Park City News

Improving on Paradise – Making life in Park City even better!

It’s pretty hard to beat four-season recreation, top-quality education, myriad cultural and dining opportunities and 300+ days of sunshine a year. Park City has found a way to improve on paradise however, with recent upgrades and enhancements to many elements of life here, including roads, schools, trails and winter resorts.

Earlier in the spring, drivers on Highway 224 got a break when the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) realigned the entrance of Park West Village with the entrance to The Canyons Resort, adding a new stoplight and enhancing visibility to a previously risky intersection. Also dramatically increasing highway safety is the recent addition of medians along Park City’s entry corridor, running from the Old Ranch Road intersection to beyond the intersection with The Canyons Drive.

The section of Highway 224 between Interstate-80 and the Park City limits has long been regarded as dangerous. According to UDOT, there were nearly 600 recorded auto accidents on that stretch of road between 2002-2004. Working with the City, UDOT installed the new medians for increased safety, as well as aesthetics. As Park City strives to make its entry corridor appear more like a boulevard and less like a highway, the new medians, planted with native grasses, trees and flowers, are a beautiful start.

The highway isn’t the only Park City throughway getting a facelift this season. Working with its partners, The Mountain Trails Foundation is extending and improving the literally hundreds of miles of local hiking, biking and horseback trails. New for this summer is the Empire Link Trail, which safely skirts Deer Valley Resort’s construction of a new ski lift and additional snowmaking capabilities. The Empire Link Trail runs adjacent to the Park City Mountain Resort boundary and through the Talisker development. Currently under construction is a new bypass trail off Old Ranch Road, scheduled to open later this summer.

Wintertime visitors to Park City’s mountains will also be in for a treat, with upgrades and enhancements to all three area resorts. At The Canyons Resort, the Dreamcatcher Quad— new for the 2006/2007 season—added 200 more acres of skiable glades and trails. The popular Tombstone lift was also upgraded to a high-speed quad, greatly reducing congestion. Deer Valley added new gladed tree skiing off its Sultan Lift, replaced the old Sterling Lift with a new, high-speed detachable quad, and added slopeside bathrooms at Snow Park Lodge—no more clomping downstairs in ski boots. At Park City Mountain Resort, the new Silver Star lift created a new access point to the mountain, as well as three new intermediate runs. And, PCMR ramped up its snowmaking and grooming capabilities, too.

Park City High School is two years into its $20 million dollar remodel, with a completion goal of next summer. The remodel will allow Park City’s growing school population to remain together in a single high school, fostering unity and a common identity. Even more importantly, it will create an updated, expanded educational facility to match Park City School District’s goal of becoming one of the top districts in the nation. To top it all off, the town is bursting with new shops and restaurants, from Main Street, to Kimball Junction, to Pinebrook. Here in Park City, life is good. And, getting better all the time.

Utah Attracts Record Number of Skiers for 2006/2007

Despite a subpar snow season, a record number of skiers and snowboarders carved turns on Utah slopes during the 2006/2007 ski season. And, the three Park City area resorts were leading the charge for record-breaking skier days.

Utah’s 13 active resorts recorded 4,082,094 skier days this past winter, the fourth consecutive year in which a new high mark was set. The new record is further evidence that post-Olympic increases in national visibility enabled well-equipped resorts to overcome an unstable weather pattern and snowfall totals well below normal.

In the Park City area, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons Resort recorded a combined 1,746,333 skier days—up 1.8% from the previous season. And, for the first time, Utah slid into third place nationally for total skier visits, behind Colorado and California, and ahead of fourth-placed Vermont.

Today, the snow may have melted, but the Park City area resorts are still cool. Summertime action includes worldrenowned musical performances at Deer Valley Resort, to zipline and alpine coaster rides at Park City Mountain Resort, to gondola rides and the local Farmer’s Market at The Canyons Resort, plus the trail system that connects all three resorts.

[ back to top ]

Farmers’ Markets Offer Locally Grown Bounty

Maybe it’s not such a stretch to imagine Utah raspberries, would you believe the state also produces excellent peaches, dozens of kinds of melons, artisan cheese, gourmet salad mix and homemade sausages from locally raised pork? Park City may sit at 7,000 feet above sea level, but within 100 miles of town, rich soils and a range of elevations make for some very diverse produce.

Throughout the summer and into the autumn, local Farmers Markets celebrate this cornucopia of fresh, local food. From June to August, the Heber Valley Market runs Thursday evenings from 4:00-9:00 pm in City Park, offering local produce, fruit, meats and dairy products, like yogurts and cheeses. The first half of the market also features a unique activity—ranging from antique car demonstrations to children’s games—while the second half benefits from a weekly Concert in the Park.

The Park City Farmers’ Market, located in The Canyons Resort Parking Lot, operates through the fourth week of October, on Wednesday afternoons from 2:00-7:00 pm. Anchored by long-time fruit and vegetable growers, bakers and cut flower vendors, the market also offers grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, local honey and small-batch cheeses. The Park City Farmers’ Market also features live musical acts and ready-to-go gourmet food from area restaurants.

Two newer summer markets to check out: The Kamas Farmer’s Market, held on the Kamas Rodeo Grounds on Saturdays, from 11:00 am-4:00 pm, and the Park Silly Sunday Market, which runs Sundays from 9:00 am-3:00 pm on Park City’s lower Main Street.

Regional Real Estate Market More Balanced Than in Recent Years

Park City Board of Realtors President and Prudential agent, Matt Green, took a few minutes to share his outlook on the current market. According to Green, the market is more balanced than it has been in the past 2-3 years, with growing inventories and fewer transactions. Given the historic perspective of the past 5-7 years however, today’s market is still robust and stable, with a more equitable position for buyers and sellers.

The current market is extremely localized, making it more important than ever for buyers and especially sellers to use real estate agents who specialize in a particular area. A more balanced market provides greater opportunities for buyers than have existed locally in recent years. Two years ago, the average area sale price was only 2% off list price, providing very little room for negotiation. Today, that average is around 5%, translating to more flexibility for buyers. Still, the local market is by no means slowing. “In a slow market,” explains Green,” average home sale prices are closer to 90% of original asking prices. In contrast, our market is strong and really healthy.”

And, when compared with other resort markets, the greater Park City area is still undervalued. In fact, Utah’s market as a whole is considered the #1 appreciating market in the nation.

[ back to top ]

Utah #1 in High School Graduation

A June 2007 article in the publication Education Weekly reveals data that puts Utah at the top for number of high school graduates. According to the study, the state of Utah has the highest high school graduation rate in the nation. At 83.3%, Utah is well above the national average of 69.9%.

Even better news, the Park City school system consistently ranks as the strongest in the entire state. In fact, a May 2007 Newsweek index ranks Park City High School in the top 6th of all high schools across the country.

[ back to top ]

Delta Airlines Adds 35 Direct Flights From Salt Lake

Beginning in June 2007, Delta Airlines will fly to a total of 114 destinations out of Salt Lake City, the airline’s third largest hub and largest hub in the West. The 35 new destinations include Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico; Victoria and Edmonton, Canada; and domestic additions like Raleigh/ Durham, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee.

The recent surge in flight destinations means that now Delta offers more destinations out of Salt Lake than any other airline offers anywhere in the West. For Park City and Heber Valley residents and visitors alike, this translates to greater convenience and increased options. It also means a broader and more diverse base for year-round tourism.

[ back to top ]