Record editorial: Looking back on one decade of change in Park City, and eyeing another |

Record editorial: Looking back on one decade of change in Park City, and eyeing another

On Tuesday night, we will pop champagne corks and mark the end of the decade. And what a momentous decade it has been in Park City.

The last 10 years saw us catapult from the recession into a remarkable boom period in which our tourism-based economy has flourished and our community has grown. The local ski industry was radically transformed, meanwhile, sparked by a stunning legal battle nobody saw coming. When the dust settled, there was new, corporate ownership at both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort, and our community boasted two full-fledged ski areas rather than three.

The long-running Treasure development dispute in Old Town was at last put to rest during this decade, while Park City taxpayers, in what was the most heralded open space acquisition in the community’s history, took ownership of the magnificent Bonanza Flat acreage. We mourned the overdose deaths of two children and linked arms, steadfast, to begin tackling the multi-faceted issue of mental health and substance abuse.

In short, our community changed.

Many of the changes have been for the better. Others, as is only natural, have been for the worse. As 2019 ends, some Parkites may yearn for the community we were 10 years ago to return. That’s an understandable sentiment, but one that misses the broader picture: Our community is different, yes, but it remains just as special as it was when the calendar turned to 2010.

With a new decade dawning, it seems appropriate to take a step back and reminisce about both what was lost and gained — then turn our gaze and ponder where we’ll be when 2029 draws to a close.

Most Parkites will see reason for optimism on the horizon. Many of the challenges that we grappled with throughout this decade will likely remain, from congested entryways to a lack of affordable housing, but smart, committed people will continue to make progress toward solving them. Just as important, we will continue to be the kind of place where people look after their neighbors and where folks are committed to the ideal of creating community.

Beyond that, who knows what excitement awaits.

Perhaps this time 10 years from now, we will be weeks away from again taking on the mantle of Winter Olympic host. Or maybe we will be commuting on an innovative gondola transit system meant to reduce vehicle traffic.

Just as few could have foreseen the PCMR litigation or the end of the Treasure dispute, it’s impossible to predict what events will define the next 10 years.

Based on lessons reinforced over the past 10 years, though, one thing we can be certain of is this: The community that emerges at the end of the upcoming decade will be different, in ways both large and small, from the one entering it.

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