How Our Community is Adjusting to Business Indoors

When life as we know it ground to a screeching halt in March, few of us imagined it would extend well into fall. But with cases of coronavirus at all-time highs, the restrictions that have pushed many businesses to reconfigure their day-to-day operations do not appear to be lessening any time soon.

Though each state seems to be handling the pandemic in widely varying ways, Governor Herbert and the Utah Department of Health have placed our state squarely in the middle of restrictive and wide open, with businesses and service providers continuing to find creative methods for managing that middle ground while staying open and profitable.

Photo credit: Deer Valley Resort

Locally, within a few months of the onset of the pandemic, hotels began to welcome guests back, with stringent and well-stated sanitization protocols in place. The ski areas have announced their reopening plans (phew!), but live performances have not yet resumed at the beloved Egyptian Theatre or Eccles Center.

Photo credit: Beau Collective

Workouts moved outside for many, but most facilities and providers also adopted policies allowing for reduced class sizes and implemented reservation systems to ensure they followed the requirements the health department put in place.

And while many businesses were able to take advantage of Park City’s minimal average summertime rainfall by moving to the outdoors to accommodate social distancing requirements, with workers wearing masks, and customers covering their faces until seated, the industry will need to pivot once again to adjust to indoor eating now that the first snow has fallen.

Park City Peaks Hotel got creative this summer by building a fence in their side “yard” to allow for expanded outdoor seating for their Versante restaurant guests. They brought in Park Silly Market vendors and entertainers, and allowed dogs to join their owners in the vast seating area. According to the hotel’s General Manager, they’ll be flexing their creativity even more this winter by enclosing their outdoor deck to provide additional seating, and providing an outdoor ice rink with tents and space heaters to keep guests engaged.

For Melvin’s Public House in Heber City, Owner Melissa Laird says they’re also crafting creative ways to maximize outdoor space, even as the cold weather sets in.

Photo credit: Melvin’s Public House

“Melvin’s Public House will have overflow outdoor dining this winter under a heated tent on the patio,” Laird explained. “Two big-screen televisions ensure you won’t miss any of the action on Sunday, and if you’re a Bills/Packers/Vikings fan, we’ll even turn off the heaters to make you feel more at home! Utah state currently mandates mask usage while entering, exiting and moving around inside the restaurant, and we are happy to supply one if you forgot yours.”

Other Parkites shared with me their concerns about moving activities indoors, with many stating they still hadn’t eaten out. Those individuals said they’ll support local restaurants in the same manner we all did when the shutdown first happened in March, through curbside pick-up and generous tips to the staff.

Whatever winter brings, I know my fellow Parkites will preserve and employ creative ways of servicing guests and doing all they can to keep their staff employed. The concern for our neighbors is just one of many reasons people Choose Park City over similar resort towns across the U.S. If you’re interested in making Park City your home, please reach out to me at 435-640-4238, and we’ll work together to make the dream of living in the mountains a reality (you can also visit my website by clicking here).

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