An outpouring of support for Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitality Award winners
When Jana and Gary Cole found out nearly a month ago they would be receiving the 2015 Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitality Award from the Park City Chamber/Bureau, they didn’t fully understand how important the honor was.
On Wednesday, surrounded by an outpouring of gratitude from people they’ve known for decades and have come to consider family, the Coles found out what the recognition truly means.
"For everyone to be there for us and to say such nice things was really special," said Jana Cole in an interview with The Park Record. "Today was just overwhelming."
The award honors those who have made significant contributions to the Park City community. On Wednesday, during the Chamber/Bureau’s 2015 annual meeting, a handful of longtime Parkites took the stage to outline why, exactly, the Coles were worthy recipients.
Teri Orr, executive director of the Park City Institute, shared memories of when she first came to town, several decades ago. Jana Cole taught her son’s second-grade class. Gary Cole, known for his singing voice, became a frequent participant in plays Orr helped to produce.
Once, he appeared as Dolly Parton, Orr recalled. Another time, he played Lancelot.
"The man looked good in tights," Orr joked, to laughter from the audience.
Gary’s participation in those early performances eventually grew into the Coles becoming one of the Park City Institute’s most frequent supporters.
"Since we opened (the Eccles Center), they have underwritten shows every single season, summer and winter, for 19 years," Orr said. "No one else in our organization has done that.
"They are good humans who have done good deeds all the years I’ve known them."
Jesse Hunt, director of the Park City Ski Team, took the microphone to thank the Coles for supporting sport in Park City. He said they have been instrumental in the success of the annual Park City Ski Team July 4 5K Fun Run, which the Coles have helped organize since 1982. They spend their own time to ensure the event runs smoothly and lend the staff and resources of their outdoor gear retail store, Cole Sport, which has long been a fixture in town.
"This is a family that really is part of and engaged in what they’re doing," Hunt said. "You can feel the passion."
After the ceremony, the Coles said they were incredibly touched by the display of affection their fellow Parkites had shown them. They said many in the community have become family, and Park City has become an integral part of who they are.
"We felt like we became part of the community," Jana Cole said in an interview. "I feel that Gary and I grew up together as Park City grew up. We grew right along with this town."
A study pegged the number of Sundance Film Festival attendees at 122,313, with the event generating an economic impact of $182.5 million. Both numbers represent a slight decrease from the 2018 festival.