Park City is known for its famous ski resorts. Ask any resident and you’ll hear the same response time and time again. “I moved here for the winters, but I stayed here for the summers.” Though the sparkle of Utah’s famed powder is what attracts many first-time visitors to Park City’s mountains, sticking around to see those peaks dressed in green instead of white creates a love affair most can’t resist. Take a look at what Park City has to offer for both the winter and summer seasons.
Without a doubt, Park City is one of the most accessible mountain resort communities in North America, perhaps the world.
Park City is located in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains, part of the Rocky Mountain Range and is just 36 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport. In other words, once travelers arrive in Salt Lake, they are just 45 minutes from historic Park City and the town’s three world class resorts. Compare this fact to the distance from Denver International Airport to popular Colorado resorts: Aspen-223 miles; Vail-121 miles; Crested Butte-252 miles; Telluride-365 miles.
The Salt Lake City International Airport is served by 11 airlines with more than 670 arrivals and departures daily. Airlines include Alpine Aviation, America West, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Northwest, SkyWest, Southwest, TWA and United.
A few examples of flight times from major cities to Salt Lake City are: Atlanta-3:37; Chicago-3:02; Dallas-2:32; Los Angeles-1:38; New York-4:48; Orlando-4:25; San Francisco-1:31; Seattle-1:40; Washington D.C.-4:45. Sixty-eight U.S. and Canadian cities have non-stop service to Salt Lake City with Delta Air Lines offering more service to Salt Lake than any other airline. Plus, the Salt Lake City International Airport, the 22nd busiest in the country, consistently ranks number one for on-time arrivals and departures in surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
LOCATION: Park City is located in Utah’s Summit County, 36 miles east of the Salt Lake City International Airport via a six-lane interstate highway (I-80). Park City proper measures two miles from end to end. Four miles separate Park City’s three world-class resorts.
ACCESS: Salt Lake City International Airport is served by 11 airlines with over 670 arrivals and departures daily. Airlines include Alpine Aviation, America West, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Northwest, SkyWest, Southwest, TWA and United. Sixty-eight U.S. and Canadian cities have non-stop service to Salt Lake City. Delta Air Lines offers more service to Salt Lake than any other airline. Salt Lake City International Airport consistently ranks number one in the country for on-time arrivals and departures in surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is the 22nd busiest airport in the country and the 36th busiest in the world.
GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Park City is located in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains, part of the Rocky Mountain Range. The Wasatch-Cache National Forest is located nearby and offers opportunities for backpacking, hiking, camping and fishing.
ELEVATION: Within the city limits, altitudes range from 6,720 ft. to 8,460 ft. above sea level. The surrounding Wasatch Mountains rise to over 10,000 ft.
POPULATION: There are approximately 6,900 residents living in Park City proper year-round. About 24,000 people live in Summit County.
CLIMATE: Winter temperatures in Park City average between 24 degrees Fahrenheit to 33 degrees Fahrenheit. (During the summer the average is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Park City’s summers are cool, dry and mild. The average summer high is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Park City’s humidity is very low which makes the summer season comfortable and pleasant.
SNOWFALL: Average snowfall is 143 inches in town and 350 inches at the resorts.
AREA TRANSPORTATION: Park City operates a free city-wide bus service throughout the year. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., daily. Service runs every 20 minutes in the city. A trolley operates on historic Main Street from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
SKI INDUSTRY FIGURES:
41 percent of non-resident skiers visiting Utah stayed in Park City.
Park City skiers spend $347 per day, which includes lodging, food, lift tickets, ski rentals, entertainment and car rentals.
The average stay for Park City’s non-resident skier is 5.4 nights.
The average party size for Park City’s non-resident skier is 3.51 people.
91 percent of non-resident skiers traveling to Park City did so via air transportation.
Park City’s three resorts reported a record 1,252,886 skier days for the 1998-99 season.
Utah’s 14 ski and snowboard resorts reported 3.14 million skier days for the 1998-99 season, also a record.
More than $400 million in silver was mined from the hills surrounding Park City in its mining heyday, creating 23 millionaires.
More than 1,200 miles of tunnels wind through the surrounding mountains, remnants of the mining era.
Park City has been the home of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team since 1973 and the home of the United States Ski Association since 1988.
Park City will host over one-third of the medal events during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games at three separate competition venues.
The area boasts over 90 mountain lakes.
Park City offers over 40 outdoor concerts each summer.
Cycling and hiking enthusiasts can find 60-plus trails, covering more than 100 miles
Long before Park City became a year round, world class resort destination, hearty miners made and lost fortunes beneath the mountains surrounding the town. In fact, there were more residents in Park City at the turn of the century than there are today. However, when silver prices dropped, mines closed and Park City was perilously close to becoming a ghost town. Fortunately, skiing found its way to Park City and now the town is once again thriving. The following is a detailed look at Park City and its spirited past.
In the Beginning
It was the late 1860s when a group of prospecting soldiers, stationed near Salt Lake City, discovered silver in the hills surrounding what is today Park City.
In 1872, a trio of prospectors tapped into an extremely rich silver vein in Ontario Canyon. Word of the strike spread quickly, and adventurers from around the world flocked to the area turning the tiny camp into a boomtown.
The new population soon put down roots, the weekly Park Record newspaper was launched, and schools, churches and businesses were established. In 1884, Park City was incorporated as a town.
What’s in a Name?
Before the miners migrated to Park City, the area was referred to as upper Parleys. After the miners put down roots, the town was called several names including Mineral City and Parley’s Park City. Then on the Fourth of July 1872, locals dropped the ‘Parleys’ and the town officially became Park City. (In a historic journal entry, a member of the Snyder family referred to the area as a ‘veritable park,’ thus the name.)
Boom or …
The town’s residents enjoyed great prosperity for half a century. The mountains surrendered $400 million in silver and established many fortunes, including those of Utah’s Silver Queen Susanna Bransford, and George Hearst, father of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.
Park City was one of the few Utah towns established by non-Mormons. During the mining boom, 27 saloons existed on Park City’s Main Street to “whet the whistles” of thirsty miners.
Park City attracted a variety of nationalities during the mining days. The majority was Irish, but other nationalities included Swedes, Finns, Cornishmen, Chinese, Scots and Yugoslavians.
Park City was not without its setbacks. During 1898, a major fire destroyed more than 200 businesses on Main Street. Within 18 months, the city was rebuilt.
Park City was said to be the greatest silver camp in the world with enough ore to last another 100 years. However, by the 1930s falling mineral prices ended the boom years, and enterprising Parkites began turning their attention from the treasure in the mountains to the snow on the surrounding slopes. Ski jumpers from around the world started competing at Ecker Hill in 1930. In 1946, the town’s first ski area, Snow Park, opened.
Skiing Catches On
As the sport of skiing caught on, three more ski areas were opened within four miles of town. Treasure Mountain Resort, now Park City Mountain Resort, opened in 1963 with the help of a loan from the Federal Area Redevelopment Administration.
The Canyons (formerly Park West and Wolf Mountain) opened five years later in 1968. Then in 1981, Deer Valley Resort opened incorporating many of the former Snow Park runs. In 1973, the U.S. Ski Team (now the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team) made Park City its permanent home with the United States Ski Association following suit in 1988.
People Make the City
Park City is full of intriguing stories passed down through generations of Parkites. One such story comes from Utah’s prohibition days when Park City mortician George Archer kept locals supplied with liquor. Archer would drive his hearse to nearby Evanston, Wyoming, load-up with illegal whiskey, pull the shades and solemnly head back to his Park City funeral parlor. Local tavern owners would then replenish their supply by visiting Archer’s garage in the dark of night.
For More Info…
The Museum at 528 Main Street houses exhibits explaining Park City’s early beginnings as a mining town and the transition to a winter and summer resort destination. The museum was once the City Hall and is one of the 64 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Utah’s Territorial Jail, in use longer than any other of its kind in the west, still remains intact in the basement of the building.
A new Visitor Information Center, located at the junction of Highways 224 and 248 as visitors first enter town, also offers endless information on the town and its surrounding area including lodging and dining options, activities, special events and history.
Following a record season for both skier days and overnight visitors during the 1999-00 year, the town of Park City and its three resorts can hardly wait for the coming winter, particularly after a busy and productive summer of yet more on-mountain improvements. In fact, between Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons, more than $18 million was spent on mountain enhancements to further the overall skiing and snowboarding experience, for visitors and locals alike.
• Olympic Playground • Theater
• Resort Information • Winter Activities
Park City as a whole is on the brink of becoming one of North America’s premier resort destinations. Simply consider the facts:
Park City is located just 36 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport.
Each of our three resorts average 350 inches of “The Greatest Snow on Earth” (that’s over 29 feet!).
There are a total of 46 lifts and 8,350 acres of skiable terrain between our three resorts.
Park City will host over one-third of all medal events during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Park City has more than 16,000 “pillows” and over 100 restaurants to fit every taste and budget. Cultural opportunities abound, including art in every medium imaginable.
Park City is a “real” town, celebrating its 130-year mining heritage throughout the community.
It is no wonder that those who have visited Park City realize it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the “ski world” recognizes all that Park City has to offer.
Ask any Park City resident. You’ll hear the same response time and time again. “I moved here for the winters, but I stayed here for the summers.” Though the sparkle of Utah’s famed powder is what attracts many first-time visitors to Park City’s mountains, sticking around to see those peaks dressed in green instead of white creates a love affair most can’t resist. The dry mountain climate, averaging 80 degrees on a typical Park City summer day, makes for ultra comfortable vacation conditions. And as high elevation temperatures drop each evening, there’s nary an air conditioner in Park City, but plenty a bed whose down comforters stay on yearlong.
Park City’s dramatic mountain peaks become green with sage, grasses, and the boughs of aspen, fir, scrub oak and pine. Throw in the dash of color that billowing hot air balloons or pockets of wildflowers provide: the yellow of yarrow, the violet of lupine, the magenta of Indian paintbrush. Add the gurgle of mountain streams to listen to, the expanse of nearby reservoirs to contemplate, the endless network of trails to explore and the fantastic sunsets that spread themselves over town like an unfolding picnic blanket. You’ll be hooked.
With summer temperatures so comfortable, and scenery so spectacular, it’s easy to see why so many tourists make Park City a stop on their summer vacation. Add our great location, so easily accessible to Salt Lake and some of Utah’s most pristine natural landscapes and recreational areas, and the variety of recreational, cultural, historic, shopping, and dining opportunities and you’ll realize Park City offers something for everyone during the summer months.
Into recreation? Try golfing on the town’s city golf course, or enjoy the two other public courses located within a scenic 30-mile drive from Park City limits. Over 100 miles of public mountain biking and hiking trails exist throughout Park City. Any number of mountain bike shops can outfit you with rentals, equipment, lessons, tips or tours if you like. The Rail Trail, railroad byways turned public trail, runs 29 miles from Park City to Coalville, making for a scenic daylong tour either by bike or hiking. Bring the kids up to the Little Miner’s Park at the Park City Mountain Resort where they can enjoy the Alpine Slide and a variety of other kiddie rides. Take them mountain biking or hiking, or sign them up for a week of summer day camp activities at Deer Valley Resort. Fly down the same bobsled track you’ll see the world’s finest athletes compete on during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games when you take a “rocket ride” at the Utah Winter Sports Park.
Perhaps you’re more into cultural events? Visit one of our 20-plus art galleries. Take in a Sundance film or quirky cult movie at the Park City Film Series. Enjoy a live performance with impressive local talent at the historic Egyptian Theatre on Park City’s Main Street. Bring a picnic and take in the soothing sounds of the Utah Symphony under the stars on the slopes of Deer Valley Resort, or kick back at the City Park for free weekly concerts. See a visiting ballet or modern dance troupe or a chamber music concert by the Summit Institute for the Arts and Humanities.
Maybe you’d prefer to simply sit on an outside patio with a lemonade or Park City home brew and watch the world go by. Since our town of 6,900 boasts more than 100 restaurants of all ethnic genres in a variety of price ranges and styles, you’ll have trouble narrowing down the choices. And shoppers can find everything from western cowboy fare to Indonesian pine furniture, fly-fishing paraphernalia, antique linens and lace, hand painted china, or Christmas ornaments in the array of Park City shops, boutiques and factory outlet stores. When you’re finished enjoying Park City’s many activities for the day, head back to your condo, bed and breakfast, guest house, hotel or lodge for a refreshing night’s sleep in the cool, mountain air — and recharge yourself to start all over again tomorrow. Enjoy!