Continued growth in Park City creates new challenges
Park City has turned from a small town to thriving economy
October 1, 2017
We may have created a monster; but at least it's a friendly monster.
Today, Park City is more than just a town. It's a regional economy, a lifestyle and even a state of mind. It's staggering the impact such a seemingly small place can have, but the attraction is understandable, with clean air and water, sports and recreation, arts and culture.
Like everywhere, transportation, housing and jobs are all connected, but even more so. You just can't have one without the other two. Though wages are up nearly 10 percent, housing still outpaces earnings. Affordable housing for the service workers and families is moving farther and farther away from town, to places like Oakley, Coalville, Francixs and Heber. But even those places are seeing record growth and rising home prices. Roads are widened, public transit is expanded, and commuters come from Evanston, Provo, Tooele and Ogden to take jobs that pay more than the ones at home.
Retail space is available for lease, but there is, as the economy diversifies, a high demand for commercial space for light manufacturing, Creative people are coming up with new ideas, and building their own businesses, and need places to work, too. The cachet of a Park City label now attracts investors and customers. From technology, to finance, to products, it's an incubator for dreamers.
There's more change coming, and planning is the key.
"Things are going well," says Park City Manager Diane Foster, "but with the climate changing the community has to adapt."
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Some new industries utilize existing infrastructure, thankfully; arts and culture tourists still need lodging, restaurants and buses. But, for other new industries, not so much, and, "The switching costs are huge," according to Foster.