Developed in the spring of 2022, the Sustainable Tourism Plan for Park City and Summit County intends to create a future where we consider community and environmental benefits with the same weight as economic benefits, resulting in a thriving community and welcoming destination. The plan was developed in collaboration with diverse community stakeholders to create a long-range sustainable destination plan with these principles in mind:
[Number of projects as of 07/26/23]
The following objectives represent the high-level categories of work our community is undertaking to achieve its vision of sustainable tourism. Each one supports multiple Stewardship Principles and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The strength and longevity of our visitor economy is in part connected to local support of tourism. The initiatives within this objective seek to grow local pride and character, deepen the connection between the local population and the visitor economy as it evolves, and seek to maintain a high level of local engagement.
In partnership with Town Lift, we’re celebrating the extraordinary individuals that make everyday life in the community possible in the Beyond the Frontline series. Not only are they integral to the vibrancy and sustainability of our destination, they stay true to themselves and seek adventure at every turn. Read more here.
This objective fosters the successful development and implementation of regional plans that support sustainable infrastructure in and surrounding Summit County, including land use, development, and sustainability policies at the local and state level that impact a sustainable visitor economy.
Revitalized in 2023, the Park City Community Foundation Climate Fund combats climate change head on with long-term investments and local climate solutions as we pursue our community goal of net zero emissions by 2030. The fund has awarded over $500,000 to organizations fighting climate change in Summit County, like EATS Park City, Recycle Utah, Tree Utah, and 3 Springs Land & Livestock.
Park City and Summit County’s visitor economy relies on our beautiful natural resources, which are threatened by environmental changes such as wildfires, drought, and changing snowpack. This objective creates initiatives to support the preservation of these all-important natural assets.
Gone are the days of toggling between trail websites to check where to hike, ride, ski or saddle up. Mountain Trails, Basin Recreation, and PC Trails & Open Space Department have collaborated to create a new, comprehensive Park City Trails website where visitors can easily find conditions for all trails, view trailhead cameras, and learn the proper trail etiquette that helps preserve the trails and the land they traverse.
The travel industry is one of the larger components of the Park City and, to a lesser extent, the Summit County economy. However, the dual global experiences of the pandemic and climate change have demonstrated that no community is buffered from the impact of external forces. If visitation declines, the $1B industry will be at risk, affecting direct travel employment in accommodations, retail, restaurants, and resorts, and indirect travel employment across other sectors. Preparing for uncertainty by developing resilience plans will help facilitate responsiveness in the face of change.
The Recycle Utah Green Business Program was initiated in 2016, and in 2022 has grown into a collaboration between Recycle Utah, PCCVB, Summit County, and Park City. This initiative expands the program to address energy, water, materials, transportation, and a thriving equitable community as it relates to local businesses. Additionally, the program is enhanced by educational resources, marketing incentives, lunch & learns, and opportunities for participating businesses to learn from each other.
Additionally, Park City Municipal completed collecting data to calculate a community-wide Park City carbon footprint—a truly massive undertaking. It’s the first step to creating a detailed, current climate action plan.
The positive contributions of visitation to Summit County’s economy have been significant and undeniable, but they have also tended to concentrate within a small subset of the community. Additionally, some unintended consequences of the visitor economy have disproportionately affected residents and workers with lower household incomes. This objective seeks to both better distribute positive impacts and to mitigate negative impacts for all.
Through our new Sustainable Tourism Grant, we’ve given organizations the opportunity to request an award of up to $30,000 to partially or fully fund eligible Sustainable Tourism projects, whether it helps support skills-based training or the development of voluntourism programs. We also recognize that Park City can’t exist without well-cared-for seasonal workers, which is why we’ve put valuable resources for them—from housing to healthcare information—all in one place, in both English and Spanish.
To be better positioned to carry out the work of this Sustainable Tourism Plan, the Park City Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau and community partners are reviewing general operations, media and advertising relationships, and programming to ensure they reflect the stewardship principles and sustainable vision for Park City and Summit County.
We want visitors to care for Park City just as consciously as they would care for their home communities, so we’ve created a toolkit for our lodging partners which includes drafted sustainability messaging for them to include in pre-visit and on-site guest communications. And in an effort to ease visitor footprint on natural spaces, the Trails Less Travelled hub encourages visitation to underutilized trails.
In 2018, the Summit County creative community collaborated to articulate and build a road map for the future vitality and sustainability of arts and culture in the region: the Project ABC (Art, Beauty, Culture) Cultural Plan. And now, we’re building upon Project ABC to cultivate and promote Summit County’s cultural sectors.
Park City’s roots run deep as our historic mines. To help introduce visitors to our foundational culture, we’ve collaborated with TravelStorys to develop a self-guided audio tour that highlights Park City’s history and the stories of its diverse population that lived and thrived during the early silver mining days.