The Park City Area Home Builders Association will open its doors to the 2020 Park City Area Showcase of Homes in a different way this year.
The self-guided event, which runs two weekends — Aug. 28-30, and Sept. 4-7, in Park City, Heber, Midway and Hideout — will offer virtual tours in addition to in-person tours, said Executive Officer Mykal Muegge. (See accompanying list of builders, addresses and locations).
“We’ve added the virtual option this year for people who aren’t comfortable coming to the homes due to COVID-19, and the format also gives people who live out of state the opportunity to see these homes,” Muegge said. “We’re putting together some great videos of these homes, and we’re excited to show them off to people, and we’re kind of hoping we may pick this up for future tours as well.”
Those who are planning to tour the homes in person will be required to follow COVID-19 protocols, according to Muegge. The first requires attendees to wear masks in all homes. “Although Wasatch County isn’t mandating masks, the showcase is,” Muegge said. “So we’re asking people to wear them so they can enjoy the houses safely.”
In addition, sanitizing stations will be provided at each home, and all doors will be left open throughout the day, she said. Attendees will also be asked to wear easy-to-remove shoes and clean socks when they enter the homes. “We’re getting rid of those nasty shoe covers that we used to use, and Hamilton Park Interiors will provide shoe bags so people can put their shoes in a bag to carry while they walk through the homes,” Muegge said. “The bags are reusable, so people can take them home, wash them and use them again.”
To ensure more protection, the home builders will regularly sanitize and wipe down high-touch surfaces in each home, she said. Muegge and the Home Builders Association nearly canceled the tour this year. “It was touch and go for a long time, which is why we decided to add the virtual element,” she said. “We figured the worst case if we weren’t able to showcase these homes in person, we could do it virtually.”
As the Summit County Health Department began loosening up some of the COVID-19 restrictions, Muegge and the board held a series of meetings over the past few months to see if it was possible to hold the event physically. “We had talked with other home-parade chairs and fellow home builders association executive directors to see how they presented their showcases,” Muegge said. “Northern Wasatch, Utah Valley and Salt Lake have all wrapped up their parades, and they trafficked well. They were able to do it safely, and still have people feel it was somewhat normal.”
The Park City Area Home Builders Association started the showcase in 1992 as a way to give the public ideas of how to upgrade and decorate their homes while promoting its member roster of builders and subcontractors. “This year, we have 250 members, and one-third are builders and the other two-thirds are associate members,” Muegge said.
Each year, builders submit applications for their homes to be part of the showcase, and a showcase committee selects which homes to include, she said.
“The committee looks at how long the builders have been members and if they have been part of showcases in the past,” Muegge said.
Usually the committee chooses 20 homes, but this year two had to pull out due to delays brought on by the coronavirus, she said.
“All the builders worked hard to get the homes finished this year, and they had to deal with delays in supply shipment and other things,” Muegee said. “Not only do we have 18 builders who have put their hearts and souls into these homes, there are also hundreds of subcontractors who have worked on the home as well.”
The popularity of the showcase has increased over the years to a point where people will plan their vacations to coincide with its schedule, Muegge said.
“We have people fly in from out of state to tour the homes and enjoy a couple of weeks in Park City, and we also have others who try to see as many homes they can in one day,” she said.
Those needs are fulfilled because the tour is self-guided, Muegge said.
“One ticket is an all-access pass that allows people to visit all the homes virtually and in person in any order and how many days they want to see them,” she said. “It also includes two re-entries so people can go back to see a home they really fell in love with.”