Article

Summit/Wasatch Economic Outlook

June 6, 2013

BURNS: I may be providing a completely different perspective on this. But when I talk to somebody in New York City about, “You’ve got to come to Utah because it’s a beautiful place.” They think I’ve got a hole in my head. I have a real problem actually attracting people to come here. Until, really, the St. Regis and Montage showed up, people would just hang up. But now I can say, “By the way, Deer Valley’s number one rated, and stay at the St. Regis.” They understand that.

Do you see that at all, Stan, when you market?

KAMINSKI: No, I don’t see it. There was zero fruit coming out of this past legislative session with regard to hospitality and the liquor laws. It’s a shame that we have to wait another year to put legislation back on the table.

BURNS:  The liquor laws are killing me. And they just make us look even more backwards. I’ve got a full bar inside my little Juniper Grill, and they’re like, “I want to take my Bloody Mary with me.” But we can’t let them do it. So when somebody leaves here, they go, “Wow, it was really a beautiful place, but it’s really weird.”

FUEGI: While we have come a long way in the 30 years I’ve been here, it is probably one of the most frustrating things and probably one of the things that hurts us the most, because for every article you get in The New York Times making fun of our liquor laws, we write off a couple million dollars the state should spend.

FUEGI: It is so frustrating to not have been able to overcome this “Zion Wall.” It’s so idiotic that somebody would have to go and hide a drink that is then brought to a table in plain view of people. And if you talk to most of the legislators, it doesn’t make sense to them, either. It just seems to be that hurdle we can’t overcome. And we have to, believe me.

The Park City Restaurant Association is constantly working on it, and it has gotten better, but it’s just not going fast enough. We try to present it as an economic development issue, which it really is. It keeps certain restaurant operators from coming here. It probably keeps some guests from coming back because they have had a bad experience.

McPHUN: The problem with the liquor laws is the other ski towns are all taking advantage of the shortcomings of Park City, and they’re playing that to their advantage. Until some of those issues are addressed and resolved, you’re never going to hit your potential.


Summit:

  • 4.7% unemployment rate
  • 37,208 population
  • $74,535 median family income
  • Park City largest city
  • Deer Valley Resort and Canyons Resort  largest employer

Wasatch: 

  • 5.5% unemployment rate
  • 24,456 population
  • $61,593 median family income
  • Heber largest city
  • Wasatch School District largest employer
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