Happy holidays to you! I hope you enjoy this wonderful weekend filled with warm cheer, cold weather, and fresh snow.
The holiday is an excellent time to reflect on the passing year, and I want to share a few developments that make 2022 a landmark.
Seasonal Worker web page: This new site links to various in-demand resources to help seasonal workers feel welcome and supported. The site provides help finding roommates, health and wellness resources (including mental health counseling), food and clothing outlets, guides to using public transit and rideshare services, law enforcement, Spanish-language support, emergency services, and more. For our often adventurous seasonal workers, we also included “things to do” and “sites to see” sections.
The Sustainable Tourism Plan: In the STP, we now have a consensus on sustaining a pristine Park City for generations to come, balancing our economic needs, history, lifestyle, and environment while attracting visitors who share these values. It will require consistent effort and unity, but the road is clear. Please read it and get involved.
Some related developments may have slipped your notice. For example, we joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council this year, giving us access to the best practices of sustainable destinations worldwide. In addition, we’ve already earned a reputation as a sustainable tourism leader; I was invited to present on the subject at the Utah Tourism Conference this fall. We also quickly incorporated responsible visitation messages into our “Winter’s Favorite Town” campaign. A two-page advertorial in Outside magazine and our “Care for the Mountains Runs Deep” ads are typical examples.
Membership increases: New memberships jumped nearly 44% compared to 2021, and as of this month, total membership is 17% higher. Renewals are up almost 9%. We’re grateful that more than 900 local businesses see the value of Chamber/Bureau membership and that we can help them succeed in business and community life.
Community Give Back Day and the Business University: These new programs are unqualified successes. This fall, our Give Back Day pilot project matched Chamber staff and Board members with community groups to rehab social trails and perform maintenance work in the Bonanza Flat area. For our next project in the spring, Chamber businesses are welcome to volunteer their staff, and nonprofits can suggest projects a group of volunteers can tackle in a day of service.
The Business University is a free year-round educational program offering members business advice from some of the best coaches and entrepreneurs in the area. The powerful lessons offered at these monthly lunchtime sessions around Park City empower local businesses to thrive. Find out more at VisitParkCity.com.
Equality in the workplace: This year, Equality Utah recognized the Chamber/Bureau as one of the most inclusive workplaces in the state. In addition, Park City received the second-highest rating in Utah on the Municipal Equality Index, a measure of inclusivity for LGBTQ+ people.
New board leadership: This summer, we welcomed Brooks Kirchheimer as our board chair and Susie English, Revice Jordan, Rosa Salguero, Rob Sergent, and Lora Smith as our newest board members.
There are more highlights than we have room to mention. We have so much to do and much to be grateful for, including this opportunity to share our thoughts with you here.
With that, I will sign off my Park Record column for 2022 and get busy celebrating this beautiful season. Warmest holiday wishes from all of us at the Chamber/Bureau. See you on the slopes!