Park City business group casts unanimous vote in support of Main Street pedestrian days
Historic Park City Alliance overwhelmingly wants car-free program extended into 2021
The leadership of the Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents businesses in the Main Street core, on Tuesday voted in favor of holding pedestrian days on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip in 2021, a decision that was needed before the organization engages City Hall in more detailed talks.
The organization’s board of directors cast a 14-0 vote in support with one member absent. The unanimous vote shows a wide range of business sectors on Main Street supports the pedestrian days.
The Historic Park City Alliance vote was an endorsement of pedestrian days on Sundays starting on June 6. They would be designed to run alongside the Park Silly Sunday Market, which is held on lower Main Street and certain locations on the upper section of the street. The board of directors recommended hours from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., the same as the hours of the pedestrian days in 2020.
Alison Kuhlow, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, said the group would work with City Hall and the organizers of the Tour of Utah bicycling race and the Park City Kimball Arts Festival to craft plans for the two Sundays when the large special events are also slated. She described there could be unspecified possibilities to collaborate on those days. She also noted Independence Day is on a Sunday in 2021 and more discussions will need to be held regarding a plan for Main Street that day.
Kuhlow intends to draft a set of guidelines that would govern the pedestrian days in 2021. The proposed guidelines will be forwarded to City Hall in anticipation of discussions between the Historic Park City Alliance and Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council. The pedestrian days require a City Council approval. Kuhlow said she expects the plans will be put to the elected officials by the middle of April.
The Silly Market is expected to be heavily involved in the talks. The event, staged on Sundays, was canceled in 2020 out of concern of the coronavirus. Organizers have announced a return in 2021, meaning the talks about the Main Street pedestrian days will be influenced by logistical matters that are tied to the Silly Market.
Kuhlow said there was broad support for the pedestrian days in 2021 among the rank-and-file membership of the Historic Park City Alliance. She said retailers backed the ideas as well as restaurants. The restaurants remain concerned about public health-mandated capacity limits this summer, she said.
“Overwhelmingly, the restaurants and bars said they were in support of it,” she said.
The pedestrian days debuted in 2020 in an effort to boost business on Main Street after the spring shutdowns forced by the spread of the novel coronavirus. Businesses and Park City leaders wanted to provide space for social distancing and an outside setting on the Main Street asphalt as they attempted to attract visitors worried about the sickness. The pedestrian days were widely seen as a success, with crowds arriving on Sundays through the summer and into the fall. Sales on Main Street during those months — on Sundays and the other days of the week — were reported to have been solid after worries in the spring about a deep economic downturn.
Correction: A previous version of this article listed a wrong starting date for the proposed pedestrian days.
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The Park City Police Department on Saturday, May 8, received at least three complaints from businesses in the Main Street core. In one of the cases, a customer was outside “causing a scene,” according to department logs.