Utah : Safety by CityUnited States - safety as a country Utah - state review
Park City, Utah, is a picturesque town just outside of Salt Lake City.
This is the premier skiing area in the state.
It’s so incredible even the Olympic Committee chose this as the place for the 2002 Winter Olympics and it is still home to the United States Ski Team.
The high-profile Sundance Film Festival is held here each January.
Celebrities and moviemakers fill the small town to get a sneak peek at the next big flick.
The downtown is a row of historic buildings in vibrant colors, and there are numerous historic places to see throughout Park City.
In just 20 square miles you’ve got the patented Greatest Snow on Earth, a hopping nightlife, relaxing spas, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and shopping you can find anywhere else.
Aside from the risk of tumbling down a mountain, you aren’t quite ready for (or is that just me??), what other dangers are there in Park City?
Warnings & Dangers in Park City
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Crime numbers themselves suggest a medium risk, but those numbers are made based on population vs. crime rates. With a population of 8400, the numbers are going to look worse than they are. Figure in the 600,000 tourists that come through Park City and the risk goes down. We call this a low risk, but with caution. It's a tourist town that can always lend itself to crimes of opportunity. Give it a grade (Low, Medium, or High) based on your findings and write 40-70 words.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There's low risk when taking public transportation here. Almost everyone does it. Traffic can get very bad in this area, so Park City has shuttles to the ski resorts, busses around town, and a trolley on Main Street. There are also rideshare services. Be sure to use UberSki if you are going to the mountains. This guarantees your driver has a vehicle that can handle snow with room for ski gear. Driving a car here can lead to frustration while trying to find parking and sitting in traffic.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here. The larceny rate here is almost twice the national average, but figuring in tourist numbers each month, the risk goes down. We're going to give a medium risk to most big tourist areas because we want you to be on your toes.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There are no active volcanoes in Utah, but there's a history of volcanic activity in this area. That was 30 million years ago, so you're safe. There's an inherent risk anywhere in Utah, but especially in the mountains of landslides, flooding, flash flooding, wildfires, avalanches, and thunderstorms. While many of those risks are rare, we're still going to give it a medium risk because there are just so many risks.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
The robbery rate here is four times less than the national average, giving it a low risk.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Maybe during Sundance, there would be an elevated concern, but overall there's a low risk. While hitting a tourist area might be an idea for a terrorist, there are much bigger targets across the country.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk of being scammed here. The biggest concern is a rental scam. This is when a traveler finds a "great deal" and books it, giving money in advance. When they arrive, there's no rental and they are out the money. Be sure you're using a licensed rental company before booking if you aren't staying in a hotel. There's also a plethora of gift card scams happening in Park City. Use common sense and never give personal information over the phone to someone you don't know. Even if the phone number appears legitimate, the scammer could be spoofing that number.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
This is a very safe town for women and there's a low risk. The traveler's guide has a list of things women can do on a weekend getaway to Park City. The only concern we saw was a scam where a man convinces a woman to provide him with intimate photos which then get posted online. Don't let a scammy Casanova ruin your trip and your reputation.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
There's a low risk in tap water. The latest water quality report boasts "all drinking water met or exceeded quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Utah Division of Drinking Water (DDW)."
Safest Places to Visit in Park City
You just have to see Utah Olympic Park while you are here.
You can get a tour of the facility and in the winter you shouldn’t miss the Bobsled Experience.
The bobsled adventure does cost $195 while the park tour is just $15.
The three ski resorts are:
- Park City Mountain: The largest ski resort in the United States with 7300 acres of skiing options.
- Deer Valley: This is a resort for just skiers. No snowboarding is allowed.
- Woodward Park City: This is for extreme sports lovers, whether you want to take part or just watch.
Take the free bus to the ski resort of your choice.
It’s the preferred ride for locals as well as tourists.
Downtown Park City is charming and almost half a mile long.
Some amazing restaurants line these streets with unique boutique shopping.
Locals suggest checking out the No Name Saloon and its heated rooftop.
Craft beer lovers should go to the Wasatch Brew Pub.
It’s the first craft beer location in Utah and one of the first nationwide.
The Park City Museum is a great place to learn about the history that brought this small town to life.
You’ll see the history of mining in the state and some structures that still exist.
In the summer, you’ve got hiking, flyfishing, ziplining, horseback riding, hot air balloons, and a chance to ride the Mountain Coaster, a roller coaster that goes through the scenery of Park City.
Placess to Avoid in Park City
If you’re in Park City, you’re going to be in some of the safest parts of town, either skiing, shopping, or sightseeing.
Park City police release crime statistics to CityProtect.com and you can check the crime rates in the different areas before your trip.
You do want to avoid going too high too fast. Park City itself sits at 7000 feet above sea level.
That’s going to cause some altitude sickness.
The air gets thinner the higher you go, and your body has trouble processing less oxygen.
The first stage is Acute Mountain Sickness, where you’ll get dizzy, fatigued for no reason, or get incredible headaches.
The second stage can cause High Altitude Pulmonary/Cerebral Edema, which is a life-threatening stage.
Seek immediate medical attention if you are struggling for air, vomit, or get confused.
Don’t go into the backcountry at any ski resort, no matter how skilled you are.
Backcountry skiing could land you in an area of extreme avalanche risk.
Any rescues that happen will be from the Sheriff’s Office and it takes time to get there.
Just stay in the many designated ski trails.
I’ve spent a lot of time at high altitudes and I’ve disciplined myself to get used to the level of the city first for a day or two, and then go experience the higher elevations.
Bring plenty of water and load up on carbs.
The carbs help give energy to your body that will be working all that much harder to get air in and out of your lungs.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Park City
- It’s strongly advised to wear a helmet when skiing. This protects your head should you have an accident.
- Don’t drink and drive. There are a lot of ways to get drunk in downtown Park City, and police are on special alert for drunk drivers. With the busses and trolleys in town, there’s no excuse to get behind the wheel.
- To see more resorts and possibly save money, check out the Ikon Pass and the Epic Pass. This is for serious skiers only and gives access to several parks around the country through different ownership groups. If you do want to get one, buy it early as they can sell out.
- If you are renting a car in Park City, make sure it’s four-wheel drive. You’ll also need snow chains. You might not be able to get to Park City or the resorts if you don’t. Pay the extra money for a vehicle you know can handle winter roads and storms. 5.
- For anyone not staying at a ski resort and driving a car, it’s going to be a traffic nightmare during certain parts of the day. The days after a big storm bring “fresh powder”, so the resorts will be packed. If you can wait a few days, you’ll have less traffic. Also, arriving first thing in the morning before 8:00 a.m. the traffic might be better.
- To avoid the crowds, try skiing mid-week if you can. Also, many people hit the mountain first thing in the morning, but if you wait until after lunchtime the crowds will lessen and you’ll have more of the mountain to yourself.
- There’s nothing wrong with taking a beginning ski class if you aren’t experienced in it. I took my first ski class when I was 23-years-old and while I was the only adult and the 10-year-olds were better skiers than I was, it was worth it learning the basics before I tried the ski lift and my first run.
- Wear sunscreen, even when it’s cold. The high altitude and bright sun can cause sunburn much faster. While some people think it’s cool to have “goggle eyes” after a day on the slopes, it’s not worth risking painful sunburn or skin cancer. It’s a horrible feeling to have blistering cold air hitting a sunburned face. Take it from me as I made that mistake my first time skiing at Lake Tahoe.
- There’s a strict noise ordinance in Park City. How strict? You can’t use the horn on your car except in a dangerous situation. You won’t find loud boisterous bars here or people hawking a product and screaming at customers on the street. Just keep the noise down.
- If you take a taxi, be sure to confirm the fare before you go. The taxis were largely de-regulated when rideshare services came along, and that means there isn’t a set rate for any trip. Hundreds of complaints poured into the police department. There were also reports of women being harassed in cabs. There is a form on the Park City Police Department website to make a complaint about a taxi driver. Be sure to get the license plate number and any official information you can about the driver and their license.
So... How Safe Is Park City Really?
Going by crime data alone, it looks dangerous.
In reality, there’s such a small number of people here and the crime statistics can be easily skewed by just a few extra crimes in certain areas.
For example, when it comes to theft/larceny, there’s a one in 33 chance of being a victim.
Add in the tourism numbers and there’s a one in 2408 chance.
If you’re on Main Street drinking or shopping, keep your stuff close.
Don’t bring anything you don’t need.
Don’t show large amounts of cash when paying for items.
When going to the mountains, bring a small backpack with everything you need and ski with it.
Use a locker to store any stuff you don’t want to carry and make sure it’s locked.
If it’s really valuable, leave it in the hotel room.
The weather dangers are snowstorms and avalanches.
This area gets 300-400 inches of snow a year, so there’s a good chance a winter trip will involve snowfall.
A really bad snowstorm can shut down roads and trap people in their homes.
You should avoid higher elevations unless you’ve acclimated to the Park City elevation.
A good rule of thumb is to increase elevation by 1000 feet each day so your body can adjust to less oxygen.
Park City isn’t a crime-ridden place.
In the past 10 years, there has been one homicide.
You’ll find this charming city might make you feel more relaxed and comfortable and that’s when you’ll make mistakes like leaving your backpack to run to the restroom.
Don’t let your guard down just because it feels like a trustworthy place.
How Does Park City Compare?
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- Visas - Visas are taken care of at the airport when you arrive in the country. You don't need anything additional to get into Park City, Utah.
- Currency - All currency is the U.S. Dollar in Park City. Use the credit card as much as you can for purchases or buy in advance through your mobile device, so you don't have to carry around cash.
- Weather - Winters are going to be cold with highs barely breaking the freezing mark. You'll need a lot of layers and sunscreen. You can get some good spring skiing in between March and May. The snow isn't as good, but it's still pretty spectacular. Temperatures are in the 60s for highs and 40s for lows. Summer can get pretty warm, but not nearly as hot as the Salt Lake Valley. Expect highs in the 70s or 80s. Bring a jacket and jeans because the lows get into the 40s.
- Airports - Salt Lake City International Airport is the main airport for hundreds of miles. It's a 45-minute drive without traffic, but plan for traffic and leave an hour earlier when departing. There are plenty of shuttle options from the airport to Park City.
- Travel Insurance - This is a place that gets 400 inches of snow a year. That's 33 feet! Winter storms can slow down air travel and summer wildfires can ruin air quality. It's a great idea to get travel insurance for your getaway to Park City, Utah.
Park City Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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