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Park City Staff Recommends Just Five Changes To Special Events

The Park City Council is scheduled to consider some changes to special events. All in the name of creating better balance, more predictability and better event management of special events. Melissa Allison has more:


Park City Council has had staff working hard to address the community’s concerns about special events for more than three years. The city created the Special Events Advisory Committee, or SEAC to help get a better grasp of how to resolve the many issues including noise, traffic and parking.

“Event fatigue” was coined and quickly became the catchphrase that could neither be defined nor reversed. The city has worked with SEAC, the community and other stake holders to get their feedback and develop a strategy.

Special Events Manager Jenny Diersen said it wasn’t until the past May when things began to crystalize.

“It became very clear on where we should be going with special events,” Diersen said. “And again, to talk a little bit about the predictability and the balance in the event calendar and how much has changed over the last three years.”

They want to clearly define peak periods and Diersen said there are about 11 times where Park City is at its peak.

“We want our community to know that we’re not really looking to consider any more, new events during that time,” Diersen said. “There may be over the next couple of years as things shake out, some events that are existing on the calendar that end up being on those weekends. But again, better predictability for our community and specifically with regards to transportation and the public safety on that point.”

They’re also reclassifying the event levels – adding levels 4 and 5. Diersen said they’ve done a better job by not basing them on attendance but on the impacts to the community.

“So, an example there is the level 5 will be something like the Sundance Film Festival, and arts festival,” Diersen said. “A level 4 might be Savor the Summit. And kind of the smaller events, the level 1’s, 2’s and 3’s would perhaps be like the local Park City Baseball Tournament that just happened this past summer or Walk A Mile In His [Her] Shoes.”

They’re also looking at changing the current rolling which allows organizers to submit applications any day of the workweek.

Diersen’s department is recommending they change it to only accepting applications three times a year for levels 3, 4 and 5 events. She said it would give staff more time to process the applications for approval.

Organizers are however, able to submit their applications up to 18 months in advance.

“A lot of times, immediately following the event, whether its Arts Festival or RAGNAR, or another sporting tournament, they want to start marketing right away,” Diersen said. “And we want to get ahead of that, work with those applicants and reward them for knowing what they want to do in advance. and then work with those smaller community events. Again, the level 1’s and 2’s have a 30-day window that they need to submit those deadlines.”

The resorts will not need approval from the city for their events unless they are level 4 or 5 event which typically have attendance of more than 1,000 people.

Other recommendations include giving applicants five years to wean them off of fee waivers which the city council has wanted to eliminate for some time.

“We want to make sure you’re budgeted and know that you can support this type of event,” Diersen said. “A balance in that is that we know a lot of our applicants are local nonprofit organizations and so that’s why this one is going to take some time. I think it’s really important to mention we do have our next round of fee reduction due on October 1, which is this coming Monday.”

The five-year process will begin July 1, 2019. Diersen said they won’t know for a couple of more years exactly how much money these changes will save the city.

I’m Melissa Allison, KPCW News.