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Park City businesses anticipate impact of I-80 closure



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A trip from Park City to Salt Lake will not be possible for a time this weekend on Interstate 80.

An 11-mile stretch of the westbound lanes will close for 24 hours starting Saturday at 4 p.m. and ending Sunday at 4 p.m.

It will be from the Summit Park exit west to the mouth of Parley's Canyon. Utah Department of Transportation crews will be replacing two bridges.

If you must go west from Park City, there are two detours: I-84 through Weber Canyon to Ogden, or Highway 40 through Provo Canyon down to Orem.

UDOT Spokesperson Adan Carillo said, "It'll definitely add some time to your commute. That's why we're asking people to plan ahead, keeping in mind the delay."

Expect delays from 45 minutes to an hour to get to Salt Lake.

Some drivers have talked about using "Guardsman's Pass" or taking Jeremy Ranch through Emigration Canyon. UDOT says "not a good idea."

Meanwhile, Park City is bracing for an impact from the closure. Just about every business there will be affected.

The closure may be a cash cow for some businesses but others fear consumers may stay home for fear of getting stuck in Park City. There are mixed opinions on what is typically a big weekend.

Stores at Park City's Tanger Mall are hoping to print out a lot of receipts this weekend. After all, it is the big back-to-school shopping weekend. But now, with the I-80 westbound closure, some stores decided to offer deeper discounts, hoping Salt Lake shoppers still will come up the mountain.

Some of the stores are doing early bird specials and early openings. Carter's and Osh-Kosh are opening early. Dress Barn also has some additional specials, so a lot of them recognize this is going to be a challenge.

It's a challenge just to inform the masses of what's going on.

UDOT has put out flyers, put up freeway signs, and broadcast news of the closure on the radio -- 1300 on the AM dial.

But businesses like The Children's Store will be open. In fact, some of the employees who commute from Salt Lake will stay in Park City hotels to work their weekend shifts.

One of those employees, James Butler, said, "My work is already paying for a hotel for me. It's nothing out of my pocket, so I'm fine with it."

Park City businesses anticipate impact of I-80 closure

The hotels are fine with it, too. "Mention the road closure and we'll give them the special rate of $69. Many of the other lodging properties are offering special rates," said Cindy Galli of the Best Western at Kimball Junction. Rooms there are getting tougher to find; only 20 are left for Saturday at the Best Western.

"I suggest they make their rooms and reservations as soon as possible," Galli said. She predicts the hotel will sell out.

If you want to know more about deals and discounts during this closure, plus road information, see the link on this page. Also, you can dial 511 for travel information, 888-I80-UDOT for closure information, or check the Innovate 80 link on this page.

E-mail: gkennedy@ksl.com

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Gene Kennedy

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