Park City, Utah

Park City is located east of Salt Lake City, in Summit County, Utah, United States of America. The Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain resort, and the Wasatch Mountain Range border the city. It is located at the south end of the Snyderville Basin and includes the Steep Mountains to the southeast, south, and west. Park City has a permanent population of roughly 8,500 people, but it is best known for being a tourist attraction, and peak seasons see the population grow exponentially with temporary visitors. 

Park City
A street in Park City, Utah.

History Of Park City

Mormons are famously numerous in Utah, and early Mormon pioneers traveled through Park City to settle in Salt Lake City. Mormon leader Parley P. Pratt explored the canyon near Park City in 1848. The area at the top of the canyon was later settled by a few families and dubbed "Parley's Park City." In 1884 the town was incorporated as simply Park City. The mining boom began in the 1860s, and the first silver mines were dug. Following the boom, many prospectors came to the area. By 1880, a spur line was created to connect the Echo station to the First Transcontinental Railroad, increasing traffic to the area. By 1892 the Silver King Mine was one of the most famous silver mines in the world. The town continued to grow as silver mining boomed until the 1950s, when a decline in silver's value led to a massive decline in the industry.

Park City Public Library and former Miners Hospital with spring daffodils.

Two tragedies further shook the town. One was a major town fire in 1898, and another was a mine accident in 1902 that killed 34 miners. Eventually, it was clear that a new strategy and new industry were needed. A ski resort called Treasure Mountains opened in 1963 on 40 km2 of land owned by miners. This resort was the beginning of what is now Park City Mountain Resort. Since then, tourism has become the primary industry for the city, and the tourism sector has continued to grow, fed in part by the 2002 winter Olympics.

Attractions In Park City

Ski Resorts

Park City skiing
A chair lift brings skiers to top of ski slopes of Deer Valley Ski Resort, near Park City.

Ski resorts are popular attractions in the area. Two major resorts, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort, and the smaller Woodward Park City bring in many winter-sport-loving visitors. Both the Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resorts were used in the ski and snowboarding events in the 2002 Winter Olympics. The Park City Ski Resort, combined with the previously separate Canyons Resort, created the largest ski area in the United States. Together, those resorts contain 17 slopes, 14 bowls, 300 trails, and over 35 km of lifts, not including the slopes and runs in the neighboring resorts. This area is truly a ski lover's paradise. Similarly, the 2002 Olympic bobsled, skeleton, and luge tracks are located at the local Utah Olympic Park. 

Film And Art

A major attraction of Park City is the Sundance Film Festival. It is the largest independent film festival in all of the United States. Screenings are held across the city in various venues. It is estimated that some $80 million of yearly income is generated purely from the Sundance Film Festival. It brings movie lovers and a variety of celebrities - from actors to directors and producers - from all over the United States and the world. Park City also hosts Kimball Arts Festival every year. It attracts, on average, 50,000 visitors.

Culture And Activities

Hot air balloons above Park City, Utah, USA
Hot air balloons above Park City, Utah.

Two parades also take place in Park City, and those are the Fourth of July parade and the Labor Day (or Miner's Day) parades. Outdoor activities are popular in the region, not just in winter. Park City usually serves as the finish for the final leg of the Tour of Utah road bike race, and cycling, golfing, mountain biking, hiking, and camping are all popular activities for locals and visitors alike. 

Those less interested in active sports can enjoy some of the best shopping around at the largest collection of factory outlet stores in northern Utah, enjoy the local bars and restaurants, or relax in a natural hot spring.

The town has an abundance of sights to enjoy, and it was even named one of the '20 prettiest towns' by Forbes Traveler Magazine in 2008.

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