Main Street’s Car-Free Saturdays Are Ending but Sundays Will be Car-Free Until Oct. 25th
Saturday September 5th was the last car-free Saturday on Park City’s Main Street. The Historic Park City Alliance has been implementing car-free weekends as a way to stimulate local business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the success of car-free Sunday’s on Park City’s Main Street earlier in the summer, the Historic Park City Alliance has also been experimenting with car-free Saturdays.
Concerns from some local business owners about the effects of closing the street to car traffic all weekend long prompted the HPCA to cancel the one remaining car-free Saturday that was approved by the Park City Council on October 5th.
Lara Long is a manager at the Spur Bar & Grill and tells KPCW summer business has been better than expected considering all of the health restrictions during the pandemic. She says weekends have been good, especially Sundays, but Saturdays have been a little more inconsistent.
“I mean, it’s awesome for us, especially Sundays,” said Long. “These Saturdays are great, but they’re just kind of hit and miss, you know? We love them, they’ve made Sunday’s really great. I mean, I would definitely say it’s a struggle compared to what we’re used to, but we’ll survive and hopefully it won’t continue like this, basically. We do have a large enough area that we’re able to have a lot of tables so we can generate some revenue with table service, thankfully.”
Many restaurants, bars, and cafes have managed to stay afloat during the pandemic but concerns have been raised by other businesses who say they have been adversely affected by no car traffic on the weekends. Art dealers and other high-end retailers say business has been hurt because their clientele does not want to walk long distances to their cars carrying large or expensive merchandise.
Utah artist Stephanie Hock was selling her pieces in a booth on the street on Saturday and said she thinks the car-free environment encourages more people to walk up and see what she has for sale.
“I think it lends itself to a good, kind of, crowd of people that just want to come out and enjoy strolling and being outside and, you know, kind of enjoying the charm of Main Street already with all of the shops and the whole life up here,” she said.
Although car-free Saturdays may be over, car-free Sundays on Main Street will continue through October 25th.