Park City Council chooses ‘minor’ programming for arts district this year

PARK CITY, Utah — At their April 28 meeting, the Park City Council discussed programming for the Park City Arts and Culture District this summer.

The parcel at the intersection of Kearns Blvd. and Bonanza Dr. is owned by the city, and efforts to create an arts district there were recently engaged.

Last year, community programming took place despite challenges such as weather and staffing needs.

Conversations around creating a Park City Arts and Culture District initially began in 2017. It wasn’t until 2021 that an opportunity for connections with businesses and nonprofits arose.

Park City Council member Jeremy Rubell explains that he wasn’t a big fan of the cost of creating the programming last year.

“I don’t think we got the value out of the amount of money that was spent … We had 642 attendees last year in one of the older reports. If we assume some of that was weather … say we have a 1,000 attendees. Yeah, still not that many,” said Rubell.

Rubell explained that he is willing to support the idea of the city sponsoring the program once a month.

Contradictorily, councilman Max Doilney discussed how he doesn’t think hosting the program one day per month “is actually going to bear fruit from a city perspective.”

Doilney explained that the price per user wouldn’t be the primary driver of the decisions made, as the idea was to keep the event small and not advertise it to the Salt Lake City area.

The speaker explained that even though the weather wasn’t ideal during last year’s programming, many people still came.

“I actually think it’s an exceptional amount of people that came out because I was there a number of those days, and they were cold and rainy and sometimes snowy. And there were still people out,” Doilney said.

Councilwoman Becca Gerber said that people may enjoy participating in the events, weather permitting, and new activities.

She advocated for a moderate engagement status and how she believes that the space is something that locals have been craving.

The levels of programming presented to the city council. Photo: Park City Municipal

“I think it’s kind of that cool, funky space that a lot of people who’ve been around town for a long time kind of crave. So I would love to see us at least at the moderate status,” said Gerber.

Another idea brought up was to actively program for the Park City and Basin area once or twice a month, and then the other weeks, the community partners would help out.

Rubell later explained that he would be for a minor engagement level, but he is still concerned about the costs.

“I don’t think the city staff should be focusing so much time on it to do something there every week. Since we do have community partners who want to be involved, I’d say let’s let them run with it, which to me is even cooler because they’re going to bring in potentially different groups of folks who … wouldn’t necessarily come if it’s all programmed by the city,” stated Rubell.

This meeting opened the door to the idea of engagement and costs upon creating the Park City Arts and Culture District.

The council decided to stick with the minor level of engagement, spending $60,000 from June to October for one day of programming per month.

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