Dine About helps restaurants thrive during off season | ParkRecord.com

Dine About helps restaurants thrive during off season

Park City event runs from October 1 to 15

Fall is stunning in Park City, but local businesses can find it a challenge to maintain strong sales during the shoulder season. Several restaurants usually close, but the Park City Area Restaurant Association's Dine About helps fill empty seats and keep reservations full.

During the Dine About, restaurants who are members of the association provide a discounted special menu, which lasts from Oct. 1 to the 15, to any locals or visitors that request it.

We're creating a promotion that fuels that grant so that all different walks of nonprofits and our community can benefit in different ways."

The association began this annual event five years ago in order to help restaurants stay afloat between the busy summer and winter seasons, said Ginger Ries, executive director of the association.

"It's a great way for us to drive business to our member restaurants," she said. "And it's a great way for the restaurants to show off their culinary offerings at an amazing price point."

Each year, more restaurants want to participate, she said. There are 32 involved in the promotion, from steak houses to pubs.

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Tupelo, a New American restaurant on Main Street, took part in the Dine About last year and chose to do it again this year because of its success, said General Manager Peter Marcy.

"It significantly helped our business in October last year," he said. "For being our first fall, it certainly helped, and I'd say our reservations are already up 10 percent from where they were last year going into this weekend and next week, so I would think that is partially from the Dine About."

The steady business not only helps Marcy and the owners of Tupelo, but also "boosts the morale of the staff" because they are serving full restaurants.

There is something for local residents to gain, too. They have the ability to try out a new restaurant for a fraction of the cost, Ries said.

"They can go to Chimayo or Riverhorse, some of the high-end restaurants here, to enjoy a three-course dinner for $40 on a beautiful fall evening in Park City," she said.

Plus, a fraction of the money spent goes right back into the community. The additional tax on food goes into the Summit County Tax Grants, from which nonprofits can apply for grants.

"We're creating a promotion that fuels that grant so that all different walks of nonprofits and our community can benefit in different ways," she said.

New restaurants, like Twisted Fern, enjoy the Dine About to see more guests, but also to experiment with menu items and test recipes.

Co-owner Meisha Ross is excited to participate and see both visitors and locals, who she said should take advantage of the off season to see the town through different eyes.

"When it's a little bit slower, it gives Park City residents more of an opportunity to enjoy and experience why so many people come here," she said.