Snowstorm shuts down businesses
February 5, 2008
Heavy snowstorms and white-outs gripped Park City last week, forcing many local businesses to send their employees home early, before they literally became snowed in.
"There was nobody here. Business was dead," said Stan Stensrud, manager of T.J. MAXX at Kimball Junction. "We made the decision to close."
Many businesses in town, including those at the Tanger Outlet Mall, shut down for the first time on Monday, Jan. 28 when I-80 closed, heavy winds picked up and large amounts of snow fell. Store managers explained that a big reason they closed early was to keep their employees safe. Many Tanger Outlet and T.J. MAXX employees commute from Salt Lake, Heber and Morgan.
"We felt it was in the best interest of our associates," Stensrud said. "We had four [employees] from Salt Lake City that day."
T.J. MAXX and Linen-N-Things at Kimball Junction both closed at 3 p.m. last Monday.
"We had five feet of snow at the door, and the wind was blowing 50 mph," said Jay Smith, manager for Linen-N-Things. "Nobody was coming in."
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Most of the outlet stores at The Tanger Outlet Mall shut their doors at 1 p.m. that day.
"This is the first time that we’ve closed," said Nancy Gray, general manger of Tanger Outlet Mall, who added that it is unusual for any business to close in Park City due to bad snow conditions. But, she said, "everybody understood. It was pretty slow."
Most Parkites know how to weather the storm in a cold ski resort town, Smith said, but not last Monday.
"This is Park City and a lot of people aren’t affected by weather," Smith said. "But that particular day was bad."
Some Main Street businesses also closed early on Monday.
"It was hard to be open that late in the evening because tourists can’t walk around," said Nylene O’Neal, owner of Mountain Body Herbal Cosmetic Deli on Main Street. "We were snowed in."
While none of the local businesses The Park Record interviewed reported any major accidents involving their employees, O’Neal said many of her employees live in Salt Lake and told interesting stories about their commutes to and from Park City last week.
"Everyone had a great story to tell about the 10-car pile up in front of them," O’Neal said. "But no one was in an accident."
O’Neal said this is also one of the first times her shop has closed due to snow in the 12 years since she has been open in Park City.
Parkite Patti Rea, who was shopping at Redstone Towne Center on Monday, remembered the bad snowstorms last week. Rea works in downtown Park City.
"Some employees [I worked with] wanted to get out early," she said. "If there’s one accident, you can be stuck a long time."
The 10-day forecast at Weather.com predicts a 50 percent chance of snowstorms this Wednesday and Thursday, with sunny skies throughout the weekend, and the possibility of more snowstorms early next week. For more information, visit http://www.weather.com .