Park City businesses seek reimbursement from Rocky Mountain Power after extended outage

Posted at 9:59 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 23:59:19-04

PARK CITY, Utah -- A $50,000 loss because of a power outage in Park City, and that’s just one business. Several businesses are now looking for Rocky Mountain Power to reimburse them for what they lost.

Park City’s Main Street is lit up Wednesday night, but on February 18th a storm hit. The combination of 60 mile an hour winds with rain and snow caused some damage, and a power pole exploded and caught on fire.

That damage cut out the power across Main Street, costing shops like Java Cow a lot of money.

“It was scary, we couldn't get a hold of anybody, we didn't know what was going on,” said Samantha Davis, General Manager of Java Cow.

For the first time in their 16 years of business, the power was out for days. That was the case for most shops on Main Street.

“Many businesses had no power whatsoever, so many businesses had to send their waiters and waitresses home. They weren't able keep their cook staff,” said Alison Kuhlow-Butz, executive director of the Historic Park City.

It was a big hit during a busy time for the ski season, Presidents Day weekend.

“There were so many people in town, and the whole street, it was just closed, there was nothing we could do,” Davis said.

“A bunch of them band aided it together and others, they were really unable to open their businesses for a few days,” Kuhlow-Butz said.

The businesses say they lost hundreds of customers and thousands of dollars, but the real damage came when the power kicked back on.

“When the power went back on, it blew all our power boards in our espresso machines,” Davis said.

That cost Java Cow thousands of dollars to replace. Another business claims their equipment repairs amounted to tens of thousands of dollars. They blame a lack of communication from Rocky Mountain Power.

“If we would have known the power was going to come on that quickly, we could have unplugged our machines, there are so many other things we could have done to protect our machines,” Davis said.

At least seven businesses want Rocky Mountain Power to reimburse them for the damages.

“We're in the middle of talking with our customers and actually plan on meeting with businesses up in Park City, we're concerned about what happened to them," said Paul Murphy, a spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power. "We want to find out what happened and see whether or not we can help."

That meeting should happen sometime next week.