Welcome to 2023! Seeing so much snow on the mountain and so many happy visitors back in town is exciting. Snow and skiers equal good economic news!  And now, with our sustainable tourism plan in place, we are also working on the nexus of visitors and the environment, making the encounter more sustainable.

For example, in the upcoming year, we are collaborating with Basin Rec and the Mountain Trails Foundation to create a one-stop website that maps the trails throughout the region. With winter and summer options, all levels of difficulty to choose from, and stretching from PC to the far-flung north and east basin, visitors can find planning a trail adventure a bit daunting. A comprehensive trail site can make a memorable experience more accessible, and helping visitors find suitable trails can reduce unnecessary driving around.  It also provides a comprehensive source for educational materials and resources, like the Transit to Trails program.  These are good examples of how sustainable action works to both maximize guest experience while, in this case, helping ease traffic and parking conditions and creating a broad educational tool for recreationalists.

Another component, adding webcams at popular trailheads, has similar benefits, plus the potential to reduce trail congestion. Real-time webcams and videos will trigger more informed decisions, helping guests make efficient use of their (usually) limited time, reducing local car travel, and diverting foot traffic away from crowded to less-congested trails. Dispersal strategies like these are a fundament of sustainable tourism management.

If you are a Chamber/Bureau partner, you’ll be happy to know we’re continuing our popular Business University series launched last fall. These free professional development lunches cover topics such as marketing, leadership, and generating sales leads, and we always focus on takeaways you can use immediately. In partnership with The Referral Community and hosted by Park City Hospital at the Blair Education Center, the sessions are on the first Wednesday of each month.

I’m also excited about a new idea - our first Snow Day on the Mountain with PCMR, where we invite Chamber partners to join us for a day of fun in the great outdoors. It’s all about relationship building and getting to know one another better, the key to building working partnerships that will help achieve our individual and community goals. I’m hoping Snow Day on the Mountain becomes a popular tradition. We’re looking forward to creating something fun in the summer as well. More to come on that later.  At the Chamber, we believe that it’s important that we get out and enjoy our mountain lifestyle, and what better way to do that than to get out on the mountain together!

There are a few clouds on the 2023 horizon. Economic headwinds fueled by inflation, airline difficulties, fears of a recession, and increased gas prices could strengthen. As the new year dawns, we are closely monitoring national economic trends as well as local and regional tourism metrics.

Finally, the legislature convenes on January 17, and for the second year, the Chamber/Bureau’s legislative policy agenda prioritizes positions we believe advance Park City’s needs. This year, our advocacy is supported by the Park City Area Lodging Association, the Park City Area Restaurant Association, and the Historic Park City Alliance. In my next column on January 18, we will review these priorities, giving you a clear picture of where we stand at the Capitol in the upcoming session.

Thank you to the Park Record for allowing us this space in the newspaper.  We appreciate the opportunity to stay in touch with you through these regular columns and through other programs like our Coffee Chats at the Kimball Junction Visitor Information Center. The next chat is on February 7 from 9 -10:30 a.m. We’d love to hear from you and if you are considering joining us in the new year. We can connect at ParkCityChamber.com.