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More than a destination: ‘Mountainkind’ invites the right kind of visitor

“We're not just trying to describe who we are; we're really using this brand to describe what behavior we're looking for.” - Dan Howard, VP of Communications, Park City Chamber of Commerce

PARK CITY, Utah — In a bold move to redefine tourism in Park City, the Park City Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its new brand, “Mountainkind,” to promote sustainable and conscious tourism. Dan Howard, Vice President of Communications for the Chamber, revealed the philosophy and meaning behind the rebranding, emphasizing a commitment to preserving the community and environment for generations to come.

“Mountainkind” is more than a catchy phrase or new logo; it’s a movement—a call to action, according to Howard. The Chamber has embraced a long-term vision that prioritizes quality of life for residents while cultivating a mindset of responsibility among tourists. Howard articulated the Chamber’s mission, saying, “Now’s the time to think about summer plans, and Park City is asking its tourists to visit with care and with consciousness this summer.”

Rebranding Tourism for Sustainability

The rebranding aligns with the Chamber’s 10-year Sustainable Tourism Plan, which was adopted two years ago and includes 83 activations, each designed to shape visitor behavior and promote a culture of sustainability. “Every single one of the 83 activations that are current in the sustainable tourism plan is a reflection of a behavior of Mountainkind,” Howard explained. This includes initiatives such as installing trail cameras to monitor congestion and promote visitor dispersion, expanding the free transit program to reduce carbon emissions, and encouraging adherence to the Leave No Trace principles.

Top Shelf owner Casey Metzger.
Top Shelf owner Casey Metzger. Photo: Blake Peterson.

“Mountainkind to me has everything to do with Hospitality. There is something special about the connections you can create with people visiting our town. Sharing authentic experiences with people that come to play in your backyard is as fun for them, as it is for me. Hospitality is about how you make people feel, which is no different than what I consider being Mountainkind.” – Casey Metzger, Top Shelf Services

What Does ‘Mountainkind’ Mean?

At its core, “Mountainkind” embodies a set of values and behaviors expected from both visitors and residents. Howard detailed these principles: “It has to do with recycling, bringing your own water, leaving no trace—all of that is wrapped into what it means to be Mountainkind.” The brand is a natural extension of the sustainable tourism ethos, emphasizing mindfulness toward wildlife, trail etiquette, and eco-friendly transportation.

The new logo, dynamic and relatable, represents movement and progress. Howard said that it’s not just a symbol of Park City but a message to visitors that says,

“If you relate to this language and these priorities, then you are our kind of visitor.”

The Chamber aims to associate Park City with a behavior that visitors can take home with them—a commitment to sustainability that transcends mere words on a T-shirt or logo on a beanie.

Educating and Engaging

A critical component of the campaign is educating both visitors and residents about the new brand and its significance. “We’re inviting the local public to come to the visitor center on the 23rd [of May] and learn more about the brand and celebrate National Tourism Week,” Howard said. The Chamber will offer food, drinks, and the chance to experience the “Mountainkind” philosophy firsthand.

In the age of influencers, the Chamber hopes to utilize its reach to help spread the message even further. “The new generation is especially eager to show sensitivity to the environment, and I think the brand has great relatability when it comes to influencers or bloggers,” said Howard. “People that would have said in the past, ‘I came to Park City, and it was pretty,’ now they’ll say, ‘I came to Park City, and I was really inspired by the community’s effort to change behavior.’”

Quality Over Quantity

The Chamber’s rebranding strategy deliberately focuses on attracting respectful and conscious visitors who align with Park City’s values. “It’s a quality-over-quantity campaign,” Howard noted, regarding how the City wants to attract tourists.

Instead, the campaign aims to inspire and challenge visitors to be part of Park City’s future success by behaving responsibly and supporting sustainability efforts. “Residents should appreciate this attempt. We are on the leading edge of this. I think there will be many other cities that will look at this campaign and say, ‘Hey, that’s really closer to what our tourism message should be,’” said Howard.

Moving Toward a Sustainable Future

Park City is not alone in its pursuit of sustainable tourism. Other cities—and countries—have faced similar challenges and implemented a campaign urging visitors to moderate their behavior and leave no trace. “Park City is way ahead of the national curve on this trend,” Howard said. The “Mountainkind” campaign is designed to establish Park City as a leader in sustainable tourism and set the tone for other destinations.

Five 5eeds Owner Ian Pope.
Five 5eeds Owner Ian Pope. Photo: Ian Pope

“The first night we moved to Park City from Australia was during a snow storm.  Our beautiful neighbor brought us over some warming turkey chili, we fell in love with Park City from that moment onwards.  That’s MountainKind!”

The Role of the Community

Ultimately, Howard believes the success of the “Mountainkind” campaign hinges on buy-in from the entire community. “The thing that I’m most excited about is the possibility of connection and buy-in from residents as well as visitors,” he said. The Chamber is urging businesses, media, and locals to support the campaign and become ambassadors of the brand.

“We want residents to help us and say, ‘I’m proud that our town is focusing on the long term and recognizing that if we don’t have a campaign like this, we face degradation of the destination,’” Howard emphasized.

With the public event on May 23, the Chamber of Commerce is poised to roll out the “Mountainkind” brand and rally the community around its message. The Chamber has also revamped its website to include resources on sustainable tourism practices, trail cameras, and tips for embracing “Mountainkind.”

By educating visitors and locals alike and promoting a philosophy of sustainability and kindness, the Chamber of Commerce is charting a course toward a more conscious and respectful tourism industry. As Howard aptly put it, “We’re not just trying to describe who we are; we’re really using this brand to describe what behavior we’re looking for.”

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