Over the past few years, Park City and Summit County have worked hard on sustainability. They’ve achieved semi-finalist status in the $5 million Georgetown Energy Contest. They’ve initiated group purchases of solar panels. They’ve made anti-idling ordinances stronger.
I think our collective governments have made a great start at changing behaviors in our community, so much so, that now when you see something egregious and wasteful in our community, it often sticks out.
A case in point is the Park City Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center on Highway 224 across from Kimball Village. The Chamber has space where visitors can come, ask questions, grab a cup of coffee, and learn about Park City. From most accounts, the people staffing the location do a good job of promoting Park City. That would be during the day.
Then comes the night.
At night, the Visitor’s Center isn’t open but it’s still shining bright. I had heard stories of how the Chamber was projecting videos on its walls all night long. People had joked that the number of accidents would likely rise because people would get distracted looking at twenty foot images of Park City being projected on the walls as they drove by.
Last night, I saw it for the first time … and is seems like a complete waste. It does appear that at least one projector (and maybe more) is shining images across the walls, so that they are somewhat visible from the road. The initial problem is that while driving, even when stopped and looking in the building, it’s hard to discern what the pictures are. The real problem is that every minute images are being projected on walls, it’s wasting energy — valuable drops of energy that our community is working hard to save elsewhere.
To be fair, I understand that the Chamber of Commerce’s job is to sell Park City businesses. That’s why I’m not advocating shutting off the various TVs in the Visitor’s Center, that run all day, every day, selling Park City to visitors. There is at least the argument that there is value in that.
However, what’s the value of images being projected inside a building, that can’t really be seen by cars driving by? Perhaps if there were many pedestrians walking by there would be some merit but there are few of those. Perhaps most importantly, if it doesn’t present any actionable outcome (i.e. what benefit does it provide), but just uses energy, it’s a waste.
While many in Park City are working hard to conserve energy and the police are cracking down on idling, having the Chamber of Commerce contribute by shutting down what appears to be a wasteful display would make a difference. Perhaps those in charge of our efforts to win the Georgetown Energy Prize could even use this as another example of how our community is working to conserve energy.