Old Town Guest House

Author Archives: Deb Lovci


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.


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.

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.
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.


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

Comments Off on A great hike!!

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!!


Comments Off on Canyons Resort earns Top 10 ranking!!

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


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!!


New Visitor Information Center

Visitor Information Center Grand Opening Thursday, October 4, 2012

9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

1794 Olympic Parkway, Kimball Junction

The Park City Chamber of Commerce|Convention and Visitors Bureau cordially invites all Chamber/Bureau members and the community to a public grand opening to celebrate our new 4,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Visitor Information Center. Light refreshments will be served. For questions please call 435.649.6100


Fun night!!

Do, re, mi, fa, sooooooo much fun!!!

The final show of the 2012 St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights series is the international phenomenon Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music bringing our local hills alive on Saturday, September 1. “One of the funniest and most extraordinary evenings of my life.” The Independent (London) – Nuns, lederhosen-ed whippersnappers, even a goatherd or two will gather slope-side at Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater for an irresistibly fun evening of film, singing and costume contest bedecked fabulousness. Of note: This event begins early with a 6 p.m. start time. For tickets and information: 435-655-3114


Another new trail. Hike it from the Inn.

You might remember that a few months ago, Park City was named the world’s first Gold Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association. That basically translates to, “Park City has a killer trail system.” Of course us Parkites have always thought that, but it’s great to be recognized by outsiders.

One of the best characteristics of our trail system is that every year, it is constantly improving with new trails. To contribute to this ever-diversifying trail system, Park City Mountain Resort has been working on cutting a new trail that will allow hikers and bikers to easily trek from the top of PayDay to the base area (or vice versa!), without needing to use an access road.

So without further ado, I present Jenni’s Trail!

Trail: Jenni’s Trail Duration: 4.7 miles total, but we only hiked the first 2.5 miles to PayDay Mid Station Difficulty: Intermediate Don’t forget: Water, camera and a ticket for the ZipRiderTM

Jennis Trail Map

Jenni’s Trail starts off of the path under the Flying Eagle and ZipRiderTM. It’s pretty difficult to miss once you get to First Time face, since it is a newly cut trail. From here, the trail winds up the mountain, through the aspens and across ski runs. You’ll hit Crescent Mine Grade, where you’ll continue straight through that intersection. Turning left or right will put you on CMG. (Bad idea. Trek CMG some other time!)


On our way up, we ran into these guys, just hanging out in the middle of the trail, munching on the shrubbery.


As we stood there for 20 minutes, trying to remember our moose safety lessons as we waited for the moose to leave the trail, we were able to take a nice, short water break and soak up the scenery.

All in all, it took us about 1:30 to reach Mid Station of PayDay, including our moose hold. You can continue up Jenni’s Trail if you want, catching PayDay Lift down from the top. We decided it would be more fun to take a zip ride.