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Park City History

With seven wives and multiple children, Park City founder and Mormon polygamist George Snyder need to find a nice, big place to settle his every-expanding family. He founded Park City in 1872, and set up an early version of the “Big Love” compound. The town was soon populated not with little Snyders, but an abundance of silver miners who were lured west by the promise of untold riches in the local mines. Many of those early settlers made their fortunes prospecting the precious metal. A crippling fire in 1898 that destroyed much of the emerging town and a mining accident that killed 34 miners in an explosion in 1901 almost killed Park City's mining industry. However, the declining value of silver and World War I and the Great Depression eventually brought an end to this once-thriving boomtown. By the end of the 1950s, Park City was heading toward ghost town status. The city had already opened up their first ski area in 1946 at Snow Park but to save the city’s dying economy, United Park City Mines presented the idea of opening a ski resort on its land. In 1963, Treasure Mountain, now Park City Mountain Resort, opened up with the aid of a federal redevelopment grant in 1963. Utah’s Tourist and Public Counsel jumped in and began promoting the area as a tourist destination, luring thousands of visitors to the new resort town. The rest is history.