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Guest Editorial

Submitted by Justin Wessel, Park City

Park Silly? Park Silly? O.K. whatever. That’s not why I am writing this. All of my neighbors in Old Town look now like George Costanza. From the time this town began (as a ski town) starting with Treasure Mountain (now PCMR), Snow Park (now Deer Valley) and Ecker Hill, the residents have enjoyed and lived the culture of skiing/riding and the lifestyle that comes along with it. Many locals, especially in Old Town, were ski/snow bums (come on, you’re with me on this one, right?) that all knew each other and helped each other out. I’m not saying it was some perfect utopia but it wasn’t too bad. The majority of the workers at the resorts/restaurants etc. were locals livin’ the life, living right next to the resorts, walking to work and skiing everyday. Most of them were paying cheap rent in old miners’ houses.

Flash forward to October 14, 2007, Old Town, Park City, Utah, USA, 84060. All of my neighbors look like George Costanza and that lady from "Murder She Wrote." All of the old miners’ shacks have been remodeled or torn down and replaced with million-dollar condos or "timeshares." Timeshares and million-, 2 million-, 3 million-dollar condos. Hey, you want to live in Old Town by the good old ski lift? It’s only 3 million for a 1,000-square-foot condo. Or go by a timeshare. Then you could actually walk right to the lift for two whole weeks of the year!

Old Town residents now consist more of rich retired people who want to buy the property as an investment. A lot of these new residents (if they even live full time in their million-dollar investments) don’t even ski. Ever. They go to bed at 8:30 and complain about the ski bums/few remaining locals for keeping them up at night. For god sake, Old Town is a respectable upper-class neighborhood now! Million dollar condos on every block! These rich retired people need their sleep! Have some respect.

Golly! I’m starting to ramble a little bit so I’m going to try to wrap it up. Wrap it up! Wrap it up with a nice little bow tie and send it to Dana "Rock N Roll" Williams (I love Dana).

OK, now I am really rambling. It seems like there is a lot more class division in Park City nowadays. There’s the really rich who live in their investment properties for a couple months of the year, and then there’s all the foreign labor force living 4-5 people to a room in the hard to find, crappy, low-income housing; waiting on and cleaning up after all the uber rich people of Park City and Deer Valley. A lot of the "old locals" who don’t want to live 4-5 people to a room and, last time they checked, just didn’t have that "spare million" to buy a condo now live in Heber or Kamas or, god forbid, SALT LAKE (too many peoples down there for a good ole’ boy like myself).

I am not writing this because I am mad or because I am happy. It is just an observation not meant to offend or upset anyone. Where did all the young people go? Where did the middle class go? Where did the ski bums go? Where? Why? Where’s all my friends? How come everyone lives in Heber now? Why can’t I walk to the ski lift anymore?

Why? Ask George Costanza.

P.S. Park Silly? Park Silly Market? What’s up with that name? Nice.


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