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Park City Council to discuss Park Silly Market, winter parking, and pickleball Thursday

A snowy Marsac building on Wednesday.
Parker Malatesta
A snowy Marsac Building on Wednesday.

The contract between the city and the event’s organizers expired this year, and thoughts on the next step forward are mixed.

The Park City Council meets Thursday, and the future of the Park Silly Sunday Market is on the agenda.

The Park Silly Market started on lower Main Street in 2006 on what was historically the slowest business day of the week, and has since grown tremendously in size and popularity.

The market happens on 14 Sundays every summer, and showcases local food, arts and crafts. In total, nearly 200,000 total people attended this year.

The contract between the city and the event’s organizers recently expired, and thoughts on the next step forward are mixed.

A survey of Historic Park City Alliance (HPCA) members, which includes Old Town business owners, showed the majority don’t want the event to continue on Main Street.

However, a survey of mostly Summit County residents told a different story. Respondents ranked the importance of the event continuing at an average score of 77 out of 100.

While some improvements were suggested, like expanding the farmers market and having more parking options, many said they would like to see the event remain as is.

The city council has several options, including taking up a proposal from Park Silly for a three to five year agreement. The council could also choose to fold into the discussion the future of car-free Sundays, which also expired this year.

In other items, the council will get a look at the recreation department’s plan for accommodating surging enthusiasm for pickleball in the community. Several changes for this winter are proposed, including adding 48 hours of drop-in pickleball court time at the MARC.

Park City Manager Matt Dias said pickleball requires a delicate balance with tennis, which has historically seen a lot of investment from the city.

“We hope there’s a way to accommodate both," Dias said. "There is some incompatibility side-by-side. We continue to try to flex our facilities to meet the growing demand.”

A lot of that incompatibility has to do with the noise of pickleball balls, and Dias said the rec department has looked into “quiet” balls. A staff report says those had a very different bounce and playability.

Despite the pickleball party that has sprung up, tennis still makes the city a lot more money. The MARC collected over $1 million for tennis in the last fiscal year, while only bringing in just over $100,000 for pickleball. Pickleball revenue has more than tripled in the past two years however.

The council will also discuss the winter parking plan. Dias said there are two routes the city can take.

“We can maintain the status quo with our paid parking system in downtown and see how things work," he said. "And get back together in February or maybe after the holidays and say, ‘what’s working? And what’s not working? Are there any sort of changes that we need to make?’"

"Conversely we could proactively put in a new system to try to dissuade day skier parkers that may not have a reservation, or when the parking lots are full that may try to fill up the inventory in downtown.”

Also scheduled Thursday are separate presentations about the upcoming season from Park City Mountain Vice President and COO Deirdra Walsh, and Deer Valley President and COO Todd Bennett.

The meeting begins at 3:45 p.m. at council chambers in the Marsac Building. The agenda and a link to attend virtually can be found here.