Full of holiday cheer, tourists make their way to Park City | ParkRecord.com

Full of holiday cheer, tourists make their way to Park City

The snow came down, blanketing Park City and ensuring there would be, after all, a white Christmas. But what has really turned the town into a winter wonderland for the local lodging industry is something else entirely: people.

Bill Malone, president of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, said the Christmas weekend is typically the biggest of the year. This year has been no different, with an influx of arrivals Friday, Dec. 26, and Saturday, Dec. 27, that has the town nearly full.

"While there still might be lodging available, it’s coming in holes and a day here and a day there or unusual properties that didn’t book," Malone said, adding that bookings have been in line with last year’s numbers. "It pretty much is hard to find a room, but there are always rooms available in town."

Emily Summers, communications manager at Deer Valley Resort, said the lodging the resort operates — as well as most of the other lodging in the Deer Valley area — is at capacity this week. While not out of the ordinary for this time of year, selling out is crucial to getting the winter off to the right start.

"It’s definitely the busiest week of the year. It’s a very important week," Summers said, adding the resort’s lodging is booked up through Jan. 4.

Deer Valley’s tally appears to be the norm in town. Chris Eggleton, general manager of Newpark Resort and president of the Park City Area Lodging Association, said Friday in an e-mail response to The Park Record that the hotel was at capacity over the weekend and booked at more than 90 percent through the New Year.

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"It is a busy time and Mother Nature is certainly helping with some snow," he said.

Speaking of snow, Malone said the Christmas weekend is typically the only one of the year not impacted by snowfall, since most people make their reservations well in advance.

"Christmas fills up no matter what the snow is like," he said.

However, that doesn’t mean that this week’s snowfall won’t end up paying dividends. Word of how much snow is on the slopes in Park City has a way of spreading quickly, Malone said.

"My favorite part of this is these people get to go back to work next week and tell people how much it snowed here," he said. "That’s always a great part of having it snow while people are here on vacation. Having people here when it snows like this, they become evangelists for the conditions. Our numbers looking forward through the rest of the season are looking really favorable. Snow at this time could go a long way in making this one of the best seasons ever."

Summers said making sure people know about the snowfall is Deer Valley’s top priority. She said the snow will likely help fill rooms during Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which no longer falls during Sundance Film Festival, when the town is already booked up.

"That’s where the natural snow is really going to help," she said. "We’re producing videos daily, we do e-mail blasts. That’s our No. 1 thing right now, communicating where the snow levels are."