Park City History Bits - January 30, 2014

Jan 30, 2014

Did you know Park City has earned the nickname “Sin City” in Utah since the 1870s?

This is Bill Redeker with your weekly Park City History Bit.

Park City’s brothels catered to the young single miners working long hours and residing in crowded boarding houses. Past accounts suggest that many high-standing men also covertly visited the women.

The red light district, known as “The Row,” arose along Heber Avenue at the north side of the entrance to Deer Valley after concerned citizens demanded that the “disorderly houses” move out of residential neighborhoods and off of Main Street. A line of little wooden houses sprung up and business quickly resumed. 

Arrests were frequent and usually resulted in a $10 to $25 fine. The fines provided a steady flow of income to the city, prompting officials to allow The Row to operate. Many residents tolerated the “soiled doves”, as long as their business was confined to The Row. 

One 1907 newspaper article, however, declared the “denizens of the red light district too bold entirely”, and police began enforcing city ordinances of doors and blinds staying closed during working hours. The decline of prostitution in Park City came when state and county law enforcement conducted a “Sin Raid” one night in 1955, hitting six businesses and arresting at least 10 people. By 1956, The Row had completely shut down.


This Park City History Bit is brought to you by the Park City Museum, and their newest exhibit, “Miners to Moguls: 50 Years of Park City Skiing”, and is sponsored by Julie Hopkins of Keller Williams Real Estate.