Park City Pulse: Charting the path forward
Chamber/Bureau seeks feedback from residents
Park City Chamber/Bureau president and CEO
“If we first know where we are and where we are tending, we can better judge what to do and how to do it.” — Abraham Lincoln
Famously succinct, Lincoln nicely summed up why policymakers use modern survey instruments today, especially when the issue is as vast as community policies that affect each of us, such as how we shape the future of a tourism-based economy. Knowing “where we are” is an inescapable first step.
That is why I am excited that the Chamber/Bureau has teamed with Portland’s Coraggio Group to survey your opinions as we begin shaping Park City’s Destination Stewardship Plan, which will create strategies to balance our economic well-being, environment, quality of life and visitor experience.
We selected Coraggio not only for their expertise in helping organizations navigate strategic and organizational challenges. Their in-depth Utah experience makes them valuable partners in this watershed year for the future of our tourism economy. When the Utah Office of Tourism’s “Mighty Five” approach helped pre-COVID tourism climb by linking distinctive travel regions with five national parks, many communities needed advice on managing the visitor influx. Coraggio Group delivered a comprehensive assessment that became the statewide foundation for strategies to attract and disperse quality visitation. The sessions they hosted around the state resulted in today’s Red Emerald Strategic Plan 2020-2023, which names five broadly supported strategic goals:
• Prioritizing quality visitation rather than the number of visitors
• Distributing visitation to lessen environmental impacts and spread economic benefits
• Continue powerful branding that supports local communities
• Enable community visitor readiness, including educating and involving residents
• Improving organizational effectiveness
This plan makes Utah a leader in responsible tourism management; other states see it as a model acknowledging the intersection of the economy, residents, natural assets and the distinctive quality of life unique to our state.
Our survey is 100% online to reach as many Park City stakeholders as possible, including our visitors worldwide. If you live here or have a job in Park City, you will find questions specific to you — such as a request to list three words you want our visitor to use to describe tourism and hospitality here. We will also ask you about your level of agreement with statements such as “I am worried about the impact tourism will have on Park City/Summit County’s natural environment” and if, in your opinion, the positives of tourism outweigh the negatives.
Visitors and businesses get their own set of questions, and some are for all audiences, such as selecting Park City’s top five tourism assets.
You will find the survey online at visitparkcity.com/survey beginning Dec. 15. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete and will be available for several weeks. I think you will find the survey an enjoyable break from your frantic holiday schedule, and I look forward to sharing the results as the Sustainable Stewardship Plan process picks up speed in the coming months.
Park City Pulse is a biweekly feature written by Jennifer Wesselhoff, president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.
It’s not news that the Western fire scene has become complicated. The early 20th century days, when one response — extinguish by 10 am the next morning — was adequate are long past.
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