PARK CITY, Utah — This weekend is Gay Ski Week in Park City, and more than a thousand members of the LGBT community are expected to travel to Salt Lake City and Park City for the event. Some might be surprised to learn this is actually the fifth year Park City has been a destination for Gay Ski Week. It’s a four-day event that isn’t just for gay people.
“That’s what makes it really fun, is people come out and have a good time, listen to great music here, great performers, and get to see a few celebrities,” said Tom Whitman of Flip, which organizes the annual event. “It’s a time that we welcome everybody.”
Thursday night was the official kick-off for Park City’s fifth annual Gay Ski Week, an event which consists of skiing, concerts, and parties that grow in size with each year.
“Brings together LGBT people from across the country and across the world to celebrate skiing and the community,” Whitman said.
Whitman said Salt Lake and Park City have always been a welcoming place for the gay community, but with same-sex marriage now legal in Utah, and the growing popularity of Salt Lake City’s Pride Festival, the welcome mat is even wider.
“But the support has really grown, you can really tell a difference now in terms of who wants to attend and who wants to be involved then from five years ago,” Whitman said.
“When you talk about a gay-friendly destination, what we have found in all of our research over the last 10 years is what makes a good destination is a good destination,” said Scott Beck with Visit Salt Lake.
Beck said over the last decade, Utah has seen expanding diversity–both in terms of tourists as well as its population.
“Having a community that supports particular lifestyles is important, and I think that’s what we found as we’ve gone out over the last three or four years is there is a strong LGBT community in Salt Lake and we’re just reflecting that,” Beck said.
There are a number of concerts and parties taking place over the next few days in both Park City and Salt Lake City, click here for more information.