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History of Park City Utah

Park City Utah wasn’t always a world class year round resort destination. In fact the story of the history of Park City Utah started when gold, silver, and lead deposits began to be discovered and subsequently mined in the 1860’s.

Park City was originally named Parley’s Park City, for a Mormon apostle named Parley Pratt who traveled with other pioneers through the region on the way to Salt Lake City. After the discovery of mineral deposits, including one of the richest and highest producing silver deposits in the world, miners traveled to Parley’s Park City to try and strike it rich. In the early 1900’s Parley’s Park City became simply Park City.

By 1892 the Silver King Mine was the largest producer of silver and was owned by Thomas Kearns and David Keith. The publicity of this mine coupled with the depletion of silver in other mine areas led to a rapid influx of miners to Park City.

In 1898 a fire destroyed nearly the entire settlement and in 1902 thirty-four miners were killed by an explosion in the Day West Mine. As the world faced adversity in the form of two World Wars and the Great Depression, Park City struggled to recover and reclaim its prosperity. The tipping point came in the 1950’s when the global price of silver plummeted and Park City became a virtual ghost town. Those who remained knew that in order to survive, Park City would have to find another revenue stream.

Miners who enjoyed skiing used underground trains, overhead tramways, and shafts to gain access to the mountain regions around Park City. Their love of the outdoors combined with a little ingenuity sparked the idea for a new direction for Park City. History was made again in 1963 when a proposal was put forth to Utahns Inc. by Park City miners for a ski resort named Treasure Mountain. Upon completion this resort was located on 10,000 acres of land the miner’s held mineral rights over, and began the transformation of the Park City image from silver boom town to recreational destination.

Right about the time Treasure Mountain began to attract recreation seekers to Utah, state legislation began to promote Utah as a popular and exceptional ski destination. Currently Park City is a booming vacation resort destination, featuring winter and summer activities that draw an average of 1,500,000 visitors per season. These days the Park City area boasts a whopping $529,800,000 influx of capital into the state of Utah annually, and the population of the visitors far outweighs the residents. With restaurants, hiking and biking trails, and of course skiing, Park City has activities to offer year round. With exceptional hotels in Park City, lodging and vacation rentals abundant throughout the area, it is becoming a consistent family vacation hotspot. The city even offers glimpses into its past with tours available for the silver mining operations of old. Without a doubt, Park City has found a way to survive from its humble beginnings, through the booming silver mining days, to today where amenities and services are all tailored around an expansive and lucrative tourism industry.

Resources:

Media.Utah.EDU - History of Park City
Park City History
History To Go



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