The U.S. Ski and Snowboard FIS World Championship is headed to Park City in February, briefly overlapping with the Sundance Film Festival. How much does it cost—and what will it give to the community? KPCW’s Emily Means has more.
On Tuesday, the City Council approved U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s request for a Level Five Special Event Permit, anticipating around 60,000 visitors during the 2019 FIS World Championship.
The city has allocated over $200,000 for the event, through a fee waiver requested by U.S. Ski and Snowboard. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Councilmember Lynn Ware Peek asked if the FIS and USSA’s budgets were considered in the fee-waiver application. Park City Special Events Manager Jenny Diersen said some of those numbers are included in the fee-reduction application, and she feels the cost burden is being fairly shared among all parties.
“I think, to be fair, too, the resorts take on some of those costs as well, so I think the costs across the board are shared between, specifically with this event. There is also local non-profit coordination with this event going on as well," Diersen said. "Through the fee reduction policy, this goes through a staff committee, so the departments that are affected sit on that committee. I believe off the top of my head, there are seven criteria that we look at; this is an example of an event that hits, I think, every single one of those points of that criteria.”
With the fee waiver, it’s estimated to cost $125,000 for transportation and $70,000 for public safety efforts for Park City Municipal to host the event.
The City Council also approved contracts with two outside transportation services for special events and contingency planning if buses were to break down. Transportation Planning Manager Alfred Knotts said he isn’t sure they’ll need to add charter buses to the existing fleet for the FIS event. He does not plan to provide shuttle services from satellite lots such as the Richardson Flat area near Quinn’s Junction. However, a variety of bus routes with the city’s existing equipment will be added to get people around town.
“For those increased in-town services, we’ll be adding an electric one on the blue, one on the red, one on the lime, and two yellows going to Deer Valley, in addition to the two that serve it now, just on those busy, busy nights," Knotts said. "But the continuity and the service throughout the whole event, aside from those Deer Valley yellows, will be continuous throughout.”
The FIS Championship games are free and Olympic-sized crowds are expected. Park City Mayor Andy Beerman considers it an opportunity for the community to celebrate winter sport.
"I’m really excited. This is the kind of event that many in our community would travel halfway around the country to see," Beerman said. "To have the elite athletes coming to town, and also to watch all of our homegrown athletes—many of the best skiers and snowboarders in the country live here—and they get to compete at their home venue, which, hopefully, they really thrive and put on a good show for us. This is going to be neat, and I hope all of council and all of the community gets out to watch it and cheer them on."
The 2019 FIS World Championship runs Feb. 1-10, with events at Main Street, Park City Resort Base and Deer Valley.