The road to the White House has merged onto S.R. 224 into Park City |

The road to the White House has merged onto S.R. 224 into Park City


Park City hardly sits in a swing state.

But the community has become a popular spot for White House candidates, or their surrogates, to stop anyway. There are wealthy donors to tap in Park City, even if there is little doubt which presidential candidate will win Utah’s electoral votes.

Through the 2012 election cycle, Park City by Election Day had hosted some of the top names in politics from both sides of the aisle. Some came strictly to raise money while others huddled with top-level donors to detail campaign strategies.

Parkites generally did not get to see or meet the candidates, unless they donated the money to attend one of the events, but the visits caused a stir nonetheless.

In the summer, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Park City to raise money for President Obama’s re-election campaign, a visit that drew widespread interest. People lined parts of the motorcade route, which ran from Interstate 80, onto S.R. 224 and to the upper reaches of Deer Valley. Some cheered, others protested.

The Secret Service teamed with state and local law enforcement agencies to protect the vice president while he was in Park City. Traffic was halted on roads when his motorcade moved and intersections were temporarily closed.

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Andy Beerman, a member of the Park City Council, donated at a lower price point to attend the fund-raiser itself, which was held at a private home in the Snyderville Basin. Beerman said afterward Biden told the crowd the U.S. is poised for economic growth.

"That was exciting to hear. You get so much negative news now," Beerman said just afterward, adding, "He said things are in place for the economy to get better . . . He said there’s been steady improvement, but it’s been slow."

The Biden visit came less than a month after Mitt Romney spent time in Park City with major donors and a roster of top-shelf Republican figures. Romney, once a Park City homeowner, had by then secured enough delegates for the party nomination.

The Romney event, held in Silver Lake Village, gave the donors up-close time with the candidate and Republican advisers from past administrations. The area outside the hotels where the event occurred was heavily guarded.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan also raised money in the Park City area prior to him being selected as Romney’s running mate.

Earlier fund-raising visits included those by Jon Huntsman, a former Utah governor who unsuccessfully challenged for the Republican nomination, and First lady Michelle Obama.

Huntsman held a fund-raiser in a private home in Park Meadows in late 2011 that primarily drew the attention of his supporters. The first lady, meanwhile, raised money at a private home in the Snyderville Basin in mid-2011. There were spectators lining S.R. 224 close to where the first lady’s motorcade turned into The Colony.

Park City, the wealthiest place in Utah, has especially drawn candidates or others to raise money on their behalf in the 2012 and 2008 election cycles. The campaigns see the city as a potentially lucrative stopover even if the state is not a battleground.

Parade of politicians

Some of the White House hopefuls, or those who were appearing on behalf of a candidate, who have visited the Park City area since the 2008 election cycle include:

  • Barack Obama, months prior to him securing the Democratic nomination in 2008.
  • Mitt Romney, during his presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012
  • George W. Bush, during his second term in the White House
  • Joe Biden, as vice president
  • Jon Huntsman, as the caucuses and primaries approached during the 2012 campaign
  • Rudy Giuliani, early in the 2008 election cycle