At least once a day in the winter, Deb Lovci pauses and takes a moment and a breath to admire the panoramic view from what she calls her office — stunning mountain terrain glistening with untouched snow as far as she can see. To her, it feels like the top of the world.
Lovci is the lead guide for Ski Utah’s Interconnect Tour, which takes skiers through Wasatch Mountain Range backcountry and terrain on as many as six ski resorts in one day. She was recently named Best Skiing Guide by Outside Magazine.
Lovci said she was grateful for the recognition. But for her, earning a living showing off Utah’s world-class slopes to guests is its own reward.
“We’re basically showcasing the great ski resorts of Utah and the backcountry in between,” she said. “We get to show people how unique this is. I mean, there’s nowhere else like this, short of going to Europe. And even Europe, you’re not going to get what we get here, as far as the amazing conditions.”
While Lovci relishes shredding through deep powder, even more enjoyable are the moments she spends with guests on ski lifts or during breaks for lunch. Many of her guests come from big cities, where they have corporate jobs, and she finds connecting with them intriguing.
“That’s the best part of my job,” Lovci said. “Just to hear what people’s lives are like is incredible. I love meeting my guests.”
But as fascinating as she finds them, they are equally captivated by the life she leads.
They are blown away by the ski experience and the fact she gets to spend her days in the powder of the Wasatch Mountains.”We all kind of take it for granted that it’s easy to go and ski out of bounds, but we get a lot of people from high-rises in Chicago or New York,” she said. “When they come out here, it’s beautiful, untracked powder, and they’re just like, ‘Oh my.’ I love to hear that from them because I never want a day to go by that I’m not thankful for what I do, because it’s pretty amazing.
“I would love to hear the stories they tell when they go back to their world. I’m sure it’s like, ‘Why let the truth get in the way of a good story.’ I’m sure they’re saying, ‘It was this steep and this deep, and we hiked for hours.'”
While her interest in the people she serves has not changed throughout her more than two decades as a Ski Utah tour guide, other aspects of the job have. For instance, ski gear has become much more refined and lighter, for an easier backcountry experience.
Additionally, advances in backcountry safety technology — along with cooperation from the resorts the Interconnect Tour visits — have ensured she is keeping guests as safe as possible.
“It’s fun because I love change,” she said. “We all adapt to it, and that has been so fun. It’s been a blast and I look forward to even more changes. There will probably be even more changes ahead than I’ve had behind me. I’m excited about it.”
But Lovci’s job as a ski guide is only part of who she is. She also owns the Old Town Guest House, at 1011 Empire Ave. She bought the house when she first moved to Park City and turned it into a bed and breakfast.
“I had always wanted to renovate an old building,” she said. “I always thought it was, like, the ultimate in recycling. And this place was just a wreck.
“People don’t know this about me, but my inn is equally as fun and important to me as being a guide.”
She typically caters to younger guests who are searching for a true “locals” Park City experience and knowledge of the best areas for outdoor activity. Even in the summer, the bed and breakfast thrives, with guests coming from all over to recreate.
“I love the summers with young bike riders,” she said. “It’s fun because so many of those people have grown up now and are coming back.”