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6 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Park City, Utah

New to Park City?

Park City
Photo courtesy of Park City Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

Over the past year, we’ve been seeing a boom in growth in Utah. In addition to the standard growth of its native population, a lot of people are moving in from California, New York, and other states. It seems people are looking to get away from the dense populations of big cities and the high cost of living found there. One popular place for people is Park City, Utah, mainly because of its winter sports scene.

Vernon Storage, a self-storage company based in Summit County, gets a lot of customers from there and hears a lot of stories about moving in and daily life in the city. We talked to them to get some tips that are good to know if you’re moving to Park City.

1. Park City’s Expensive Housing

Housing in Park City is not cheap. Compared to places of similar population size and density like Salt Lake, the housing in Park City is up to 50% higher. Houses can cost an average of $700K, and those prices are expected to rise. Rent costs are similarly higher than normal.

On the other hand, the cost of living is a bit lower. Food costs sit at the national average, but utilities are around 4% lower than the national average. This means that moving into Park City as a permanent resident is more expensive to buy into, but if you can afford that, the cost of living might balance it out in the long-run.

2. Community Focused People

holding hands in a gesture of teamworkAlthough tourism is a huge part of Park City’s economy, the permanent residents share a strong, community-oriented mindset. The actual permanent population of the city is much smaller than you’d think – somewhere around 8,000 people – and they form a tightly-knit community that values strong relationships. Like most places in Utah, Park City also values family, so if you have one, it’s a good place for it.

The community does its best to support its members, so you can expect to find a lot of support if you make yourself a permanent resident. To get the full experience of Park City life, be prepared to make friends and be an active participant.

3. Look For Ways to Save Money

The high cost of housing in Park City means you’ll want to look for ways to save money at every turn. There are plenty of good ways. Buying a smaller house can lower the initial costs at moving in, though depending on your family size, that may not be an option. For travel, Park City does have a free public transit system. The buses and trolleys go all around the city, saving you money on gas if you take the time to learn their schedules. Since they run on cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel, it’s also better for reducing pollution.

piggy bank for saving moneyMaking friends can also be a money saver. Carpooling for work is a common event that saves people gas money without needing to know the bus schedules. You’ll also find lots of places offering group discounts, so the more friends you make, the less expensive activities will be. Your new friends will also know other ways to save money, as they’ve lived there longer and have more experience. All in all, being friendly is a great way to get the most out of living there.

4. Cold Winters, Nice Summers

Park City proudly boasts “the greatest snow on Earth,” and they get a lot of it. 340 inches of snow per year is the average. Winters will routinely hit temperatures as low as 13 degrees with highs still below freezing on the coldest days of the year. If cold weather and deep snow are a deal break for you, then you should probably stick to just visiting for vacations.

If you can stick out the winters, the summers are very nice. The average summer highs in Park City are around 80 degrees, which is warm, but not super hot. When the snow melts, you have gorgeous mountain views and beautiful weather to enjoy. Park City takes advantage of this with an assortment of summer sports and activities as well, so you’ll have things to do all year long.

5. Tourists

Tourism is Park City’s biggest economic factor. Tourists are a year-round thing, too. While it might be fun to be a tourist, it can be less fun to deal with them. If you’re going to live in Park City, you need to be able to deal with large crowds of tourists. The biggest time is winter, when the roads clog up with out-of-state cars and hotels fill with people. Summer sees smaller crowds, but there’s never a time when tourists aren’t there. Keep that in mind when deciding if you actually want to move in.

6. Other Options

Heber City
Heber City

Before moving into Park City, you should consider other options as well. While Park City has a lot of things to recommend, it’s not for everybody. Fortunately, there are lots of cities close by. Heber City is seeing the biggest population boom right now, thanks to its close proximity to Park City, lower cost of living, and easy access to the SLC airport. Heber’s not the only city around that area, though. If you want to take advantage of all Park City has to offer, but don’t feel the city itself is a good fit for you, look into the surrounding areas and see what your options are.

Is Park City A Good Choice

With all this in mind, the question remains: is Park City a good place to live? It really depends on the kind of person you are and what you’re looking for in a place to live. If you’re used to crowded city life and can handle tourists, you’ll find Park City a welcoming and friendly place for new residents. If you’re good at making friends and take an active role in the community, you’ll find a lot of support, especially for families. That can be a really strong advantage.

But it’s not for everybody. If you’re just looking at Park City as a great place for winter sports, or you don’t handle large crowds very well, you might consider other options. There are plenty of places to live that give you easy access to Park City’s benefits without its drawbacks. Make sure you know what it is you enjoy and what you’re looking for in a place to live before you settle on a place. Hopefully, this information will help you in making that decision.