written by: Tony Gill
New Mayor Andy Beerman has a balanced vision for Park City’s future.
You wouldn’t believe what Main Street looked like when I first moved here,” says every single person who has ever relocated to Park City in the last 60 years. Nostalgic handwriting is an inescapable trait of every generation, and the disorder’s short incubation period means onset can be seen in as few as 12 months. Despite the inherent self-centeredness in such proclamations—concerns surrounding unfettered development in Park City are becoming increasingly valid as the town’s seasonal density has reached a critical mass. Residents elected Mayor Andy Beerman in November, hoping to have found the right leader to balance romantic notions of the community’s past with the growth necessary to thrive in the future.
Beerman’s resume is almost comically representative of the type of person you’d expect to find in a mountain town leadership position. He moved to Utah in 1991 while guiding for the National Outdoor Leadership School before moving to Park City to manage White Pine Touring and eventually staking out his place on Main Street, co-managing the Treasure Mountain Inn with his wife Thea Leonard. “I often reference my time as a mountain guide as good training for local government,” Beerman explains. “On expeditions, you spend a lot of time around people you don’t know well, in stressful situations, and you can’t get anywhere without working together.”
The diverse experience in multiple areas helped Beerman’s platform resonate with voters. From outdoor access and conservation to Main Street economic growth to simply understanding how frustrating it is to experience a rural traffic jam, Beerman is able to identify with the concerns of his varied citizens. “My focus is on community-building and resident-centric decision making. Park City residents are witnessing an erosion of our community by growth and corporate interests, and I stressed a need for balance and a focus on our core values. Specifically, this includes an interest in transportation, affordable housing, renewable energy and a commitment to keep us a complete and inclusive community,” he says.
That balance will be what ultimately determines Beerman’s success. “Slowing our economy is not an option, so we need to aggressively fortify community,” he adds. “Since authenticity is the best recipe for tourism, preserving a strong community bolsters the long-term health of our economy.”
PC Past & Future
Beerman isn’t exactly a political newcomer, as he served on the city council prior to the election. But Park City is hoping he’s ready to help make Park City great again.
See more inside our 2018 Mar/Apr Issue.