Park City has a chance to shine by turning down the lights |

Park City has a chance to shine by turning down the lights


Parkites are a competitive bunch especially when it comes to outshining other resort towns. And we will pretty much take on any challenge lightest snow, fastest skiers, most luxurious hotels, best chefs, longest bike trails you name it. We’ve even thrown down the gauntlet on re-usable grocery bags.

And now, once again, we are locked in a battle with one of our fiercest competitors Aspen, Colorado. But not for Olympic medals, Michelin stars or AAA diamonds, not for Outside Magazine bragging rights or Ski Magazine rankings. This time we are in it for the money. $5 million, to be exact.

Park City/Summit County has earned a top spot among 50 finalists for the Georgetown Energy Prize, a national competition that recognizes a community for achieving the greatest reduction in electricity and natural gas use over a two-year period.

The competition began Jan. 1, 2015 and ends this coming Dec. 31. Currently, Huntsville, Ala. is in the No. 1 spot, Aspen, Colo. is No. 2 (darn them!), Fargo, North Dakota is third and Park City is No. 4(unacceptable!).

But, with nine months left to go, there is plenty of time for a shake up in the final four.

And the local nonprofit group that is overseeing Park City and Summit County’s quest for the prize is asking residents, businesses, schools and government entities to step up their game.

In response, homeowners have been busy installing smart technology thermostats and school kids have been encouraging their parents to switch out old light bulbs for newer, energy saving LED ones.

Also, solar arrays have been popping up on government building rooftops and the county has launched another round of incentives for homeowners who want to go solar.

Vail Resorts, never one to back down from a challenge, is in on the effort too. Through its EpicPromise program, it is offering free LED light bulbs, rebates on thermostats and other incentives to employees.

Of course, whether Park City wins the big check or not, the effort to cut back on energy consumption will not have been in vain. Trimming our use of electricity and natural gas has intrinsic benefits for all, including preserving air and water quality. extension, we will be doing our part to curb global warming and preserve our snow pack — and that’s something we’d be especially pleased to brag about next time we meet up with Aspen in the starting gate.

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