Subtle Signs of the Economy

With the unemployment rate ever growing across Nevada, I was interested to see how the rich community of Park City, Utah was doing during my annual Sundance vacation.

I was somewhat surprised at the results.

At first it looked as if nothing had happened: restaurants were still crowded, streets were filled with traffic, and hotels brimmed with guests.

But upon closer look, there were some subtle signs the historical mining town was suffering from economic pains.

For instance, the hotel we stayed at was somewhat empty. The adjacent parking lot was littered with prime spots.

The Alpine Café on Main Street wasn’t crowded with cold journalists huddling around computers banging out stories for their news agencies.

Even Robert Redford’s famous restaurant Zoom was open for lunch to (gasp!) commoners like me. It’s never open during the festival, only usually reserved for star parties.

The one bright spot for Park City was and always is the ski resorts. Droves of skiers and snowboarders still piled into buses and vans (and condos) to enjoy the fresh mountain powder.  

There also weren’t that many ‘For Sale’ signs on homes. (Our pink bus route winds around a ritzy neighborhood.)

I will admit my small world view may be skewed since I was, and mostly everyone else there last week, was a tourist so course we’d throng to tourist traps.

Driving across the lonely (and snowy) Nevada desert I noticed other economic signs – shorter trains with less cars and less rigs traveling across state lines.

Gas prices weren’t so bad (about $1.57) so it couldn’t have been that.

But it just makes me wonder about our current situation you know?

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