2021 Tour of Utah, normally a jammed day in Park City, canceled based on coronavirus worries
The decision is more evidence that the economic impact of pandemic will stretch well into 2021
The organizers of the Tour of Utah bicycling race, one of the largest events on the summertime-tourism calendar in Park City, have canceled the event in 2021 out of concern for the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, the second consecutive year the event has been canceled based on worries about the sickness.
In a statement, the chair of the tour, Steve Miller, said the organizers want the event to return in 2022.
“Due to the challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and the Tour of Utah Ultimate Challenge are postponed in 2021. We continue to plan for resuming these events in 2022,” Miller said in the statement.
The Tour of Utah, a stage race, covers a wide swath of northern Utah. Park City, though, has served as the finish line of the final stage. The race has drawn large crowds to Park City for the last day of the race, as spectators watch the bicyclists leave Main Street at the start of the last stage and then return to the street later that day for the finish line.
The day is jammed in Park City. Many of the spectators spend the day on Main Street, which is closed to traffic for the race course, vendor displays and activities related to the race. A festive atmosphere is pervasive on the day as the crowds cheer the riders on as they leave and then return for the finish line.
The event’s final day is typically timed for early August. In the past the Tour of Utah stage in Park City has been scheduled within a short time of the Park City Kimball Art Festival, creating an especially busy stretch for the tourism industry.
The organizers in April of 2020 canceled that year’s edition of the Tour of Utah during the initial months of the pandemic. The cancellation was one of the early signals that the economic impacts of the coronavirus would stretch well into the summer after an early end to the 2019-2020 ski season.
The cancellation of the Tour of Utah in 2021 is more evidence that the economic impacts of the sickness will last well into this year. The information from the race organizers follows several weeks after the Savor the Summit dining event on Main Street was canceled for 2021. It had been planned in June.
Another high-profile summertime event in Park City, the Park Silly Sunday Market, though, is scheduled to open in June after the weekly event was canceled in 2020.
The state of the spread of the sickness in the summer is the key unknown for event organizers. It is difficult to predict if there will be any restrictions on crowd sizes at the time the events are held later in 2021, as an example.
An event like the Tour of Utah, covering jurisdictions across a wide swath of the region, requires an especially involved planning and approval process. Organizers said the event in 2019 drew 400,000 spectators throughout the course.
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Park City Attorney Margaret Plane recently sent a memo to elected and appointed officials, as well as candidates in the City Hall election, cautioning them about making public statements regarding development proposals. The memo outlines that stands on planning and zoning matters could jeopardize a later process, such as when a decision by the Planning Commission is put to the City Council through an appeal.