Park City is a town in Summit and Wasatch counties in the U.S. state of Utah. It is one of two major resort towns in Utah, the other being Moab. It is considered to be part of the Wasatch Back and a part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. The city is 32 miles (48 km) east of downtown Salt Lake City and 15 miles (24km) from Salt Lake City's east edge of Sugar House along Interstate 80. The population was 7,371 at the 2000 census. On average, the tourist population greatly exceeds the number of permanent residents.
After a population decline following the shutdown of the area's mining industry, the city rebounded during the 1980s and 1990s through an expansion of its tourism business. The city has three major ski resorts: Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, and The Canyons Resort. The Park City and Deer Valley ski resorts were the major locations for ski and snowboarding events at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Although they receive less snow and have a shorter ski season than do their counterparts in Salt Lake County, such as Snowbird resort, they are much easier to access.
Additionally the city is the main location of the United States' largest independent film festival, the Sundance Film Festival, home of the United States Ski Team, training centre for members of the Australian Freestyle Ski Team, the largest collection of factory outlet stores in northern Utah, the 2002 Olympic bobsled/skeleton/luge track at the Utah Olympic Park, and golf courses. Some scenes from 1994's Dumb and Dumber were shot in the city. Outdoor-oriented businesses such as backcountry.com and Rossignol have their headquarters based in Park City. The city has many upscale luxury national retailers, clubs, bars, and restaurants, and has nearby reservoirs, hot springs, forests, and hiking and biking trails. Park City is also the original home of the Mrs. Fields Cookies chain.
In the summertime many valley residents of the Wasatch Front visit the town to escape high temperatures. Park City is usually 11°F (6°C) cooler than Salt Lake City, as it lies mostly above 7,000 above sea level, while Salt Lake City is situated at an altitude of about 4,000 feet. It is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States and is notable for having a large number of Northern and Central European immigrants.
Once the site of the largest silver-mining camp in the country, the town was virtually destroyed by fire in 1898. Tragedy struck again in 1902 when 34 miners were killed in an explosion in the Day West Mine. The mining community never fully recovered. A collapse in silver prices and the economic consequences of the first world war exacerbated the town's decline. Half a century ago Park City was listed as one of the ghost towns of the west.
Skiing, however, helped drive the phantoms away. Particularly gung-ho is the terrain around Jupiter Peak, where, over the years, more than $400 million worth of silver ore was mined, creating the 23 millionaires, including George Hearst, founder of the news dynasty. Roger J. Traynor was born in Park City in 1900 and raised there; he went on to become Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.
As long ago as the 1920s, miners in Park City were using underground trains and shafts to gain access to the mountain for skiing. When the slopes opened to the public in 1963 as Treasure Mountain, skiers were transported nearly three miles into the mountain on the Spiro Tunnel mine train and then lifted 1800 ft (548 m) to the slopes on a mine hoist elevator. Aerial trams once used for hauling ore were converted into chairlifts. To this day, there are still more than 1000 miles (1609 km) of old silver-mine workings and tunnels beneath the slopes at Park City Mountain Resort and neighboring Deer Valley.
Park City might be a fairly nondescript-appearing town were it not for its colorful and evocative Main Street, where 64 Victorian buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Other relics from its past have been left near the slopes. Old mine buildings, mineshafts, and hoists, including the weathered remains of the Walker Webster Silver Mine and the water towers once used to hydrate one of the biggest mines, the Silver King, rear out of the snow to give the skiing a dash of history.
Park City is located at the south end of Snyderville Basin and climbs steep mountains to the southeast, south, and west. It is accessed by State Route 224 from Interstate 80 to the north and State Route 248, which heads east to U.S. Route 40 and on to Kamas.
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There were 2,705 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 4.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 118.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 118.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $65,800, and the median income for a family was $77,137. Males had a median income of $40,032 versus $26,341 for females. The per capita income for the city was $45,164. About 5.3% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.