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High Rent, Low Wages—Project For Deeper Understanding To Discuss Living And Working In Park City

Scott Loomis, executive director of Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, says most of Park City’s service jobs pay $15 to $20 an hour, and that doesn’t support the cost of living in the Park City-area.


“The area median income for a family of four is $109,800, which equates to roughly about $55 an hour," Loomis said. "When we're paying people $15 to $20 an hour to service our resort economy, it's pretty difficult to make things work.”

Loomis says the problem is particularly evidenced by the thousands of people who commute into Summit County to go to work every day.

“We're not really developing into the problem—we're expanding the economy to the point where we have no workforce living locally, and we have to go much beyond the traditional boundaries of Salt Lake or Heber," Loomis said. "It's becoming worse every day and every year, and we’ll be able to see what some of the answers are and some of the attitudes of the business community.”

The panel includes University of Utah economists Eunice Han and Peter Philips; CONNECT Summit County Executive Director Deanna Rhodes, who will speak to her experience working service jobs and trying to live in Park City; a representative from the AFL-CIO service workers union; representatives from Park City’s business community; and local developer Tony Tyler.

The Project for Deeper Understanding on wages and affordability is Thursday, Nov. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Mountainlands Community Housing Trust Executive Director Scott Loomis will moderate the first hour of the forum, then the panel will take questions from the audience. KPCW will broadcast the event live.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.