20th October 2022
The US mountain town aims to be at the forefront of sustainability and believes others can learn from its initiatives. PlanetSKI examines its plans and looks at what people may notice. NEW
In a joint meeting of the Summit County Council and the Park City Council, a highly-anticipated Sustainable Tourism Plan for Summit County has been formally adopted.
The plan was presented by the Park City Chamber of Commerce/ Convention & Visitors Bureau which took action to develop a roadmap that would prioritise sustainable tourism.
Initiatives tackled in the plan include preserving natural resources and supporting the local community amid an influx of visitors.
The renewed vision for the future of Park City and Summit County’s tourism sector aims to strike a balance between protecting the environment and residents’ quality of life, while also promoting a thriving economy.
“The Chamber worked hand-in-hand with the Stewardship Council to strategize a method to allow our local economy to reap the benefits of a blossoming tourism industry while still protecting the foundation of our communities,” said Betsy Wallace, who served as Board Chair of the Chamber & Visitors Bureau as the plan was being developed.
“The 22 members on the Stewardship Council represented the voices of local residents, small business owners, art and environmental groups, major ski resorts, and equity stakeholders, ensuring the plan captured the genuine needs and concerns of local residents.
“We are so appreciative of those that provided helpful input and direction for Park City and Summit County’s renewed tourism vision. We are thrilled to share this plan with the public.”
The Sustainable Tourism Plan specifies actions related to:
- Implementing sustainable transportation, housing, water, energy and waste policies.
- Promoting responsible use and management of our trails and nature recreation areas.
- Fostering tourism focused on arts and culture.
- Encouraging visitors to participate in the Sustainable Tourism plan to enforce its success.
- Re-energizing the Green Business Certification programme.
- Discussing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives surrounding workforce, housing and transportation issues.
Park City is stressed to PlanetSKI that people won’t necessarily see changes overnight, “it’s a long road to make big impact”.
Here is what visitors may notice:
- A sustainability toolkit for lodges so that they can communicate key messaging with guests while they’re booking, leading up to arrival, and on-site.
- Working with all of the trail managers to build a comprehensive trail management website w/ live trail conditions and winter grooming information (to be housed on the Mountain Trails website).
- Working with the city to create standardized recycling bins.
- More visibility for green businesses.
- Updates to the visitor center to emphasize visitor education.
PlanetSKI has visited Park City and other resorts in Utah many times over the years.
We have recently posted an article looking back at some of our trips:
Park City Chamber & Visitors Bureau has appointed a person to help manage the organisation’s new initiatives.
Morgan Mingle is the Chamber & Visitors Bureau’s first Director of Sustainable Tourism, a newly-created role to provide leadership in addressing and facilitating the Sustainable Tourism Plan.
“As the Director of Sustainable Tourism, my top priority is to ensure visitors and community members alike understand the purpose and goals of our new sustainability plan,” said Morhan Mingle.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Chamber team as the organisation launches a new vision that will ultimately allow our beautiful nature, kind people, and robust visitor economy to thrive well into the future.”
Summit County Joins the Global Sustainable Tourism Council
To further its commitment, the Park City Chamber & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors signed the Glasgow Declaration.
This is a coordinated plan to accelerate climate action in tourism and align climate action across tourism stakeholders.
- Government and institutional agencies,
- Donors and financial institutions,
- International organizations,
- Civil society,
- The private sector,
Glasgow Declaration signatories commit to delivering plans to cut tourism emissions in half over the next decade and reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050.
For more information on Park City and Summit County’s Sustainable Tourism planning process or to view documents, go to visitparkcity.com/sustainabletourismplan.
For additional information about the Park City Chamber & Visitors Bureau, visit visitparkcity.com.
Other ski areas are also drawing up similar initiatives and are looking at the pioneering work of Park City.
About Park City Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau
Park City Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau represents nearly 1,000 businesses in Summit County. Founded in 1963 to promote local ski resorts, today, the Park City Chamber & Visitors Bureau is entrusted with fostering the health and wellbeing of the local community.
From maintaining economic stability and addressing environmental concerns to developing sustainable tourism plans and preserving cultural heritage, the organization prides itself on being in the community for the community.
For more information, visit visitparkcity.com.