January 31 editorial
January 30, 2009
The scene on lower Main Street Thursday evening was reminiscent of the good old days in Park City when hosting a World Cup ski race was an excuse to party. Thousands of visitors and locals gathered, partly for the music but also for the camaraderie.
When Park City Mountain Resort began hosting international ski competitions, they knew that Utah audiences, unfamiliar with skiing as a spectator sport, needed a little extra encouragement to line the racecourse. So they turned it into a rock and roll event. The spirited races were such a success that one could say the formula helped to win Utah’s bid to host the Olympics in 2002.
After the Games, though, it seems Parkites were too busy trying to keep up with their newfound popularity, especially during the hectic ski season, to let their hair down. Winter carnivals, snow-sculpture contests and other lighthearted events fell by the wayside.
In the meantime, while Park City may have seemed like a vacation paradise to visitors, locals for the most part, kept their shoulders to the grindstone, like a hostess too busy to enjoy her own party.
And with the discouraging news on the economic front, we wouldn’t have been surprised if the ski areas and the city had chosen to trim their entertainment budgets. It is a lot of work to host two World Cup events at once, even more to kick it off with a street dance. Fortunately, they chose to party on.
Perhaps Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort knew that, in this winter of our discontent, we needed a celebration more than ever.