s commercial buildings, Knispel said.
Knispel and museum Executive Director Sandra Morrison took a few days to decide whether or not to actually host the summer historic walking tours this year.
“We had to make sure our tour guides were comfortable doing it, and we needed to know how they wanted to do it this year,” Knispel said. “We knew we were going to limit each group to six people because we have to share the sidewalk with all the other Park City visitors. And we wanted to ensure everyone’s safety.”
If a family or group of more than six people want to take a walking tour, they need to make arrangements with Knispel.
“We can split into two groups, or we can do a special tour, at a different price,” she said.
Knispel is happy the museum is able to offer walking tours again.
“First of all, we like to share Park City’s history with people,” she said. “And the only way we thought we could do this is because the tours take place outside.”
All tours may be canceled due to inclement weather, according to Knispel.
“It has to get really bad when it comes down to it,” she said with a laugh. “We’ll still do them if it’s drizzling, and I think we’ve only had to cancel two tours in the past four or five years.”
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Aiko ready for a two-night jam session in Park City.