Park City, Utah
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Park City Business Signs
Mormon pioneers passed through Park City on their way to settling Salt Lake City in the mid-nineteenth century. These were the first Americans of European descent to explore the area. Parley P. Pratt explored the canyon in 1848. Pratt was subsequently awarded a charter in 1849. He built a toll road through the canyon. Settlement began shortly thereafter. Park City wouldn’t officially be founded until 1869, however. For the first few decades of its existence, it was a mining town. The town was named after Parley. Settlers initially named it ‘Parley’s Park City’ – after Parley’s Park – but the name was shortened by 1900.
Modern day Park City is primarily a tourist area. In fact, “on average the tourist population greatly exceeds the number of permanent residents.” However, according to a 2012 estimate by the US Census Bureau, Park City has a population of 7,873 permanent residents.
According to Forbes Magazine’s Forbes Traveler Magazine in 2008, Park City is among the 20 ‘prettiest towns’ in the country. On top of this accolade, according to a report by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Park City was given a Gold-level Ride Center designation in 2011 for its mountain bike trails, amenities, and community.
Park City serves as the headquarters for three companies: Backcountry.com, Rossignol USA, and Skullcandy. The town is also known for its numerous golf courses, reservoirs, hot springs, forests, and hiking trails.
Park City is best known as the location for the annual Sundance Film Festival. This international independent film festival was founded in 1978 with the help of Robert Redford, who once played the Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Today, Sundance showcases 200 different films in locations across the town. According to a 2012 report by the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, the Sundance Film Festival attracts 46,731 attendees. This makes it the largest independent film festival in the United States.
“The festival is a showcase for new work from American and International independent filmmakers. It comprises competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature-length and short films, and a group of out-of-competition sections, including NEXT, New Frontier, Spotlight, and Park City At Midnight.”
Park City is also known for its two ski resorts. Deer Valley Resort features 101 runs with a top elevation of 9,570 ft (2,920 m) and a skiable area of 2,026 acres. It is often considered one of the finest ski venues in North America. Park City Mountain Resort, which opened in 1963, features 314 runs with a top elevation of 10,000 ft (3,048 m) and 7,300 skiable acres. The town is also the site of Utah Olympic Park, which was heavily used during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. This park, which opened in 1993, includes bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, ski jumping, and Nordic combined events areas. Olympic athletes often train there.
Thanks to the Sundance Film Festival, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort, Utah Olympic Park, and a plethora of other attractions, Park City “brings in a yearly average of $529,800,00 to the Utah Economy as a tourist hot spot.” Sundance brings in approximately $80,000,000 of that amount.
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