Park City mayor predicts an ‘incredibly busy summer’ for community
Recreation offerings, Main Street pedestrian days expected to attract people
Park City Mayor Andy Beerman on Friday morning predicted it will be an “incredibly busy summer” in the community as people flock to the outside recreation options in the area.
Beerman, delivering remarks to the online Leadership 101 event, talked briefly about a sharp increase in the popularity of recreation as he described the idea that the community will draw people in the summer. He mentioned the continuing vaccination efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the remarks.
He did not provide details about the prediction of crowds later in the year, but the comment was important nonetheless. Park City after the initial coronavirus-forced shutdowns last spring has mounted an economic comeback of sorts. Many saw Park City’s recreation offerings in the summer, fall and winter as attractive since activities like skiing, snowboarding, hiking and bicycling are enjoyed outside and in a socially distanced manner.
Last summer, amid the mounting worries about the pandemic, Park City’s economy outperformed projections. The solid numbers continued into the fall.
Beerman on Friday, meanwhile, said it is anticipated that leaders will create a pedestrian zone on Main Street in the summer and fall for the second consecutive year. He said the pedestrian zone is expected to cover the length of Main Street and be scheduled on a weekly basis on Sundays.
The mayor’s description closely aligns with the pedestrian days in 2020, which debuted that year as part of the overall recovery plan. Park City officials and Main Street leaders are expected to address the pedestrian days shortly as both sides ready for the summer-tourism season. It is not clear whether either of the sides will seek major alterations to the blueprints for the pedestrian days that were held in 2020.
The pedestrian days last year proved to be popular, and they were seen as one of the measures that led to the solid economic numbers. Crowds leisurely strolled the asphalt, stopping into shops and restaurants while enjoying a day in a car-free zone.
Beerman covered a series of other topics during the remarks. In one brief comment, he urged people to continue to wear masks until the summer. He did not dwell on that topic, though.
The mayor, who is in the last year of his first term and has not indicated whether he will seek reelection, also reflected on the year-plus since the coronavirus struck the community. He talked about Park City being “bullish” at the start of 2020, in the months before the coronavirus spread.
“We learned we can slow down,” he said.
Beerman said the community discovered it can draw people even in the absence of special events, a reference to the numerous cancellations of events of all sizes last year to combat the coronavirus spread. He added that some of the events were missed.
He also said the community is only as strong as the most vulnerable people. The recovery provides an opportunity to shore up Park City’s social services infrastructure, he said.
Some of the themes of the remarks on Friday were similar to those the mayor outlined during his State of the City address earlier in the year.
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A car collided with a dining deck on Main Street on Wednesday afternoon, causing extensive damage to one end of the structure and requiring the temporary closure of a small stretch of sidewalk.