The Park City Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau (PCCVB) has just been announced as the newest member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The addition comes after PCCVCB has completed its draft of Utah’s first community-based Sustainable Tourism Plan, aiming to be a premier US ski area for eco-friendly ski tourism. Joining the GSTC helps position PCCVB to become a global leader in sustainable tourism and its plan will be presented to Park City and Summit County Councils for endorsement in Fall 2022.
A key player in Utah’s attempts to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter games, Park City is a premier ski destination in the United States. Originally founded as a silver mining town in 1884, the town crumbled after the mining collapse before reinventing itself as a ski town and emerging as a year-round destination in the 1960s. It’s home to two world-class ski destinations, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort, the nation’s largest, boasting 7,300 square acres of skiable terrain. Having already hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, PC was also put on the map as the home of the world-renowned Sundance Film Festival.
The partnership was right on time as a recent opinion poll indicated widespread support for any Olympic bid and its sustainability credentials are viable to play a significant role. A recent Deseret News and University of Utah Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found that 79% of Utahns approve of hosting another Winter Games, with just 16% who disapprove, and 5% who don’t know. Residents of the Beehive state really seem to want another Olympics as four-fifths of Utahns are in support of Salt Lake City as a venue for the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympic Games.
Park City takes great pride in being an eco-friendly travel destination. It’s the first mountain town in North America to operate a fleet of zero-emission buses and has already reduced its carbon footprint by more than 70,000 tons since 2005. Additionally, the Park City government is aiming to be net-zero carbon and run on 100% renewable electricity for city operations by 2022, with hopes to transition the entire community to net-zero carbon by 2030. Park City even goes the extra mile and works to educate its visitors on energy efficiency, car-free travel, and responsible and respectful outdoor recreation, implementing the principles of Leave No Trace, safe wildlife encounters, and proper handling of waste.
The GSTC is a non-profit, politically neutral organization that works to establish and manage a set of global standards for sustainable travel and tourism through its four pillars: Sustainable management, Socioeconomic impact, Cultural Impacts, and Environment Impacts. Jennifer Wesselhoff, President and CEO of the Park City Chamber & Visitors Bureau stated in a recent press release;
“Our scenic beauty and recreational amenities, as well as our proximity to Salt Lake City and its expanded international airport, mean tourism-related pressures, such as traffic and crowded venues, have put pressure on our lifestyle and environment. After inviting GSTC to perform an assessment last year, we launched a community-wide project to develop a Sustainable Tourism Plan. We are thrilled to join GSTC as we move forward with adoption and implementation, a logical and powerful next step in which we are confident will benefit Park City and Summit County.”