Park City Joins the Global Sustainable Tourism Council


It has joined the GSTC after recently concluding its draft of Utah’s first community-based Sustainable Tourism Plan. It aims to be the premier US ski area for sustainable ski tourism. NEW

The plan will be presented to Park City and Summit County Councils for endorsement in the autumn.

Park City hosts more than three million visitors annually for skiing and other winter sports, as well as summer activities such as hiking, mountain biking and art and music festivals.

It is well-known for hosting the Sundance Film Festival and as a venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

It is presently a key player in Utah’s attempts to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympic Games.

A recent opinion poll suggested widespread support for any Olympic bid and its sustainability credentials are likely to play an important part of any successful bid.

A recent poll concluded that four-fifths of people in the US state back holding the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

A survey from Desert News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics found that 79% of residents back the bid, while 16% oppose it.

5% are undecided.

Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Image © PlanetSKI

Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Image © PlanetSKI

“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,” said Jennifer Wesselhoff, President and CEO of the Park City Chamber & Visitors Bureau.

“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.”

Canyons to Park City. Image © PlanetSKI

“We appreciate the steps Park City is taking toward more sustainable forms of their visitor economy such as clean-energy buses, and are pleased to work with them to support continued improvement,” said the CEO of GSTC, Randy Durband.

Park City was founded as a silver mining town in 1884 .

It faded after mining collapsed before reinventing itself as a ski town and year-round destination beginning in the 1960s.

Mining history of Park City. Image © PlanetSKI

Park City takes pride in being an eco-friendly destination.

  • It is the first mountain town in North America to operate a fleet of zero-emission buses, reducing its carbon footprint by more than 70,000 tons since 2005.
  • The Park City government aims to be net-zero carbon and run on 100% renewable electricity for city operations by 2022, and transition the entire community to net-zero carbon by 2030.
  • Park City educates visitors on responsible and respectful outdoor recreation including the principles of Leave No Trace, safe wildlife encounters and proper handling of waste.

See here for all the details on the sustainability initiatives underway at Park City: Sustainability

PlanetSKI was last in Park City, Utah, in January 2020 ahead of the pandemic.

See here for our reports from the time:

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah. Image © PlanetSKI

We hope to be back next winter where we will report on its sustainability initiatives and what impact they may have.

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Image c/o PlanetSKI

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