Savor the Summit, a Park City summertime favorite, canceled as coronavirus worries persist
Organizers make decision based on the unknowns of public health situation in June
The organizers of the Savor the Summit dining event on Main Street each summer have canceled the event this year, indicating the decision was based on continuing worries about the spread of the novel coronavirus as well as the ongoing difficult economic conditions in the restaurant industry.
The event had been planned in June. It is the second consecutive year Savor the Summit has been canceled as a result of the pandemic.
Savor the Summit brings numerous Main Street restaurants onto the asphalt with tables decorated for the evening and crowds of diners strolling to the place where they have reservations. Although the event is just once a year, Savor the Summit is one of Main Street’s recognizable evenings.
The board of directors of the Park City Area Restaurant Association, the group that organizes Savor the Summit, decided to cancel the event at a meeting on March 4.
Ginger Wicks, the executive director of the association, said the planning of the logistical elements of Savor the Summit needed to be underway at this time. There are numerous unknowns regarding the spread of the sickness and public health measures regulating crowd sizes, though, she said.
“We just didn’t know what June’s going to look like,” she said.
Savor the Summit typically attracts a crowd of approximately 2,500 diners. They are spread among the participating restaurants, but each place can often be busy during the event with the seats on the street occupied.
Public health orders currently in place limit the number of people allowed in restaurants at the same time. It is not clear what sort of orders would have regulated Savor the Summit by June, but Wicks said any social distancing requirements that could remain in place by June would have made Savor the Summit difficult to organize.
Wicks also said some restaurants were interested in participating in a form of Savor the Summit, but they were not able to commit until ski season sales had been completed. She said it is expensive for restaurants to participate and it remains unclear what sort of funds they will have available at the end of the season.
“The restaurant industry has been hit very, very hard,” she said.
Savor the Summit is the first known summertime event cancellation of significance. Other major events in the summer, such as the Park Silly Sunday Market, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival and the Tour of Utah bicycling race, remain on the calendar. Some sort of coronavirus-influenced health protocols are expected to be required of the events as officials weigh individual approvals of the applications.
Savor the Summit is one of the earlier events in the summer and it would have had increased prominence this year since it would have been among the first to be held under any health protocols in place at the time.
The organizers canceled the event in 2020 in April of that year, as it became clear the coronavirus was spreading globally and amid a shutdown of businesses in the Park City area.
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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.