From silver mining town, to whiskey running, to ski hub, to artistic center, Park City has done a lot of growing and changing over the years. Even with all these changes, Park City manages to maintain its rustic, Old Western charm as it holds court as one of the most upscale cities in the country. There’s more than meets the eye to this picturesque mountain village, and every thing I learn about it leaves me wanting to know more. Here are some fun facts about Park City:

  • When US soldiers found silver in the mountains above Salt Lake City in 1868, Park City was put on the map.

  • By 1898, Park City already had a population of 7,500, which is close to the number of full-time residents who call it home today (7,873).

  • A fire destroyed the entire town in 1898, but determined residents were able to rebuild in just a year and a half. Many of these buildings are still standing and in use today.

  • The economic struggles of the 1940s left Park City almost deserted, but the arrival of ski resorts on the scene completely revived the community by the 1960s.

  • Deer Valley Resort, originally called Snow Park, opened its first lift in 1946. In 1963, Park City Mountain Resort began hosting guests under the name of Treasure Mountain.

  • The Park City Art Festival which is held every August is the longest running art festival in the West.

  • The Sundance Film Festival has been hosted by Park City since it began in 1981.

  • Deer Valley and Park City Resorts were both Olympic venues in the 2002 Winter Games. Skiing and snowboarding events were held there.

  • Utah Olympic Park is located in Park City, and is a training ground for Olympic athletes from all over the world.

  • Park City is just 35 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport, which makes it one of the most accessible ski cities in the world.

  • Over 75% of the public parking spaces in Park City are free year round, including two large parking structures in downtown.

  • When you combine Main Street and Park Avenue in downtown Park City, there are over 50 restaurants and 20 bars, many of which have received 5 star status.

  • The art of Park City spills out onto the street, and Franz the Bear and the Moose on the Loose statues, among others, can be viewed and photographed any time.

  • The Park city Opera House was destroyed in the fire of 1898, and replaced by the Dewey Theatre in 1899. The roof collapsed due to heavy snow on the theatre in 1916. The Egyptian Theatre was built in 1922 as a replacement, and is still in use today. The building was supervised by an Egyptologist, and the theatre is inspired by King Tut’s tomb. It is used as a Sundance screening room.

  • Besides being a silver town, Park City was a famous watering hole in the Old West, known for its high quality whiskey. Utah was the 36th state to vote against the 18th amendment, which ended Prohibition. High West Distillery and Saloon, the first distillery in Utah since 1870, runs the whiskey business in Park City today. It is a “ski-in” establishment.

  • Park City prides itself on “going green,” providing free public transportation, and encouraging walking and biking as methods to get around town. Park City Mountain Resort offsets 100% of their electricity use with wind power.

 

  • Walking tours of Park City begin at 2 pm, Mon-Fri all summer long. They start at the Park City Museum, and there are a variety of tours to choose from.

  • TripAdvisor ranked Park City’s Ghost Tour as the second best in the entire nation. It begins daily at 8pm at Miner’s Park.

  • With over 400 miles of public trail access, Park City is a hiker’s paradise. One hike through Daly Canyon offers a tour of the Old Judge Mine and Smelting Company, where you’ll see the ruins of buildings, mining cars, and tracks nestled quietly in the forest.

  • There are 14 golf courses accessible within 30 minutes of Park City, including the William Neff Signature course at Park City Golf Club.

  • Besides the 3 ski resorts in Park City (Deer Valley, Canyons, and Park City Mountain Resorts), there are at least a half dozen other ski resorts within an hour’s drive of town.

  • Deer valley is a ski only resort, and doesn’t allow snowboarders. There are only two other resorts in the country that cater so specifically to skiers: Ski Valley in Taos, and Mad River Glen in Vermont.

Every interesting fact about Park City is backed by a fun outing or activity to participate in, and you could stay busy year round getting to know this beautiful town. Pick a fact and check it out!