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The future of the Park Silly Sunday Market returns to Park City Council for discussion

PARK CITY, Utah — Talks on the future of the Park Silly Sunday Market (PSSM) will continue tonight at a regular meeting of the Park City Council.

The Council will discuss options for the market moving forward, and allow for public input at the meeting, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located at 445 Marsac Avenue in Park City.

The PSSM is a non-profit open-air market that has been a fixture on Park City Main Street since 2006. In recent years, public opinion on how, or whether the market should continue at all, has become increasingly divided.

While visiting the PSSM is a summer pastime of Park City locals and visitors alike, the market presents unique challenges for businesses along Main Street. According to a staff report written by Jenny Diersen, economic development program manager for Park City Municipal, the Historic Park City Alliance (HPCA), which is comprised of over 250 businesses in Park City’s Historic District, is not in favor of the market continuing on Main Street.

In a survey conducted in September 2022 by the HPCA, 37% of respondents supported the PSSM under the same parameters as 2022, while 63% did not support the PSSM under any circumstances.

This discussion was originally slated for the July 6 City Council meeting, however, it was delayed when the HPCA requested more time to discuss a future market with the PSSM.

“After further discussions, HPCA remains unsupportive of continuing the PSSM in its current format,” said the staff report. “The HPCA is open to looking at major changes to lessen event impacts on the area and street.”

The City Council previously outlined major changes to be made for the market to continue into the 2024 season and beyond, however, the PSSM was unable to comply with those proposed changes.

“Due to the changes outlined by City Council, the PSSM indicated they cannot advance a new proposal to continue next year, 2024 and beyond,” said the staff report. “They cannot make the suggested changes without serious financial impacts on their organization.”

Tonight the Council will consider two options laid out for the PSSM’s future. The first option would be for the Council to do nothing, and allow the PSSM’s contract to expire after the 2023 season. According to the staff report, this is the Council’s current recommendation based off of community feedback, as well as HPCA input.

Estimated parking revenues from the PSSM are nearly $400,000 annually, and canceling the PSSM could reduce total annual parking revenues up to 16% conservatively.

The second option would be for the Council to release a request for proposals for a new market concept in town.

“Based on City Council’s policy to reduce event costs, we do not currently recommend considering subsidy for a new market,” said the staff report.

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