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Beware the Economy

I usually like to stick to local topics but I think this “global” topic is important. Things appear to have pretty much recovered from the 2008 economic downturn. Sundance Festival revenues are back up. Park City tax dollars are at all time highs. We now have the largest ski area in North America. What we haven’t had since 2009 is a recession. On average a recession happens every 3 years and it has been 6 years.

Today we learned that the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the government’s calculation for understanding whether the economy is growing or not, had contracted during the January to March timeframe. That signals that we are likely to enter into a recession. Likewise, across the globe there are problems. A big country in europe (Greece) is on the edge of defaulting on a huge amount of loans owed to people. China, who has had tremendous growth over the last 10 years is seeing that growth slow.

I only bring it up because Park City is a place of optimism. We hope for snow. We hope to get on the trail. We want just the right amount of tourism to support our living here. Yet, we are dependent on tourism and visitors to make our resorts run, our restaurants viable, our property sell, and our government function.

If we truly enter a recession, even if it’s not as bad as 2008, there will be impacts. Less money will flow here. Less tax dollars will be generated. Less money will be available for programs. Businesses will have to cut back.

In the long run, recessions are actually good because they sweep clean bad investments that have been made that don’t help our communities. However, in the short term they can be painful.

If I were a betting man, I’d say we are very close to a recession and the end of 2015 into 2016 may end up being tough. Of course, I could be wrong. It never hurts to be prepared, though.

Good luck out there.


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