Tourists spend millions |

Tourists spend millions

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

A study commissioned by the Park City Chamber/Bureau revealed that visitors in 2007 spent approximately $576 million in Summit County.

"It shows the real contribution made by visitors and second homeowners," said Bill Malone, executive director of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.

Tourism in Summit County two years ago accounted for roughly $50 million in tax revenue, according to Malone.

The study released this summer, which was prepared by Wikstrom Economic and Planning Consultants, Inc., identified spending by visitors in restaurants, on lodging, amusement and property taxes for vacation homes in Summit County in 2007.

But today the economy is weaker, Malone stressed.

In 2007, 28 percent of the money visitors spent in Summit County went toward lodging. About 26 percent was spent on recreation and entertainment.

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Spending on apparel and clothing accessories accounted for 15 percent of the total and about eight percent went toward purchasing food and beverages, according to the study.

"They do a good job of showing the importance of a few things," Malone said about those who prepared the report.

The study showed that tourism, which is the largest component of the local economy, helped create about 54 percent of the jobs in Summit County two years ago, he said.

The report also "talks about the tourism dividend," Malone said.

The total economic impacts generated by tourism in Summit County were about $1.6 billion, Malone said.

"The net revenue that would be lost without visitors equals $1.1 million annually to North Summit School District, $2.7 million to South Summit School District, $22 million to Park City School District, $7 million to Summit County and $10.6 million to Park City," the report states.

Without tourism spending in the county, property taxes for primary homeowners would increase substantially, according to the report, which also discusses the costs to the local community for servicing guests.