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Charlie Sturgis Honored With First Community Impact Award

Leslie Thatcher/KPCW

The Park City Chamber Bureau honored the former Director of the Mountain Trails Foundation with its first ever Community Impact Award on Wednesday.

Charlie Sturgis, who retired as the long-time director of Mountain Trails Foundation this past spring, was named as the first honoree of the Park City Chamber Bureau’s Community Impact Award.

Chamber Bureau CEO Jennifer Wesselhoff says one of the reasons she accepted the Chamber position last fall was because of Park City’s trail system - a community gem that Sturgis has only improved on.

“From my very first introduction to Park City, Charlie was described as the O.G. of trails,” Wesselhoff said. “Bike magazine said that Charlie Sturgis helped Park City evolve from single track, zero to hero. Charlie has introduced thousands of people to climbing, and mountain biking, and he's also a really good advocate for all trail users.”

Wesselhoff adds that Sturgis helped put Park City on the map for its 400-plus miles of trails.

“Charlie is an institution around Park City,” Wesselhoff said. “He's a legend in his own time, even if it's not in his own mind. To me, he's one of the reasons I'm here. And the reason why people visit. I'm entirely grateful for his vision, his passion and his get it done attitude. I'm thrilled that he was able to retire this year, although incredibly disappointed that I wasn't able to get a chance to work with him directly.”

Sturgis’ successor, Lora Smith, noted that with his 40 years in the outdoor industry and business acumen, Sturgis is credited with transforming a flickering nonprofit into one of Park City’s brightest and most beloved organizations.

Sturgis says he had a great career with Mountain Trails and retired this past spring knowing he left it in better shape than when he started.

“And today, upon my departure, I'm leaving you, I think with Mountain Trails basically financially sustainable, a great community partner.” Sturgis added, “it has an A Team staff, and is ready to go into the future, as not only a leader in local outdoor scene but also the regional outdoor scene, and I couldn't be more proud to say that I was part of this.”

Wesselhof says the Community Impact Award will most likely be given annually. The Executive Committee of the board will choose the winner based on their positive contributions to the community.

Tough but fair, Leslie is the woman most of Park City wakes up with every weekday morning. Leslie has been at KPCW since 1990 and her years at KPCW have given her depth and insight, guiding her as she asks local leaders and citizens the questions on everyone’s minds during the live interviews of the Local News Hour.
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