Visitors: Visit Park City
Park City lacks one major facility however: a large convention center
This story is found in the 2019 edition of Milepost.
More people are visiting Park City than ever before. They come from all around the world to experience not just Utah snow, but summer biking, concerts, restaurants and special events. It’s really got anything a vacationer could want.
Bill Malone, the President and CEO of the Park City Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau, has seen a lot of changes over the past 20 years as Park City’s brand has grown. “Our primary foreign market now is Australia,” he says, “followed by Mexico, the UK, Brazil and Germany.” And with Easter next year coming in a bit early on April 12, there will be plenty of visitors from Mexico and Brazil who traditionally travel then, he notes.
While our extraordinary snow year last season drew 17% more skiers, lodging only rose a little over two percent, perhaps because skiers are skiing different area resorts. “People know they can have a good vacation whether there’s 300 or 500 inches of snow,” Malone says. This upcoming season, Vail Resorts has added 17 new ski areas to their Epic Pass, opening up a brand-new pool of visitors. “People from these other areas can access Utah for their dream ski vacation for the first time,” he adds. As the Park City economic region expands, he also sees more opportunity for visitors and residents. “Our customers don’t care where the county line is,” he says, referring to the greater Park City resort economy.
And meetings have become big business too. Malone says, “From May through October, more of our sales are corporate meetings. Over half of our business is meetings.” Who wouldn’t choose a bustling resort to attract attendees? They’re great visitors. “They aren’t paying their airfare or for activities, so they shop with a nice credit card,” Malone adds. Meeting planners also take note of Park City and Summit County’s sustainability goals, which are some of the most ambitious in the nation. “They take that into account when they book. They want to ensure that we are following best practices.”
Park City lacks one major facility, however: a large convention center. Malone says that they have had to turn away some large conventions because there’s just not enough meeting space in town. “Partnering with the Chamber, the Canyons Village Management Association is right now creating a feasibility study for a convention center,” says Malone. And the Chamber has the resources to promote more business; they’re funded to the tune of over $8.6 million from the transient room tax.
“In Summit County, the Pendry Montage just broke ground on a new hotel at Canyons Village,” he adds. “And, Blue Sky Ranch just hosted the launch of the brand-new Mercedes line.” A successful Winter Olympics bid for 2030 or 2034 would be welcome by most everyone, and could bring an entirely new level of business and activity to our (not) small town. It’s not just Park City and Summit County that are booming. Resorts, hotels and condominiums are rising around Jordanelle. “There’re a lot of new projects coming up soon,” Malone concludes.
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