Webcams online beacon
A click of the mouse and anyone in the world can take a peek at Park City’s Main Street. For more than a year the Park City Chamber/Visitors Bureau has been drawing people into town using high definition webcams where online visitors to the chamber website can view live conditions.
And web traffic is booming, so much so that the Chamber/Bureau had to increase the website budget to accommodate the growing number of page views.
"As the Park City chamber, we want to capture anybody and everybody interested in skiing," said Vicki Gaebe, the Interactive Marketing Manager. "We want them to know about Park City."
"Each year, we look at website enhancements. What is going to improve the website? What are people looking for? Installing a webcam was definitely a goal."
Since the cameras were installed last year, numbers have been steadily climbing. In November 2011, total page views for the webcam feature hit 4,392. This year for the same month, the Chamber/Bureau had 19,457 page views.
"There is a correlation between weather and visits to the webcam," said Chamber/Bureau Tourism Marketing Manager Stephen Lane. "It is one more tool that people can use to plan their trip, even share the trip through social media. It’s like ‘This is where we’re going, so let’s check it out.’"
The idea for the webcam on Main Street, which is situated above the Prudential Real Estate offices, located at 354 Main Street, came from beach resort towns and live ocean views online. With views all along the historic street and the mountains, visitors can control the camera to view certain areas. And with winter started, online traffic is increasing as more people are curious to know what the snow looks like in Park City.
"We are seeing a big spike leading up to winter," Lane said, on web hits. "Once resorts are open, there is a noticeable increase in traffic, another increase whenever it is snowing."
"The more people see it, use it and share it, the more we see an increase in the numbers," he added.
The Chamber/Bureau anticipated up to 10,000 page views when it installed the cameras. the time the Sundance Film Festival came around, the numbers jumped more modest numbers well below that mark to more than 16,000 page views.
Since the camera was installed, ‘Park City webcams’ has become one of the most popular searched terms pulling visitors into the Chamber/Bureau website.
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Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt died Friday from injuries sustained in an off-duty accident earlier in the week, the agency announced.