Park City, Utah: Our Home, Part 13

The beautiful Main Street in Park City really lights up the night. Photo credit:
The beautiful Main Street in Park City really lights up the night. Photo credit:

One reason why Salt Lake City is becoming a popular destination is the airport’s proximity to the city itself as well as the neighboring areas. While some places require a lengthy drive to attractions and resorts, this does not. The crown jewel of these hides a mere 40 minutes away: Park City.

Officially founded as a city in 1884, Park City was named after Mormon Pioneer Parley P. Pratt after a few families “parked” there in the late 1840s and Pratt himself explored the canyon leading up to the area in 1848. Park City’s prominence came into play in the 1860s with the discovery of ore, and thus the beginning of the local mining industry. The mines dominated the economy of Park City for about 100 years, including some of the wealthiest mines in the world, but the tide turned in the 1950s and the city fell into decline with the dropping price of silver.

Right at the economic tipping point, the miners proposed “Treasure Mountain,” a ski resort opening up on the former mining acreage behind the town. The original resort featured a lift which combined a mining train with an elevator to take skiers to the summit; it may have terrified its occupants, but it showed those brave enough to step inside what treasure awaited them. Today’s resort, known as Park City, sits adjacent to the downtown and neighboring communities, and it also features a ski lift and runs which go right into the historic downtown.

Speaking of the downtown, Park City has a beautiful Main Street, which functions as the main attraction besides the ski resorts. The town has accolades and attractions in spades; Forbes ranked it as the #1 ski town in the United States, and while we might be biased, it deserves it. Main Street has over 5 dozen buildings registered on the National Register of Historic Places; the sidewalks neighbor many of them and showcase beautiful small restaurants and local stores. Each one is a treat to the senses.

Besides Main Street, there is an unincorporated area near Park City which tends to be somewhat quieter; the bulk of this area is known as Kimball Junction. It is home to the Tanger Outlets, the Redstone Center, and Newpark Town Center. Each of these locations contain local amenities and shopping, such as movie theatres, outlet stores, and even a community athletic center.

Tucked above this western neighboring area is the Utah Olympic Park, a fully-functioning former Olympic event venue and training center with a bobsled track, ski jumps, and a museum dedicated to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. While they were officially held in Salt Lake City, Park City was a major contributor to the success of the Games, with the usage of two ski resorts and other amenities. The park also features a zip line from the top of the ski jumps and other activities for guests, making it a great summertime stop.

All of the wonders of Park City are fairly easily accessible, whether one lives in Utah or not. For driving, Interstate 80 runs up Parley’s Canyon (also named after Parley P. Pratt) right next to the town, which can be accessed either via Kimball Junction or US-40 a few miles further up. The Utah Transit Authority also runs buses, PC-SLC Connect, up to Kimball Junction from downtown Salt Lake City, which then connect with the Park City Transit system. This local high-frequency bus system includes the new Electric Xpress route, featuring a fleet of 100% electric buses. Not only is Park City a historic and lovely place to visit, it’s also easy to access and get around.

Whether staying for a few hours, a few days, or a few months, Park City is arguably one of the ultimate tourist and local destinations in the United States, and we at VIP Limousine love taking clients up there and visiting it ourselves.

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