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A Gourmet Feast in the Middle of the Street
by Alain Gayot
Long gone are the silver mining days in Park City, Utah. Today, locals, part-time residents and visitors flock to partake in an array of sports and activities, winter and summer. There is Bob’s annual film festival and they once held the Winter Olympics here. For the past six years there has been another reason to position yourself at 7,000 feet of altitude and partake in a culinary journey with 2,500 of your closest friends. All that is required is that for one Saturday night, the city shuts down Main Street, enabling three dozen restaurants to set up a ten-block long table.
Old School is the New Cool
Park City hasn’t always been the winter and summer sports mecca it is today. The city’s fame originally developed through the discovery of gold, silver and lead and the establishment of silver mines in the 1860s. To provide for the influx of migrating miners and their families, three schools were built — Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson (Washington School House is the only remaining today). After a series of tragic events — World War I, the Great Depression, a fire that almost destroyed the city and an explosion that killed 34 miners — the local mining industry collapsed. Luckily, the city was able to capitalize on something that would prove to be more profitable and long-term: ski tourism. Its first ski resort opened in 1963, and today, Park City houses more tourists than residents. That explains the metamorphosis undergone by the Washington School House in its 120-year history, from school to bed-and-breakfast and now ultra-luxe boutique hotel.