Author Archives: Deb Lovci
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Tour and Taste
The whiskey experience, distilled, at High West’s new destination digs
If you’ve been around these parts the past few years, you may know that Park City–based High West Distillery and Saloon made history as Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870. High West’s bourbons and ryes routinely receive glowing national and international reviews and are proudly poured by bartenders from San Francisco to New York. Pretty impressive for a relatively small, fairly new distillery that (as is common) has purchased and blended more product than it has produced and released to date. Small until summer 2015, that is. When High West opened its 30,000-square-foot destination distillery at the Blue Sky Ranch just east of Park City, it was clear that, as the old Bachman Turner Overdrive song goes, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
The focus at High West at Blue Sky—headquarters for almost all of High West’s distilling and bottling operations—is squarely on educating the interested about the whiskey-making process. “We built this place because whiskey matters!” says High West founder David Perkins. “It’s why we get out of bed in the morning; we want to share the experience.” All of High West at Blue Sky—spanning the distillery, bottling facility, restaurant, tasting room, private meeting rooms, and general store—is housed in rust-colored, metal roof–topped buildings reflecting a decidedly upscale version of Park City mining style. Each is detailed to perfection, down to the leather-stitched door handles. A vaulted hallway ceiling made of charred barrel staves leads into the communal dining area, dubbed the refectory.
Tours walk visitors through the process of converting grain to mash, fermentation, and distilling the magic in the 25-foot-tall, 1,585-gallon-capacity copper pot still. The entire experience is a feast for the senses, with sweet, yeasty aromas of rye and barley malt tickling the olfactory, beckoning you to head straight for the tasting room to purchase flights of the finished product. The refectory offers whiskey-friendly small plates: charcuterie and cheeses, house-made breads, crackers, and pickled vegetables. An ideal end note to a destination experience embodying the pioneering spirit—and spirits—of the new High West.
Celebrate the New Year, High West style
Since its inception, High West has expertly blended and aged some of the country’s top sourced whiskies. Their success can be attributed to the fact that Perkins and his team just happen to be blending savants. But because age is key when it comes to whiskey, they have yet to release a 100 percent in-house blend. So, time will tell what effect Utah’s dry climate has on High West’s original creations when those barrels are tapped over the next few years. Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to sipping some Yippee Ki-Yay, a new blend of straight rye whiskeys finished in vermouth and syrah barrels, released in Utah in November and slated for nationwide distribution in early 2016.
|Shred the slopes this weekend in Utah|
Here it is !! The Summer Concert Series.
Book your lodging at Old Town Guest House and save 10% off your lodging total! Park City’s only Bed and Breakfast.
Walk to the concerts!!
CONCERT LINEUP ANNOUNCED FOR DEER VALLEY
Park City Institute announced the lineup for its 13th summer season of St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights concerts at Deer Valley Resort. The 10 concerts range from country stars Emmylou Harris and Trace Adkins and banjo virtuosos Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn to trumpeter Chris Botti and chart-topper Mike Posner… All concerts are slated to be held rain or shine at Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater.
Early-bird tickets go on sale to Park City Institute Members on Monday, April 4 at 10 a.m. (via phone and box office only). Tickets are available for purchase by the general public on April 11. For information: 435-655-3114 www.BigStarsBrightNightsConcerts.org
The 2016 St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Line-Up:
Squirrel Nut Zippers
July 3, 2016
The retro-hip band that “bows at the feet of Cab Calloway and the Harlem Renaissance” (Jazz Times), Squirrel Nut Zippers launched into the mainstream with its hit ’90s tune “Hell.” Fusing southern roots and swing, SNZ cuts loose with the big band must-haves: charismatic frontman (guitarist/vocalist Jimbo Mathus) and sassy frontwoman (singer Katharine Whalen) plus indispensable horns, percussion, bass and piano. The Zips dabble in hot jazz, Cuban tempos, rock and soul, dispensing plenty of zip and a dash of playful nuttiness.
Emmylou Harris & Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
July 14, 2016
Country Hall of Famer Emmylou Harris and four-time, Grammy winner Lyle Lovett (and His Large Band) deliver country-folk-rock-Americana-blues-gospel in powerhouse back-to-back sets. “A truly venturesome, genre-transcending pathfinder” (Billboard), Harris dazzles audiences with her crystalline vocals. Known for his trademark yearning vocal ache, wit and down-home showmanship, Lovett is “the real deal… a man who not only delivers your money’s worth but who you suspect would be genuinely ashamed if he didn’t” (Esquire).
Chris Botti & Lucia Micarelli
July 21, 2016
Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti has proven over and over again that he is an exceptional balladeer – whether performing the “Star Spangled Banner” in the New York Giants’ stadium or captivating audiences at the Blue Note Club. He’s sold more than four million albums, won Grammy awards, and played with A-list pop collaborators – most notably Paul Simon, Sting, Herbie Hancock and Yo-Yo Ma. And, above all, his trumpet “emits unabashed beauty” (The New York Times). Lucia Micarelli – the “mind-blowingly talented” (Portland Examiner) violinist – lends her bow to a range of genres, from her concerto roots to no-holds-barred rock. She’s toured with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Josh Groban and made her acting debut in HBO’s “Treme.” As All About Jazz puts it, “Her playing is elegant, and runs the gamut of emotions from brooding to joyous.”
July 24, 2016
Gravel-voiced Kip Moore dominated country airwaves with his debut hits, “Beer Money,” “Hey Pretty Girl,” and “Somethin’’Bout a Truck.” This “unapologetic badass with a touch of Springsteen” (The Guardian) delves deeper into grittier rock with his sophomore release “Wild Ones,” one of Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Country Albums of 2015. The Georgia native walks the line between modern country and arena rock, delivering dynamic, interesting tunes – most of which the multiplatinum singer/songwriter pens. As one AP reviewer puts it, “Of all the backward-ball cap-wearing male country singers, Kip Moore takes the dirt road less traveled.”
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
July 28, 2016
“Two monsters of the banjo,” (NPR), Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn join forces in a pickin’ party that traverses the acoustic landscape, from murder ballads to gospel. Washburn’s old-time style and Fleck’s bluegrass-jazz-and-beyond virtuosity blend seamlessly on stage. The Grammy-winning duo, riffs off of each other’s remarkable talent with tunes such as the traditional “Railroad,” fan favorite “Banjo Banjo” (written for their son) – and even an acoustic foray into ’80s rock, covering Europe’s “Final Countdown.”
August 7, 2016
After topping the charts in 2010 with “Cooler Than Me,” singer-songwriter Mike Posner detoured from the popstar fast-track, touring the country in a van and writing tunes for the likes of Maroon 5, Justin Bieber and Big Sean. His soon-to-be-released sophomore album “At Night, Alone” with the self-reflection-imbued pop hit “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” returns the multi-platinum performer to the spotlight, topping charts with a grown-up dose of humility. The now 28 year-old artist has departed from his flashy hip-hop style, developing performance that is “raw, real and no-frills” (The Detroit News).
Andy Garcia and the CineSon All Stars
August 20, 2016
The godfather of rhythm. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actor, Andy Garcia (“The Untouchables,” “Stand and Deliver,” “The Godfather: Part III,” “Ocean’s Eleven”…) isn’t just another actor-turned-musician. The multi-talented, Cuban-born Garcia is a Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning music producer and performer who has collaborated with the likes of legendary Afro Cuban bassist Cachao and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. Garcia and the CineSon All Stars (some of whom are borrowed from members of Cachao’s original band) are “captivating” delivering “exemplary classic Cuban jazz and mambo” (JazzTimes.com).
August 25, 2016
Country star Trace Adkins worked his way from oil rigs to the top of the charts. He’s graced the Grand Ole Opry, won NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and appeared on the big screen. “A real deal son of the South who knows how to command a stage just by walking on to it,” according to the Chicago Tribune, Adkins’ baritone has become a modern country fixture with hits such as “You’re Gonna Miss This” and “Every Light In The House” blazing into contemporary cowboy lore.
September 3, 2016
“A folk powerhouse,” according to NPR, Jewel comes to the stage with guitar, poetry and a pure – sometimes haunting – voice. The Grammy-winning, singer-songwriter, who fearlessly worked her way into stardom with the ’90s hit “Who Will Save Your Soul,” has released 12 studio albums, sold more than 27 million records, toured with Bob Dylan, performed for the Pope and starred in television roles. As The New York Times puts it, the Alaskan-born Jewel is “bursting with talents.”
“These shows – 12 bands in all – are a cross-section of the biggest names in music, young stars just hitting their stride as well as legends and performers who know how to entertain and push the limits of their respective genres,” says PCI executive director Teri Orr. “As always, we can’t imagine a better spot to present these big stars, than outdoors on the slopes of Deer Valley Resort.”
All St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights concerts take place at Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. Shows start at 7 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.) As of 10 a.m. on April 4, Park City Institute members may purchase lawn and reserved tickets as well as summer season punch cards (available to members only) at the Box Office of The George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Center for the Performing Arts (1700 Kearns Blvd., Park City) or via phone at 435-655-3114. Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 11 and will be available at the box office, via phone, online and at several partner locations. General Admission tickets start at $40. Reserved seats start at $55.
Gates open 90-minutes before show time. Coolers are permitted and a nine-inch chair height restriction (i.e. you shouldn’t be able to roll a basketball under the seat) is enforced. Concerts will be held rain or shine.
For all of my guests that came out on the Interconnect Tour this winter… hope you had fun!! For those of you that didn’t get a chance… get ready for next year!!
Heart-Racing High Altitude Adventure: Utah’s Wasatch Mountains
If lazing on the beach isn’t your idea of recharging your batteries, try the polar opposite with a winter venture through Utah’s Wasatch Mountain Range, just a stone’s throw from Salt Lake City. With direct flights on Delta from every major metro city in Texas, Utah skiing is conveniently accessible.
Ski Utah offers a unique program that gives the advanced to expert skier the opportunity to ski six resorts in the Wasatch Range in one day. The Interconnect Tour allows skiers access to beautiful backcountry led by 25-year veteran guide Deb Lovci, who was named “Best Skiing Guide” in Outside Magazine’s 2015 Best of Travel guide.
Your 26-mile skiing experience starts at Deer Valley, continues to Park City, then to Solitude Mountain Resort, on to Brighton and back to Solitude for lunch. Carb-loading at the Round House at Solitude is a must to tackle what lies ahead on the Interconnect. The Himalayan and Wasatch-inspired cuisine includes mountain-sized portions of shepherd’s pie, lamb curry and chicken makhani.
After lunch, take a lift to the top of Solitude, cross over the ropes and traverse a ridge, aptly named Highway to Heaven.
For a Texan who was breathing sea level air just a few days before ascending to above 10,000 feet, this traverse was tough. Physical fitness is as important as skiing ability for the tour.
After skiing the famous Grizzly Gulch at Alta, cross over to Snowbird for the sixth and final resort of the day. If you can ski groomed black trails, you won’t have a problem with this backcountry.
Celebrating a frosty beverage with your fellow backcountry adventurers is a perfect ending to an unforgettable day. When you cover 36,000 vertical feet in one day, there are plenty of stories to share!
Hauling ski gear with you all the way to the mountains can be daunting and expensive. Ski Butler will completely change the way you think about ski rentals. Instead of waiting in long lines at rental shops, Ski Butler comes to you. Have a problem with your gear once you start skiing? They’ll meet you at your resort and make any adjustments you need on the spot. Ski Butler supplied our group with Rossignol Soul 7’s, all-mountain, extremely versatile skis that perform beautifully on groomers as well as backcountry powder.
Skiing is the first outdoor activity that most folks think of when planning a Utah trip. However, for the traveler looking for adventurous and relaxing activities off the beaten path, the Wasatch Range offers many options:
- Have you always been an alpine skier and want to try something new? The Nordic Skiing Center at Solitude Mountain Resort offers a heart-pounding alternative to downhill. Be patient, it’s more difficult than it looks!
Park City Mountain Resort knows how to throw a good party, and their annual Easter egg hunt is an event some people look forward to all year. The eggs are plentiful with some so special they are golden.
For several years now, Park City Mountain Resort celebrates Easter Sunday with a visit from the Easter Bunny, free hot chocolate and pastries, a kids-only egg hunt and the All-Mountain hunt. The party starts at 8:45 a.m. in the Resort Plaza with plenty of free hot chocolate and pastries for resort guests. At 9 a.m. the Easter Bunny shows up to meet and greet children 6 and under for their own egg hunt in the Kids’ Korral. Older children and adults are invited to participate in an Easter Egg Hunt on the First Time face where they will find candy-filled eggs.
For the serious egg hunters be prepared to begin at 9 am when the lifts start up the all-mountain “Hunt for the Golden Egg” begins. Guests participating in the all-mountain hunt will find hundreds of prize-filled eggs across the resort, including vouchers for summer activities, lift tickets, and two golden eggs – each with a season pass for 2013-2014. The all-mountain egg hunt is what its name implies–all over the mountain.
EASTER WEEKEND IN PARK CITY Park City is the place to be this weekend! Enjoy skiing, dining, shopping, concerts, spoken word, and Easter Egg hunts.
EASTER WEEKEND IN Park City. Come and stay at Old Town Guest House, Park City’s only B&B!! Walk to skiing and all the fun Easter events.
Here is some fun information for all my guests staying at Old Town Guest House… the only B&B in Park City, Utah!!!
Park City presents the 9th annual Spring Grüv. For 16 days we’ll be having huge, free concerts in the two villages, as well as the famous Pond Skimming Contest! It’s one of those traditions that has been wild from the start. The Pond Skimming Contest is Park City’s most popular party and is the true indicator that spring has arrived. Contestants must dress in costume (the funkier the better) as they attempt to cross a 100-foot pond on skis or a snowboard. The pond and the excitement happen at mid-mountain just outside Red Pine Lodge. Must be 10 years of age or older to enter. Spectators will need a lift or gondola ticket to watch. Then, hit up the Resort Village for a free concert with headliners like Michael Franti & Spearhead on March 26th and John Brown’s Body on March 19th.