Park City prepares for a jammed Fourth of July weekend
Park City wants Independence Day weekend fireworks in the sky above Park City Mountain Resort on Saturday.
Not on the roads, or in the parking lots, during what is expected to be a jammed three-day holiday weekend in the city. It seems almost certain traffic will be snarled at some points on Saturday and Sunday as people pour into Park City for the weekend. Park City has long been a favored spot to celebrate the Fourth of July as people head to Old Town for the annual parade and then PCMR for the fireworks display.
But with Parkites seeming more leery of traffic nowadays, they could be tested as drivers head to Park City and then hunt for a parking space. City Hall prepared for the holiday crowds with a park-and-ride system that will be in place for the Fourth of July.
Jenny Diersen, a special events coordinator for the municipal government, said the best place to park is the lots at Park City High School along Kearns Boulevard. From there, she said, people headed to the festivities on Main Street and in City Park should take regular City Hall buses to their destination.
Parking will be available in the China Bridge garage. It will be accessible off Marsac Avenue during the parade. Parking is free in China Bridge with a six-hour time limit in covered floors of the garage. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis in the garage.
Parking will be prohibited on Main Street during the parade. Diersen said parking will reopen along Main Street at approximately 1 p.m. on Saturday with normal paid-parking charges and time limits.
She said there will be a limited amount of parking at PCMR for the fireworks display since the resort is using some of the spaces for construction staging as it pursues an ambitious set of upgrades. Other spaces there will be restricted for the display itself. People may also park along Park Avenue north of the Heber Avenue intersection once the parade ends.
Parking on neighborhood streets in Old Town is generally restricted to vehicles that display residential permits.
"We all know with events parking can be hard to find," Diersen said.
She recommended people take buses as they navigate through Park City during the weekend, including as they head to the fireworks display. Riding bicycles and walking are also suggested.
The Fourth of July is typically one of the busiest days of the summer in Park City as Parkites head to the parade, City Park and PCMR. The day normally draws large crowds from the Salt Lake Valley as people visit Park City for a small-town celebration and to attempt to escape the higher temperatures. Diersen said City Hall anticipates approximately 25,000 people will be in Park City at some point during the day on the Fourth of July, about the same number as in 2014.
Bill Malone, the president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, said Independence Day lodging numbers are projected to be up slightly from last year. He said occupancy was forecasted to be 34 percent during the week of June 28 to July 4, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from 2014. The biggest lodging night was anticipated to be Friday, when occupancy was expected to be 42 percent.
Malone said Park City loses business travelers during the holiday but makes up the loss with people visiting for leisure. The hot weather in the Salt Lake Valley will influence some people to travel to Park City this weekend, he said.
"I think businesses are looking forward to a strong holiday weekend," Malone said.
City Hall has scheduled an event on Tuesday, May 21, designed for people who are contemplating a bid for elected office in the municipal campaign.