Park City Pulse: Park City won the winter |

Park City Pulse: Park City won the winter

Destimetrics attributes these mixed signals to national economic trends causing consumers to pull back on their intent to travel

Jennifer Wesselhoff Park City Chamber/Bureau president and CEO
Jennifer Wesselhoff, president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau. | Courtesy photo

Longtime NBC News anchor Edwin Newman once posted a story in which a victorious candidate was asked by a reporter, befuddled by polls about the candidate’s showing with this or that micro-constituency, if the evening had been a success. “I won the election, if that’s what you mean,” the candidate replied.

The anecdote came to mind as I reviewed data on our 22/23 season and comparisons with recent years. The statistics can be parsed in different ways, but yes, Park City won the winter.

“At long last, snow!” is how Tom Foley of lodging industry analytics firm Destimetrics/Inntopia described the improved economies of winter mountain destinations. In Park City, Destimetrics reports average hotel occupancy for the last six months was at 45%, 2% better than last year’s six-month span. Average daily rates went up 11% in those six months, averaging $687, and peaked in February at $986, a 17% jump from February 2022. In addition to Mother Nature, Destimetrics credits excellent marketing and hoteliers’ sophisticated rate management for a successful season.

Summit County’s positive tax revenues indicate a robust local economy. Compared to the previous year, November sales tax revenues were up 8.3%; December was up 6% and January showed a 6.7% increase. This is on top of gains in the previous Nov./Dec./Jan.  span of 20%, 21% and 32%. 

Restaurants are also doing well based on taxes paid to the county. Restaurant tax collections bested 2022 by 4.6% in November, 25.6% in December, and 25.4% for January. As with the sales tax, these gains were measured against 2022, which saw double-digit increases over 2021.

Transient Room Taxes paid by hotel guests were mixed, down by 24.3% and 5.8% in November and December compared to 2022 before bouncing back in January, besting last year by 24.5%.

Despite a slight increase in the six-month average, paid occupancy was lower than last season in December, February, and March, exceeding last year only in January. Bookings for the next six months are down by 9%, although the average daily rate is up 9.5 percent.

Destimetrics attributes these mixed signals to national economic trends causing consumers to pull back on their intent to travel. A lower inflation rate means prices are still rising, albeit more slowly. Consumer confidence is down since mid-November, as is the Dow. Even faster-than-expected job creation is not all positive, Destimetrics says, since it does not incentivize the Fed to reduce interest rates.

How these trends will affect us in 2023 remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, though. Much fun will be had at our first annual Snow Day on Thursday at Park City Mountain. We’ll be there from 9 to 3; partners can join us anytime. We promise no meetings, speakers, or programs – just a day of fun on the mountain. We’ll wrap up with a member mixer at Legacy Lodge from 4 to 6 with food, drinks, and good times. You will need to register and pay $20 for the mixer (visit the member’s section of, but no registration is necessary to ski with us. We’ll meet at 9 a.m. at Harvest at the Base, and if you don’t have a Park City Mountain pass, we have 50 discounted day passes for just $50. Huge thanks to Chamber partner Park City Mountain for helping make this happen.

Don’t forget to use transit or carpool — and we will see you on the mountain!

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