Letters, April 3-6: Build the arts and culture district. But don’t call it that.
Keep the district, ditch the branding
We are writing in support of the arts and culture district. We are artists. Zafod is a metal sculptor who has lived here for 35 years (think art cars in the Fourth of July parade). I am an author. I own property in Park City and serve on the Park City Historic Preservation Board.
We support the renewal and beautification of a long-neglected area. The dilapidated hodgepodge of old utilitarian buildings will be transformed into a neighborhood with two anchor nonprofits and residential amenities. Thankfully, Recycle Utah will have an efficient and attractive new home in an accessible location close to the city.
Artists build vibrancy. They promote thought, collaboration, amazement and fun. Artist communities all over the country attract tourist dollars and boost their economies. Main Street will benefit — having two magnet destinations with easy transit between them will attract more visitors because there is simply more to explore.
The Kimball Art Center is a community art center, meaning it involves our residents in creating art, not just viewing it. Parkites will enjoy state-of-the-art facilities for achieving their own artistic goals. Sundance, which supports our economy in enormous ways, will have a real presence in our community in a facility capable of providing more year-round interaction.
Having said that, I would suggest some rebranding. Calling this area “the arts and culture district” fails to acknowledge that Main Street has been our arts and culture district for more than 150 years — the Park City Museum, old churches, Main Street galleries, restaurants and bars in historic buildings — restored at great expense — the list is unparalleled. Perhaps tourists should know our new district by a less misleading and competitive-sounding name.
Will our taxes go up? Possibly. I would venture to guess the project will pay for itself. Only 15 years from now, our children will ask, “What was the big deal about?” And we’ll answer, “Yes, it was a very big deal — a good one.”
Lola and Zafod Beatlebrox
A ‘ticket’ to City Hall
Park City elects half its leadership every two years. If the half elected in any given year were of one mind, their votes could have a significant impact on city policy. So, I’ve always wondered why we don’t see candidates running as a group on one “ticket,” promising voters they will vote together to move policy in some new direction.
The answer, I think, is that residents have never been stirred up enough in a given direction — some might say “polarized” — that it would make sense. Some past elections, the challengers and incumbents couldn’t come up with a single point on which they disagree. But has disagreement over the future course of the town come to a point where a “slate” of candidates with a common viewpoint could win? I, for one, would love to see it. At the very least it would make for a spicy election, and it might actually change the future.
Not time to ease up
This seems like a bad time to ease up on COVID restrictions like Utah plans to do when it drops masking requirements on April 10. I hope there will be a public list of those businesses maintaining a sense of responsibility even as it expires in our government. It would be handy to have when deciding where to shop.
Wake up, Deer Valley
The recent rate increase to $2,220 for a Deer Valley senior season pass is unacceptable and discriminates against seniors. This huge increase, which is a much higher percentage increase than all other ticket categories, will prevent us from renewing our Deer Valley season passes that we have enjoyed for many years. Local seniors very often ski early in the day and then have a mid-morning snack break and/or finish with lunch in one of the Deer Valley restaurants. Deer Valley will also lose the revenue stream from the many guests that seniors routinely bring to the slopes.
The Alterra Mountain Company management team should go back to business school to relearn the laws of supply and demand. In fact, Deer Valley’s main competitor just reduced their season pass rates. We have senior ski buddies who are also not renewing their Deer Valley pass but instead are going to the alternative. Wake up, Deer Valley leadership. Don’t discriminate against seniors and remember that you will be a fixed-income senior sooner than you realize.
County drops ball on mandate
I find it extremely disingenuous of the county officials to choose not to continue a mask mandate and then to “encourage business owners to require them.” If it isn’t important to the county, why are they making business owners play the bad guy or the determiners of public safety? Not our job. All of us small business owners have been taking hits from both the “maskers” and the “non-maskers” for the past 10-plus months. To ask us to do the county’s bidding when the county chooses not to is simply unfair and spineless.
Stanton D. Jones
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“The city needs to take a step back, reevaluate the arts and culture district as a whole and create a better plan for our soils and this project,” writes Madeline Knauer.