How to Spot a Tourist


Molly-Mae Sims, Social Media Manager

Park City is a tourist town, so tourists are inevitable. I’m not going to say tourists are great; to be honest, tourists are the worst. They think they know everything when they don’t, and they especially don’t know how to drive. 

Luckily we get to miss out on the peak of Park City’s tourist season as Sundance is canceled. I already know that so many people are happy about that. 

So let’s get into how to spot a tourist.


1.  They don’t know how to drive.

Now I am going to assume that they are fine drivers normally (meaning not in Park City), but spotting someone from out of town when they are driving is so easy. 

For one they cannot drive in snow. They bring their little two-wheel drive cars and they expect to l be fine because they have all-weather tires or something like that. It turns out they are wrong, and are sliding all over the road and going way too fast in the snow.

Roundabouts. I don’t know why roundabouts are so hard for them but apparently they are. I mean you can obviously see the way the traffic is going but then you decide to go the opposite direction. Why? I really don’t understand, why go the opposite way of traffic? Then they stop to let people in? It’s a ROUNDABOUT—you keep going. 

I think it’s safe to say that maybe tourists should learn how to use our transit instead of driving. 


2. The way they talk

Now I know that this sounds pretty obvious because sometimes you can hear their accent, but I’m not really talking about that, I am talking about how they discuss things or ask weird questions. I have multiple examples:

  • Two years ago I was working up at Silver Lake Lodge, and I had one guy come up to me and ask me if I could help him with his ski boots (mind you I bussed tables). He said…..”I put my boots on the wrong feet.” That is such a tourist thing to do, like would you ever see a local asking someone (a stranger!) to help them with their boots because they put them on the wrong foot? No. The worst part was, I never even got a tip from him.
  • One time I was driving back to my house in Trailside and there was this car just completely blocking my road trying to turn around. They made enough room for me to get through and they waved me down.  I pulled over to the side of the road and rolled down my passenger window. They asked me “Where is Mainstreet?” They were in TRAILSIDE! They were way off so I had to explain how to get to Mainstreet from Trailside.
  • Or it’s when people ask where they can buy alcohol. See everywhere else you can just go into a normal grocery store and buy alcohol, but not Utah. Since I work in the food industry I already get a lot of people asking me where they can buy alcohol. Yet there are still people who just ask me while I’m out in Kimball or something. These tourists need to understand that they are staying in UTAH. 

Anyways, I don’t really know what happened to those guys but I hope they found Mainstreet and learned how to put ski boots on. 

3. How they dress

Oh, there is so much to say in this category.  Some of the things they wear are dead giveaways that they don’t live here. 

Number one, fur. I don’t want to say that fur is a bad idea, but it is. If you’re in a full-on snowstorm and you’re wearing a fur coat…well that coat is going to get ruined, the fur is gonna get wet and then stay cold. Fur coats might be “designer,” but they sure aren’t practical.

Number two, footwear. I don’t know why some women think that they are going to be fine wearing high heels with the smallest grip on the icy roads/sidewalks. Those poor women are going to be slipping and sliding all over the place. You could just get some snow boots or even a pair of sneakers. Yet you sure love to look the part.

Number three, what they wear to go skiing. It’s like these tourists are trying to say “look at me!’ without actually saying it. They wear those brightly colored ski suits and I have to assume you are a local? Not gonna happen. Everyone knows that those nice-looking ski outfits are going to get dirty real fast. Then they also have their big ol’ ski suits, which of course have to be a bright color (most likely red). I can’t imagine how hot those things get. Also, why do they think that a beanie will protect them more than a helmet? 

If you want to look like a tourist, well, now you know exactly what you need, but be prepared because you are going to be judged.

4. Skiing

I think that they are either good skiers or very bad skiers. Like they are either skiing elegantly down the mountain or they are sliding down on their butts. Which is fine…unless you’re wearing bright white while doing it. 

Then there are the “gapers.” If you don’t know what that is, it’s essentially where you don’t have your ski goggles touching your helmet. These poor poor tourists are going to get a weird sunburn that’s for sure.

Now I know for a fact that I am not a great skier, so that is why I usually avoid the mountain. But when I am skiing I at least try to look like I know what I am doing.

5. Spending Habits

I think that it’s also pretty easy to tell if they are a tourist or not if they buy pretty much anything from an actual store on Main Street. The thing about those stores is that they are crazy expensive. Literally the stores there are pretty much designer clothing, touristy stuff, art, or jewelry and some of those things are way overpriced.

Or how they are spending thousands of dollars skiing. Now I know that skiing is an expensive sport (or snowboarding for that matter) because you need all the gear and then you get a lift ticket. That just ends up costing a lot of money, yet these people are willing to stay at a resort. Why can’t you just stay at that Best Western by Walmart, at least there you get a free breakfast. If you stay at the Stein Eriksen Lodge you have to pay like 15 dollars for one egg. 

These are some of the basic steps on how to spot a tourist. I am sure that there is so much more, but those are certainly some dead giveaways.