Park City is unlike any other Utah community. It’s the most unMormon town in this mostly Mormon state. Perhaps this is due to its past. It did not develop like other Utah communities. Park City happened because of silver. From its lodes about 400 million dollars worth of this precious metal was extracted. One of the main benefactors of this booming mining endeavor was George Hearst, father of William Randolph Hearst. He owned the productive Ontario Silver Mine. Thirty-two miles from Salt Lake City and its Mormon Temple, Park City developed into a raucous silver town with many active businesses, not all morally legit by Mormon standards, that depended on silver mining.
By the 1950s the population of Park City was down to about 1,500. The last mine had closed in 1972. Park City needed a new endeavor and it got 2, skiing and movies. At 7,000 feet it eventually hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002 long after the Sundance Film Festival came to town and stayed. Most of Park City’s downtown urban business enterprises were reopening and thriving. Many had burned down. The Utah Olympic Park is now north of town and a training facility, and the winter Sundance Film Festival has put down deep roots and stayed.
In December of 1982 the Deer Valley Stein Erikson luxury resort opened. It evolved into one of the first truly deluxe condo hotels in the USA with its 170 rooms, and it’s still in business. Now it’s only one of the fine resorts in Park City with an excellent restaurant and a reputation for “perfection”. Since snow tends to fall later here and after the major holidays, one of the more common signs about Park City beginning around Thanksgiving begs, “Pray for Snow”, and Park City has become one of the most popular mountain towns in The Western US for skiers.
Park City has also become over time an art center of real consequence.