Park City business holiday sales delayed, spiked in the end
Retail shops look forward with anticipation to the holiday season to wrap up the year. Though sales were off to a slow start, many businesses around Park City pulled through in the end.
The reaction to November and December sales was the same across the board, though.
“A lot of people waited until the end to shop,” said Delilah Gervais, owner of Splendor Beauty Emporium in Redstone.
From online sales at Backcountry.com to small businesses like the beauty shop Splendor, it seemed that people were procrastinating, both those purchasing Christmas gifts and those visiting the town.
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Gervais said that the late timing of Christmas and schools’ holiday break might have had something to do with the delayed spike from visitor sales. Lodging rates and visitation numbers were reflective of that, said Bill Malone, president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.
The peak days of overnight visitation occurred during Dec. 28 and 29, compared to the usual peak days of the 26th and 27th. Lodging reservations were below normal until a few days after Christmas, he said.
Malone said that, since resorts did not have as much of the mountain open compared to past years, some visitors spent less time on the mountain and more time shopping. The Tanger Outlets saw large amounts of visitors, said Candice Wilson, general manager, and stores on Main Street saw a bigger spike in sales than usual.
Somer Gardiner, owner of Olive and Tweed and Timbre Art Loft on Main Street said that the week before Christmas was slower than normal, but the week after was above average.
But even businesses that do not depend on foot traffic saw a shift in shopping behaviors this year.
Will Sladek, general manager of Backcountry and Competitive Cyclist, which has its headquarters in Redstone, said that the company’s holiday sales were unusual. The spike shifted much closer to Christmas compared to previous years, which he said could be because people are used to ordering on Amazon and receiving their gifts in one to two days.
“The quality of service that generally is being delivered to people is increasing at an exponential rate,” he said. “People don’t feel the need to adjust to the retail calendar, they expect us to adjust to them.”
Sue Fassett, manager at Dolly’s Bookstore, said that the shop is perfect for procrastinators, so their sales peaked the same time as they always do. Although the snow conditions brought visitors to the bookstore later in the month, Parkites purchasing locally through the month helped keep sales steady.
Although business owners, such as Gardiner, said many visitors left earlier this year, many are hopeful that the rest of the winter season will bring the sales and visitors they are all hoping for.
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After a ski season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, action will soon return to Park City’s mountains.