Savor the Summit will take a break next year to evaluate and improve annual dinner party
The Park City Area Restaurant Association announced this week that Savor the Summit will take next summer off, but, according to Executive Director Ginger Wicks, the break will not be a vacation.
Instead, she and her crew will form a committee and take time to reevaluate Park City’s largest outdoor dinner party, which has been an annual event featuring an iconic mile-long dining table that runs down Main Street.
“Because it’s such a big event, we haven’t been able to really do a deep dive and examine what works for the restaurants, and what the guests really like and what they don’t like,” Wicks said. “So we we’re starting the deep dive immediately.”
The committee will include City Hall representatives, restaurant owners and event sponsors, including Casey Metzger from Top Shelf, and Brian Richards from Mountain Town Music, according to Wicks.
“We by no means want to stop the event,” she said. “We want to make sure whatever comes out of the brainstorming will be a good collaborative effort.”
Savor the Summit started 13 years ago as a multi-day event on upper Main Street in conjunction with the now-defunct Park City Jazz Festival, which was held at Deer Valley Resort.
Back then, the burgeoning Park City Restaurant Association boasted 27 members, and the first year only six restaurants participated, Wicks said.
Today, the association lists more than 80 restaurants, and each year between 25 and 30 participated in Savor the Summit, she said.
“Savor the Summit has obviously evolved over the years,” she said. “The community has also changed, and the pulse of the restaurant community has changed. So, we want to see how we can make it bigger and better.”
One of the issues the committee will examine is attendance, Wicks said.
“In the old days, if you didn’t get a reservation early, you weren’t eating, and we have noticed that has changed in the past couple of years,” she said. “Not all of the restaurants sell out, and we want to take a look at that.”
Wicks also wants to see how the event can address more of the restaurants’ individual needs.
“The amount of work the restaurants put into the event is incredible, and the perception is that they are making a lot of money, but that’s not the case for many of them,” she said.
Part of that concern is due to equipment rentals for off-site kitchens and the various food handling and liquor permits that come into play, according to Wicks.
“So we are really going to see if what everyone is getting out of Savor the Summit matches their goals,” she said. “And we’re also going to find out what the restaurants’ goals are now.”
If all goes well, the association will have a good idea of what the new Savor the Summit will look like in the early spring of 2021.
“That’s the start of the grant cycle, and if we’re going to do something that maybe will need help with funding, it will be the time to apply,” she said.
Wick also knows taking 2020 off has disappointed many people who have made Savor the Summit a tradition.
“It is an iconic event for the members and visitors of the community, and by no means do we want to take it away from them,” she said. “We just want to give it a fresh coat of paint, and unveil an even more memorable experience for our guests when we return in 2021.”
For information, visit savorthesummit.com.
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