Swift Communications acquires The Park Record
December 1, 2015
Park City's 135-year-old newspaper has a new owner.
Swift Communications has purchased The Park Record from Digital First Media of Denver. The sale closed Tuesday. The price was not disclosed.
Swift Communications, which is based in Carson City, Nevada, owns 27 local and regional publications in five states, including The Aspen Times. Its president and chief operating officer Bob Brown and Andy Bernhard, who has been The Park Record's publisher since 1987, are longtime friends.
Bernhard notes that Swift Communications has a keen appreciation for challenges of operating newspapers in mountain resort towns that attract sophisticated and outspoken readers. The company owns the Snowmass Sun, The Aspen Times, the Summit Daily News and the Vail Daily in Colorado, along with the Tahoe Daily Tribune and Sierra Sun in California.
Brown said that through Bernhard he has come to know Park City well.
"I have known Andy Bernhard for decades. Our company has a great affinity for the Park City community and tremendous admiration of The Park Record," Brown said.
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Swift Communications' chairman and chief executive officer Bill Toler agrees that The Park Record is a good fit for the company.
"Swift Communications feels a deep connection and commitment to mountain communities and resort markets. At the same time, we fully recognize that each community has a unique culture and areas of interest.
"That is why our newspapers and digital publications in Aspen, Breckenridge, Lake Tahoe and Vail are different.
"As with our publications in other communities, we will expect The Park Record team to operate autonomously and to continue to serve the Park City community to the best of their ability," he said.
To ensure a smooth transition, The Park Record's website will continue to be hosted by Digital First Media for about six months and the physical edition will still be printed on Media One's press in Salt Lake City.
"Our current priorities are to help The Park Record achieve a smooth transition of ownership and to make sure they are properly resourced for the upcoming ski season," Toler said.
Regarding any immediate changes, such as the possibility of increasing The Park Record's publication frequency or adding a paywall to the website, Toler emphasized, "It is business as usual at The Park Record. We are committed to learning from The Park Record team over the coming year."
As to the future, both Bernhard and Toler are excited about the potential to expand The Park Record's coverage of the communities in Park City and Summit County in print, online and on new platforms as they emerge.
Specifically, Toler noted the benefits of networking with publications in other resort towns.
"Park City is a world-class community and resort. We are excited to have Park City become part of our family. We think there are many opportunities to share content that will be of high interest across the winter and summer sports communities now served by Swift Communications' publications located in the greater Rocky and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges."
On the eve of the sale, Bernhard said he was also looking forward to the new relationship.
"My immediate priority is to provide for a smooth transition for both the Park City community and the dedicated staff at The Record and I am looking forward to an exciting future with Swift Communications," he said.
Swift Communications executives Brown, Toler and Chief Financial Officer Bill Waters were in Park City Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the acquisition and to meet The Park Record staff.
About Swift Communications
Swift Communications was established in 1975 and is based in Carson City, Nevada. The company owns more than two dozen regional and local publications in California, Nevada, Colorado and Nebraska along with the Countryside Publications group based in Wisconsin, which publishes magazines related to homesteading and family farming.
Swift Communications specializes in serving mountain resort communities with daily newspapers, large circulation glossy magazines and a number of online products. To learn more about Swift Communications, visit http://www.swiftcom.com/about-us/
About The Park Record
The Park Record, established in 1880, serves Park City and the surrounding communities in Summit County and is Utah's oldest, continuously published, non-daily newspaper. The Park Record was published once a week from 1880 until 1996, when it was determined the growing destination resort economy could sustain twice-weekly circulation. The paper is currently published on Wednesdays and Saturdays and offers home delivery. Content is also available on the web and numerous mobile and social media platforms.
Specialty publications include: Real Estate Weekly, Park City Parent, the Summer and Winter Sports and Recreation Guides, Milepost and Best of Park City. The Park Record's office is located at 1670 Bonanza Drive in Park City and can be reached by calling 435-649-9014. Local news and advertising can be found online at http://www.parkrecord.com.