Chamber/Bureau nationally recognized for great service
For 20 years, the Park City Chamber/Bureau has been nudging the community into creating the amenities needed to become a prime meetings and conventions destination.
Now the Chamber/Bureau and community at large are receiving awards and recognitions hands-over-fists.
The Chamber/Bureau has received four this year alone.
Bill Malone, executive director, gives credit to his meetings and conventions staff.
He said Ashley Anderson, marketing manager for the division, and Tonya Sweeten, sales manager, have done an excellent job at both promoting Park City’s product as well as following up with clients to make sure their needs are addressed and met.
When Cathy Miller, marketing director for the Chamber/Bureau, came to town in the 1980s, there were several medium-sized hotels with meeting space that were under-utilized. A lot of the problem, she said, was that most were under receivership.
The meetings and conventions sales department was created and she worked to promote those meeting spaces to the national market. The emphasis was on marketing Park City as a summer mountain destination to improve business for the community during the off-season from May to November.
The hotels were bought, clients responded to the marketing and by the early 1990s, clients were regularly holding conventions here.
Then Miller began noticing a demand for better amenities and transportation for people to enjoy themselves while here in warmer weather.
"Things developed in a kind of chicken-egg, chicken-egg, chicken-egg manner," she joked.
Miller said she remembers the Park City Council member Sally Elliott working to get bus service going year- round. Summer concerts got organized, the resorts started summer activities and, critically, more restaurants stayed open.
"The more we got the product available for meeting planners, the more they liked us for destinations," she said.
The factory stores came in, more shopping was available on Main Street, and as the community evolved, more and more meeting and convention properties were built including the Chateau, The Lodges, and the Grand Summit Hotel.
Anderson said the Olympics were a great chance to show the country how adept Park City was at handling large events.
Miller said Anderson and Sweeten recently did a competitive analysis of resort towns and found others didn’t have an organization like theirs, with a specialized sales team to promote the community as a destination.
"You can’t go to one website or talk to one person in Vail or Aspen and have all the meeting locations accessible. We make it really easy for meeting planners to book Park City," she said.
Anderson said her emphasis is to provide on-line, interactive information that helps clients explore Park City. There’s a lot to do in the area and she wants to make that clear and easy to examine.
She credited many of the industry awards they’ve received this year to Sweeten’s knowledge of what the city has to offer and her personal touch in helping clients find what they need.
Miller said Anderson and Sweeten are able to beat out the competition in providing objective information quickly, and meeting planners appreciate that.
Sweeten said one of the most successful things she does is provide destination scouts with a full experience of the community. Without an organization like theirs, the resorts would never have the resources to give potential visitors an idea of everything the area has to offer.
"Corporate & Incentive Travel" magazine’s 2008 Award of Excellence
2008 "Successful Meetings" magazine’s Pinnacle Award
"Meetings and Conventions" magazine’s Gold Service Award for 2008.
"MeetingNews" 2008 Planners’ Choice Award Top Pick
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.