Teri Whitney a major piece to Park City lodging puzzle
February 28, 2012
Teri Whitney, the treasurer of the Park City Area Lodging Association and general manager of Snow Flower Condominiums, remembers a time when the only way into town was a small, two-lane highway riddled with potholes. She remembers snowboarding in the Deer Valley Resort switchbacks and being one of the first students in the Park City Leadership class.
That is why the Park City Area Lodging Association took a moment to honor her this year.
"Teri has always believed in giving back to the industry and community she loves," said PCALA President Jeff Bennett of the Deer Valley Club, "and it shows through her dedication and tireless efforts."
Whitney first came to Park City from California when she read about a program at the Chateaux Après Lodge where college students would come and run the hotel while it was open during the winter months. What was meant to be only a few months, turned into a lifetime.
"When I first got here in ’77, living here year-round was very difficult," Whitney said. "There were no jobs. If you needed anything you went to Salt Lake City."
She met her husband that first winter, and the two started a life in the mountains. At first, work was hard to come by, but gradually the couple settled down in the hospitality industry.
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Two grown children later, Whitney is pulling in recognition for her 30 years in the lodging association. Last month she was recognized as one of the top lodging executives in Park City and Utah, with a scholarship created in her name.
Since Snow Flower Condominiums opened more than 30 years ago, Whitney was rooted. She went on to serve on the Board of Trustees of the PCALA , the Executive Board of the PCALA since its inception, the Utah Hotel & Lodging Association (UH&LA) Board, the Executive Committee members and the President of the Park City Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau. In 2010, she received the Utah Hotel and Lodging Association "General Manager of the Year" award, and most recently she was recognized by her Park City peers at a PCALA meeting.
"Communication is so critical," she said. "That’s why I wanted to have my hands in everything, so that I knew I was communicating.
"I know if I need to, I can rally the troops. I’ve seen lodging become so important to Park City."
If someone asks Whitney where she plans to retire, she said her answer is always the same: ‘Why can’t I stay in Park City?’ With a daughter who recently started working at the Snow Flower Condominiums and a husband who worked next to her for more than 25 years, Park City means more than a "great journey." Park City is home.
"With everything that’s here, sometimes I have to tell myself this is where I live," Whitney said. "People spend a lot of money to vacation here. I’ll be skiing and just stop and look around thinking I can’t believe I live here. It is such a beautiful place."