PARK CITY: A Historic Mountain Town

Mountain towns are even better in the summer, especially majestic Park City, Utah.

Summer in Park City

A very common saying when you ask someone why they live in (insert any mountain town here), is that they moved there for the winters but stayed for the summers.  I can completely understand why that is, in a beautiful town like Park City, Utah.  I’d even argue that there may be more of a reason to visit in the summer with the overabundance of activities available.  Fortunately, during my most recent trip to the destination, I was able to forgo the frozen fingers and toes and experience all that this amazing mountain town had to offer.

Getting to Park City is only getting easier, with an already short commute from Salt Lake City International Airport (approximately 35 minutes by car).  SLC has over 800 daily scheduled flights, and the airport is undergoing a major redevelopment over the next several years.  The city plans to unveil the two phases of the brand new Salt Lake City International Airport before the end of 2020 with continued improvements occurring through 2024.

Most people think of Park City as a ski town that surrounds its iconic Historic Main Street, which is only partly true.  Park City has 3 distinguishable areas: Canyons Village, Park City Mountain Village, and Deer Valley.  When driving in from the airport, you’ll know you’re close when you approach the famous Utah Olympic Park, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.  If you do nothing else offsite, make sure you pay a visit to this park.  Perfect for any group size, you can plan a team-building event allowing small groups to experience what it’s like to race down the mountain in a bobsled or host a large group reception to watch Flying Ace Productions perform tricks over their 1.25 million-gallon freestyle pool.

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As you travel towards town, you will first reach Canyons Village (at Park City Mountain).  Being the closest base to the airport, the village is filled with plenty of hotels and the country’s very first heated chairlift, the Orange Bubble Express.  This gondola ride (just a short walk from most hotels in Canyons Village) provides guests with sweeping views of the mountain and city beneath and behind them as they make their way up the mountain to a beautiful event venue, making it a far more memorable “transfer” option than a motorcoach.

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Continue your travels along the road to make your way to the heart of town.  To get your group over to Park City’s Historic Main Street, consider renting Pedego electric bikes for a little extra push.  From personal experience, I can attest that you need not even pedal once on these magical bikes, allowing for even the least athletic of the bunch to enjoy the sweeping views without breaking a sweat.  There are beautiful, paved bike/walking/running paths designed to easily connect Canyons Village to Park City Mountain Village.

Once you arrive, allow your attendees some free time to explore Historic Main Street, but request that they meet you at your restaurant of choice to begin a memorable dine-around or progressive dinner experience.  With a number of restaurants within steps of each other, the group will be able to enjoy the flavors of Utah at multiple eateries.  Just make sure you end the evening at No Name Saloon – the most iconic bar in town.

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Lastly, you will come across Deer Valley.  Deer Valley is well known for having a few of the higher-end properties like the Montage, St. Regis, and Stein Erikson Lodge.  If you decide to splurge on accommodations, you may find that you need to cut back your budget on an offsite experience.  Look no further than the free evening summer concert series where you can rent chairs and blankets, and even cater sophisticated meals for your entire group.  It’s the perfect opportunity for your attendees to feel like the locals in their new home away from home.

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Important Items To Note:

  • ALCOHOL:  Planners have some concerns about the difficulty of their attendees getting a drink in Utah.
    • You can buy 3.2% alcohol by weight beer almonst anywhere (including grocery stores and events).
    • Check with your venue to ensure the type of license they have (beer-only licenses may serve 3.2% beer from 11:30am – 1am and limited service liquor licenses, or wine and beer over 3.2% from 11:30am – midnight).
    • Restaurants require a purchase of a food item along with their beverage from 11:30am – midnight, but bars can serve drinks without food from 10am – 1am.
    • It’s not a problem!  Though it seems like a lot of rules to follow, from the attendee perspective, they will likely never feel affected.
  • ACCOMMODATIONS:  Planners will find that MANY hotels in Park City are condo properties.  It’s important to research thoroughly to ensure your attendees are receiving the same experience, if that is important to you.
  • FREE SHUTTLE:  In my opinion, Park City’s free transit system is one of the best out there.  It’s not only environmentally friendly, but affordable, clean, and safe.  It’s a great way for your attendees to (inexpensively) explore the different villages that make up Park City.

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