Guest editorial: Park City doesn’t need another Olympics
Hosting the Olympics in 2002 carried with it the truly immense pride for Park City locals, seeing visitors worldwide coming to our wonderful, little mountain town, and TV viewers being introduced to the terrific array of scenery and amenities which Park City offers. The 2002 Olympics was something very special for our community! In the ensuing two decades, however, we have seen many, many unintended, negative consequences! Consequences which need to be remembered.
As I hear our mayor, and certain members of our City Council, lay out aspirations to host a future set of Winter Games, I cannot help but cringe. What is the motivation? Park City is already “on the world map” — for both better and for worse! Park City has become a prime destination — which is understandable given that in 2002 we showcased that our little mountain town is such a special place. Since 2002 we have seen traffic and cost-of-living/housing costs grow dramatically. Our roads are jammed year-round, with many of the vehicle tags being from out of state! Ski visitor days have spiked; our mountain trails are also constantly jammed. I could go on, but we locals get the point! This is no longer a little mountain town!!!
My question is who will benefit from the hosting another Winter Olympic Game? The ski resorts, the hotels, local shops, and the restaurants will no doubt see increased business in the months and years that follow. Developers will, as more and more people will be lured to our town. But what benefits will the locals receive?
An increased sense of pride? Maybe very briefly for a few weeks, but frankly we already possess that in spades! No, the impact on the locals will be more and more traffic and visitors for years to come! We are at a point of growth where we need to put the brakes on; to stop the marketing of Park City. Enough growth and visitor attention are enough — it is our town! Let’s take it back.
Our mayor instead tends to be aligned with the economic development interests of Park City. I would ask him what is more important: the incremental business for the resorts, hotels, and developers, or the interests of locals who will need to live here and need to deal with the post-Olympics driven increased traffic and rate of visitors which surely will follow in the decades ahead — years after he leaves office?
Please, Mayor Beerman, check the pulse of all of your residents (not just the small crowd which supports you) before pushing ahead on this one! We do not need two more additional decades of negative unintended consequences from a two-week event!
Please keep Park City, Park City!
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Midway resident John White writes that the 2022 midterm elections will be critical for the future of the country.