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Park City Chamber Bureau Says Social Justice is Part of Sustainable Tourism

Park City Chamber/Bureau

The Park City Chamber Bureau and other local leaders have signed on to the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The chamber bureau says social equity is part of sustainable tourism in Park City.


The Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion not only affirms that all people are created equal, but also includes five anti-racist principles and actions signatories commit to.


First published last December, the bullet points of acknowledgement and action, investment, public policies and listening, engagement, and ‘movement, not a moment’ lay the groundwork for positive action and forward progress in the state.


This week, the Park City Chamber Bureau joined a growing list of signatories that includes Park City Mayor Andy Beerman, Heber Mayor Kelleen Potter, and Summit County Manager Tom Fisher, among other state and local political and business figures.


Chamber bureau CEO Jennifer Wesselhoff says Governor Spencer Cox’s words last December on how progress on these issues requires action convinced her and the chamber bureau’s board to sign on.


“I think Governor Cox really said it well when he talked about [how] progress just doesn’t happen, it requires forethought, commitment, and deliberate action,” Wesselhoff says. “It was our board’s feeling that if we could sign on to the compact, to really focus on equal opportunity, to prosper, both for our employees, our businesses, our residents, and our visitors, that this would be a deliberate action that we could take to show our commitment to social justice.”    


Wesselhoff says the chamber bureau signing on to the compact does not mean local businesses must sign on too -- that’s up to individual business owners to decide -- but they do encourage participation.


She adds that the chamber bureau believes that social equity is an essential piece of sustainable tourism that works hand-in-hand with the goals of a thriving economy, positive visitor experience, and environmental responsibility.


“A healthy and valued workforce is part of that vision of sustainable tourism and a welcoming, hospitable community where we welcome visitors from all over the world of different races and ethnicities to our community,” says Wesselhoff. “It’s just one essence of the direction that we’d like to go in terms of sustainable tourism management and marketing.”


Wesselhoff acknowledges that simply signing on to the compact does little to actually change anything, but says the work has to start somewhere.


“This is really just the first step towards thinking about how we might be able to embrace this sort of thing, both in our own organizations and encouraging our businesses to do that same if it’s something that they feel compelled to do,” she says.  


If you would like to read the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, or are interested in becoming a signatory, click here.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.