Sleepless in Park City
It’s a saying most Parkites are familiar with. "My life is better than your vacation."
We feel that way because it’s true. And we’re reminded of this almost daily. Every time I chat with a tourist this little saying pops into my head and I try to disguise the smugness in my smile. I’ll get a few powder turns in before going to work, or take a long lunch and go for a hike, or just pop up to Main Street to grab my mail, dodging the people taking photos next to a moose or bear statue. And inevitably I’ll meet someone who is here vacationing and they always seem to be in awe of this town and our lifestyles. "You’re just skiing for a couple hours before work? You’re so lucky!"
We hear it all the time.
The truth is, there’s a whole mess of people that spend thousands of dollars and use up their allotted PTO to enjoy what we can so easily take for granted. Most of the time, I try really hard not to forget how lucky I am to live, work and play in the 84060. When I leave my house and breathe in the fresh mountain air or take in the gasp-worthy views, I try to remind myself I’m blessed to call Park City home. I don’t want the novelty to wear off.
But if I’m honest, every once in a while I’m over it. And all I want to do is briefly swap lives with the tourists marveling at our town, just so I can catch up on my sleep. Dallas seems like a nice place to go when you’re exhausted.
The problem with Park City is this: There’s never a vacation from our vacation.
I realize this is a problem most of the world aspires to have. But it doesn’t make me any less tired. And it sure doesn’t cure a hangover.
It’s amazing how many long-lost friends you have when you live in a ski town, particularly when there’s good snow. But this winter has driven me to a new level of fatigue. I’ve been entertaining and playing personal concierge almost daily for the past eight weeks. Which means I’ve had to put on sunglasses to open the fridge in the morning more times than I care to admit. And I’m very close to checking myself into Promises of Malibu for "exhaustion." No one comes on a ski vacation to drink milk and go to bed at 10 p.m.
I’ve had the standard family and friends visit. And then there were friends of friends I was introduced to and put in charge of. And then there was my college roommate’s cousin’s co-worker. They all loved the idea of a local to hang out with. And I can’t help it, I always feel it’s my duty to show them around town, around the mountain and generally ensure they have a memorable trip. I’m not really sure why. Perhaps I want everyone who visits to love Park City as much as I do. Or perhaps I just want them to be jealous that I get to live here and they don’t. Either way, I just can’t say "no" when someone I haven’t seen in a decade connects with me on Facebook and asks me to show them the town.
But right now, I’m kind of looking forward to clocking out. Is it April yet?
I have another six weeks of revolving door visitors before I’m officially off duty. Friends from D.C. come next week, then L.A. immediately after. Then a friend from high school is coming with her husband and their two kids for spring break. There’s no more room at the inn.
On the plus side, walking around half-comatose for two months has made me really good at math. Mostly because I lie in bed calculating how much sleep I’m not getting.
It’s true what they say: "If you’re lucky enough to live in the mountains, you’re lucky enough." But if you’re lucky enough to live here and get more than five hours of sleep a night, I’d love to know your secret.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis.
A reader involved in addressing mental health in Summit County applauds Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife Elena Amsterdam for their efforts to help mountain towns wrap their arms around the issue.