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Monthly Archives: October 2012

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Want to come out and snowshoe??

Maybe you want to try something instead of skiing?  Canyons Resort is one of the Top 10 Snowshoeing Resorts.  Easy to get to from Old Town Guest House.  Let us know if we can help you book a tour.

In the heart of the Wasatch mountain range above Park City, Utah sits Canyons Resort, offering a variety of guided snowshoe tour options that last from an hour and a half, to longer “black diamond” three-hour tours. You can set your own pace and choose your own path, perhaps to ‘shoe up to the Lookout Cabin for a gourmet lunch experience topped off with spectacular views.

“Canyons Resort has a very diverse network of snowshoe trails…. Each tour or trail was created with a unique destination, experience, or exploration in mind…. Our family snowshoe trails are gentle and easy to access,” Luker noted. “We want parents and their children to be able to slow down and bask in the simple solitude snowshoeing together affords.”

“…Moderate trails …elevate the heart rate while weaving through aspen and pine forests leading guests up to our Alpine Lake with spectacular views of the Wasatch and Uinta Mountain Ranges.

“We’ve [also] created experiences for [our] really adventurous guests…[that] deliver a challenging workout,” Luker continued, and there is always “a good possibility of spotting a moose… a moonlight snowshoe tour [offers] exclusive access to our mountain after the resort trails close for the day.”

Après-snowshoe opportunities in a Olympic class resort town are abundant, from zip line tours to a western barbeque to horse drawn sleigh rides and dog sledding tours, and of course the ubiquitous cross-country and downhill skiing and snowboarding. Fly fishing in winter is not out of the question either. Snowmobile tours, corporate games and trap shooting round out winter offerings if you get tired of snowshoeing.

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Skiing the Canyons!

My delicately paper-wrapped muffin and vanilla latte look so good I’m tempted to snap a photo and post it to Bragbook. Instead I train my phone’s camera on the stuff that will really make my friends back home drool: the seven inches of new snow piling up outside the funky oval windows at Cloud Dine. Then I not-so-delicately unwrap my cinnamon swirl muffin and snarf it. Attempting to ski 4,000 acres in a single day causes one to lose her manners.

It’s midafternoon at Utah’s Canyons Resort and it’s been hurling snow since the night before. We’re taking a breather at Cloud Dine, a smallish café at the intersection of the Dreamcatcher and Dreamscape lifts that, despite its cheesy name, serves some pretty delicious food. (It’s also a few turns away from where the controversial SkiLink gondola—proposed to connect Canyons with neighboring Solitude—could be built.)

Cloud Dine is best described as space-station-chic, with its Deco-esque rounded windows and bold orange-and-blue color scheme. It opened in January 2011 to provide more skier services on a mountain that’s currently Utah’s largest. When Toronto-based real estate firm Talisker bought Canyons in 2008, there were 3,700 acres and only five places to grab a bite on the slopes. “We had our work cut out for us,” says Canyons managing director Mike Goar. “There was all this potential, so we just dove in.”

Today there are 4,000 acres and 18 dining options on-slope and in the village. Talisker also added a new terrain pod—300-acre Iron Mountain—plus four chairlifts, including the continent’s first heated chair, the Orange Bubble Express.

With a.m. temps in the mid-teens on our second day on the hill, a ride on the toasty Orange Bubble is welcome. It’s one of two feeder lifts that ferry skiers out of the village. (The other is Red Pine gondola.) It also accesses the original bones of the resort: the old Park West terrain that opened in 1968 with 1,400 acres, three chairs, and $4.50 lift tickets.

We head there first and it pays off. This is one of the best—and most overlooked—areas of the mountain. The pitchy groomers beneath the Sun Peak Express ride like banked roller coasters. Off Super Condor, short, staccato double blacks spit down through the trees—Lone Pine, Yard Sale, After Shock—some bumpy, some just steep. We lap the Super Condor until our ski legs are no longer eager. Lunchtime.

Perhaps inspired by the breadth of dining options at neighboring Deer Valley, Canyons seems out to prove that food is more than just fuel. The resort’s 18 food outlets are overseen by head chef Zeke Wray, a recent replacement for locavore rock star John Murcko, who left last summer to take the culinary helm at Sun Valley. Wray is no newbie, though. He’s been with Talisker for six years and is the brainpower behind the resort’s newest gustatory standout, The Bistro, ski country’s only Kosher restaurant, which opened to excited reviews last season.

But we’re hitting Lookout Cabin for lunch. Lookout is the only building from the Park West era still standing, but the menu belies its modest facade. Smoked Utah trout salad with avocado-citrus vinaigrette is light but satisfying. And the Wagyu beef burger, locally raised, topped with crispy onions, peppered bacon, and creamy smoked gouda, totally nails it.

We eat, ski, then eat some more, sliding up to Bruges Waffles about 2 p.m. for some flaky, crunchy goodness drizzled with crème fraîche or warm Belgian chocolate sauce. Fuel in the tank, we continue to Iron Mountain’s otherworldly tapestry of blues and blacks, where tame but fun cruisers spill down the brush-covered mountainside. Our final runs are fast, carefree, and completely empty. The benefits of being big. Spent, we snag a few chairs on the deck of the Euro-style Umbrella Bar in the village and peruse the menu of snacks (specialty hot dogs, burgers, homemade chili, seasoned fries) and list of local microbrews.

Did we ski 4,000 acres over the past two days? Pretty close. Did we eat 4,000 calories? For sure. Tomorrow we’ll hit the blacks and double blacks off Ninety-Nine 90, where there’s guaranteed to be fresh hiding in the glades off Charlie Brown and Red Pine Chutes. That’s the easy part. Where to eat lunch? Now that’s a far tougher decision.

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How to stretch your Ski Vacation Dollar 2012-13

How to Stretch Your Ski Vacation Dollar

Save on Lodging, AirFare and More
As ski season get’s closer, I  have included a few ways to stretch your ski vacation dollars as you prepare for the coming ski season. Below is a breakdown of the expenses for a typical ski vacation for a family of 4 skiing for 5 days and staying somewhere in Deer Valley or Park City.
Not surprisingly airfare, lodging and ski lift tickets/ski school were the three largest expenses on the vacation. These three expenses combined make up almost 75% of a typical ski vacation. I have outlined some tips on how to help cut costs on each of these aspects of your ski trip.

Lodging:
I encourage you to look around at lodging!!  You won’t find a better deal than Old Town Guest House!!  You can walk to skiing, shops and resturants.  Rates include breakfast and afternoon snacks.  Look around…  you won’t find a better deal.
Airfare: 
The key to finding the best fares is flexibility. Below is a sample of the best fares we were able to find from different geographic locations to Salt Lake City around the key holiday periods in December and January:

Bay Area to Salt Lake City – $325 Delta/United

Los Angeles to Salt Lake City – $179 Delta (out of Long Beach)

Chicago to Salt Lake City – $335 Southwest (out of Midway)

New York to Salt Lake City – $332 Delta

 Here found a few tools that were very helpful in finding the best fares based on airport selection and departure/arrival dates.

On Southwest.com,try using their “Low Fare Calendar” tool. Click on the Southwest link to the left to see the best fares by location in a given month. It is a quick and easy tool to search pricing while looking at different dates of travel.
We looked at Travelocity, Orbitz and several other travel sites for the best airfare deals in and out of Salt Lake on all other airlines.
A great tool we found was on
Travelocity.com where it prices out the best fare         +/- 3 days from your departure and arrival dates. It’s a simple way to see the best airfare values across a range of carriers and dates.  Click on the link to left to take you to the Travelocity tool.
Lift Tickets/Ski School:
Unfortunately, there really aren’t a lot of ways to save on lift tickets and ski school. If you have time before driving up to Park City, try stopping at the Costco in Salt Lake  PCMR City. Historically, Costco has sold adult single day lift tickets with a $7-10 discount for resorts in Park City and Deer Valley. Also, look for package deals with lodging companies that may include lift tickets with certain properties. Ski   school savings are tough to find. The most cost effective way to save on ski school is to do a group lesson; make sure that they cap the number of students in the class at 3 or 4. This will ensure your child is getting the individual attention they need to progress to the next level of skiing.

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Park City Film Series Schedule… walk the the theater from the Inn.

Upcoming Films
Oct 11, 2012 7 PM One Day on EarthReel Community SeriesFree Screening
Oct 12 – Oct 14, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun Searching for Sugar ManRegular Weekend Screening
Oct 19 – Oct 21, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun Beasts of the Southern WildRegular Weekend Screening
Oct 25, 2012 7:30 PM Reel Rock Film TourSpecial Screening
Oct 26 – Oct 28, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun Robot and FrankRegular Weekend Screening
Nov 2 – Nov 4, 2012 See Belo w Salty Horror International Film FestivalSpecial Screening
Nov 3, 2012 3 PM The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1Free Screening
Nov 8, 2012 7 PM 7th Annual Filmmakers ShowcaseReel Community SeriesFree Screening
Nov 9 – Nov 11, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun The Queen of VersaillesRegular Weekend Screening
Nov 16 – Nov 18, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun ArbitrageRegular Weekend Screening
Nov 23 – Nov 25, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun Sleepwalk with MeRegular Weekend Screening
Nov 30 – Dec 2, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun The IntouchablesRegular Weekend Screening
Dec 1, 2012 3 PM Mr. Popper’s Penguins Free Screening
Dec 7 – Dec 9, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun KumaréRegular Weekend Screening
Dec 14 – Dec 16, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun Liberal ArtsRegular Weekend Screening
Dec 21 – Dec 23, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun The MasterRegular Weekend Screening
Dec 28 – Dec 30, 2012 8 pm Fri/Sat, 6 pm Sun Chasing IceRegular Weekend Screening

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A great hike!!

If you’ve skied Jupiter, I’m sure you’ve heard the warning, “Beware of the lake! Make sure whichever way you go, you avoid that lake!”

During the summer, however, Shadow Lake is a beautifully enclosed area that isn’t difficult to get to or to navigate out of. Plus, it’s a nice way to see the scenery without having to bomb down a double black diamond run if you’re not that comfortable on skis or a board.

Trails: Scott’s Bypass and Shadow Lake Trail

Duration: Two hours of hiking round-trip

Difficulty: Intermediate

Make sure you bring:

  • A car
  • Water
  • Sturdy hiking shoes
  • A raincoat, if you accidentally do this in the rain like I did

To get to the trailhead, you need to drive all the way up Guardsman’s Pass. This is just the continuation of Highway 224, and is very clearly labeled by road signs. The road eventually turns to dirt and gravel, but keep going until you reach the parking area that will be on the left. If you pull out your Mountain Trails Foundation Map, the parking area for the trailhead is easy to find in the upper right corner as “Guardsman’s Pass Parking Area.” The trailhead is to the right, across the street from the parking area, and up a small hill toward a gate.

Scott's Bypass Trailhead

As you begin Scott’s Bypass, you can see great views of the Wasatch Mountains before the trail winds into a serene grove of aspens.

View of the Wasatch

You’ll eventually reach a fork in the trail, where you can either continue to the left on Scott’s Bypass, or take a quick detour to Scott’s Bowl Overlook. If you have some time, I’d recommend checking out the overlook. Whenever you’re done with the overlook, you can just turn around and walk back to that same fork to continue on Scott’s Bypass.

The next fork you’ll reach is a bit more complicated. I’m pretty sure there are about five different ways you could pick from, but you’re going to take either the double track to your slight right, or the single track that is barely to the right of that. The double track is a continuation of Scott’s Bypass and will eventually run into Shadow Lake Trail on your right. The single track is just a pretty steep shortcut through the trees that dead-ends into Shadow Lake Trail.

Once on Shadow Lake Trail, you’ll get to enjoy the quiet serenity of the Jupiter Mountainzone. The single track runs underneath Jupiter Lift and circles Shadow Lake. Enjoy the peaceful air, and then take the same route back to your car.  Remember, it was downhill on the way to Shadow Lake, so plan on the hour or so hike back up to your car!!    Enjoy!  Remember to ask us at Old Town Guest House for other hiking suggestions in the Park City area!!  We are your outdoor experts!!

 

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Canyons Resort earns Top 10 ranking!!

 
Ski Magazine
For the first time ever, Canyons Resort has been named one of the top 10 ski resorts in North America in the annual SKI Magazine reader survey. This amazing leap in the overall ranking was fueled by the resort’s commitment to improving the guest experience and a massive $50 million investment in transforming the resort that began in 2010. Long a favorite of locals, Canyons has been one of the best-kept secrets for skiers and snowboarders.

The annual survey of over 20,000 readers reviews nearly every aspect of the resort experience. In addition to being ranked as #10 resort (up from #20 three years ago), Canyons also received the following recognition from readers:

  • Resort Access: #3
  • Terrain Parks: #9
  • Lodging: #10
  • Dining: #11

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50 days till’ Opening Day at Park City Mountain Resort

Posted: 28 Sep 2012 07:00 AM PDT

We’ve got some news guaranteed to make your week even better: today marks 50 DAYS ‘TIL OPENING DAY. That’s right, November 17 is 7 weeks and 1 day from this very day, which means it’s time to (a) celebrate and (b) get ready. With that in mind, start ramping up your fitness training and…..  book your lodging reservations!!