Organizers of the annual Utah Gay Ski Week had thought there might be a drop as much as 30 percent from previous years, but they hadn’t thought participation would be so low the event would need to be cancelled.
The group blames a boycott on the state of Utah over Proposition 8 as at least part of the cause.
Organizers said only six people had signed up for the event. Normally, 50 out-of-staters would fly in and 150 people total would participate.
They estimate that Park City businesses lost between $125,000 and $150,000 in anticipated lodging, lift tickets, meals and entertainment.
“In the mind of the boycott organizers, the Mormon Church, basically, equals Utah,” Organizer John Harriot told the Park Record.
Harriot said the group had been treated well in the eight previous years the group had been coming to Park City, but when it came down to the end, “The boycott worked and there was not enough people to do the group.”
The Record asked Kristauf’s Martini Bar owner Lisa Christoffersen about the loss, since the group partied there in 2008. She said that the group spent “a couple grand” back then.
“To me, that would provide my payroll for two weeks” and pay several utility bills, she said, adding, “They spend well and they tip well. It’s a big boost for everyone.”
Sundance Film Festival organizers are saying the boycott is having little, if any, effect on their sales. They anticipated less travelers because of the economy, but ticket sales are running close to normal.
The Festival opens Thursday, Jan. 15.