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Park City and Canyon’s are now connected!!

Quicksilver Gondola Grand Opening

 

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Today, Park City celebrated the grand opening of the new Quicksilver Gondola and Miners Camp Restaurant, making history as the largest ski resort in the United States.

 

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Access to 7,300 acres begins now!  Walk from Old Town Guest House B&B in Park City to the lifts at Park City and ski to Canyons!!

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“On this historic day for our company, the debut of the Quicksilver Gondola connecting the two mountains and Miners Camp restaurant brings to life one of the most ambitious capital projects undertaken at any resort in industry history,” said Rob Katz, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts. “Bill Rock and his team have delivered on their promise to create an experience of a lifetime at Park City and we hope all of our guests enjoy everything that this world-class mountain and iconic mountain town have to offer.”

Construction on Quicksilver and Miners Camp began in the summer of 2015 as part of a $50 million improvements campaign to connect Park City and neighboring Canyons Resort. Now, a quick, 8 ½ minute ride on Quicksilver is all that separates guests from experiencing hundreds of trails across Park City and Canyons Village

“Park City is one of the most spectacular places on Earth and now, for the first time ever, our guests will have unprecedented access to over 300 trails, 41 lifts and 7,300 acres of skiable terrain.

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Ribbon cutting at Miners Camp

Miners Camp, located at the base of the Silverlode Lift, replaces the old Snow Hut and offers guests a cozy retreat from the slopes. The new on-mountain restaurant features 500 indoor seats and a fresh menu highlighted by local ingredients, daily specials, handmade flatbread pizzas, Mediterranean dishes and local drafts on tap.

In addition to Quicksilver and Miners Camp, guests will also find additional snowmaking across the resort, two new trails off of Pinecone Ridge and major upgrades to the King Con and Motherlode lifts.

 

Top 5: Mountain Dining Like Never Before

Posted: 09 Dec 2015 09:00 AM PST

Over just a few short years, mountain dining has changed significantly at our resort. It began when Vail first began managing Canyons, remodeling the popular Cloud Dine restaurant and upgrading various menus at other location on-mountain. After merging our resorts to become one, the same commitment to the on-mountain dining experience has been expanded across the entire resort with the introduction of the brand new Miners Camp restaurant, upgraded menus and the remodeled Red Pine Lodge. The day of soggy french fries and thin hamburger patties are over, Park City’s goal is to keep you fueled and healthy to ski all 7,300 acres without a mid-day slump.

For one day, I teamed up with Executive Chef Alex Malmburg to explore the various mountain restaurants. We’ve stuffed our faces and skied off the calories to provide you with our top recommendations for this winter. Enjoy.

1. Miners Camp
Feature Menu Item: Miner’s Pie

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Walking in the door for my first time in the newly built 500 seat Miners Camp restaurant, I instantly felt like it was chow down hour back in the mining days. The Camp is beautifully decorated with a rustic yet state of the art dining facility, featuring historic decorations from the old mining days. The menu is decorated by dishes like the house made Artisan Focaccia Pizza, and a hearty Hobo Stew with braised beef and winter root vegetables amongst other gut-warming dishes.  My recommendation:  Miner’s Pie. With the first bite, I was taken back to my childhood when only my mother was able to make something so comforting on a cold winter day. Miner’s Pie includes peas, corn, fresh herbs Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and the most important ingredient, local braised lamb. How local? Well, one of the ranches is located right here on the property. During the summer, bike with caution, you may encounter the free-range lamb grazing on the mountain.

2. Red Pine Lodge
Feature Menu Item: Sweet Chili Pork Bahn Mi Sandwich

_M0A6078 The Brand New Red Pine Lodge

I’ve always loved Red Pine Lodge specifically for their lesser known breakfast options. If not blitzing off the Red Pine Gondola for powder turns, stop in a try the breakfast, their biscuits and gravy won’t let you down. Previously, Red Pine was a traditional lodge with variety mouth-watering options. Over the summer they’ve made their appearance match their taste by adding an additional 250 seats, a huge upstairs deck, and added a variety of other menu options. As soon as I unbuckled my boots, Chef Alex presented me one of the new options at Red Pine, a simple, made-to-order deli sandwich at their new deli counter.  As an east coaster, I feel I have a pretty good grasp on what a deli sandwhich should taste like and up until this day, I haven’t found a shop in town that delievered the goods until bit into the   Sweet Chili Pork Banh Mi Sandwhich. The Sweet Chili Pork Bahh Mi is made up of Sriracha Aoili, Vietnamese pickled vegetables, Thai basil, mint cilantro, chili peppers, and cucumber all served on a French baguette. While I’m still searching for the east coast style Bacon, Egg and, Cheese on a hard roll, I am very pleased with my newfound sandwich spot.

3. Lookout Cabin
Feature Menu Item: Moroccan Spiced Meatballs

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For those searching for a sit-down, dine-in type of meal, look no further than Lookout Cabin located off the Orange Bubble Express.  Unfortunately, we weren’t unable to sit on the outdoor deck due to the weather, but when the sun shines and those mountain peaks show themselves, don’t be surprised if one cocktail turns into four as Lookout is our only on-mountain restaurant with a fully stocked bar.  Lookout is a bit more upscale than our other lodges and after the first taste of food, you’ll be perfectly fine with it. Chef Alex brought me out the Moroccan spiced meatballs as an appetizer.  The savory, sweet, slightly addictive meatballs melt in your mouth with an African spiced tomato tagine sauce. To balance out the burst of flavor and spice, the meatballs come prepare on a crisp, fresh, watercress salad.

4. Cloud Dine
Feature Menu Item: Kobe Pretzel Dog

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Cloud Dine has been my favorite on-restaurant ever since its remodel two years ago. Here again, the views are spectacular with 360 degrees of mountain peaks.  Stuffed from the day’s tastings, I settled with the Kobe Pretzel Dog.  A gourmet hot dog wrapped and baked in house pretzel dough, cheddar cheese dipping sauce and an assortment of toppings. I have a soft spot for this dish as it’s usually my mid-day snack while skiing. I’ll buy one, ski down, and eat it on the lift. Simple, fast, clean and easy.  If looking for a meal, try one of the freshly made salads. The Stratocumulus is a great recommendation served with sushi-grade seared tuna, baby tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, French green beans, hardboiled egg, olives, shaved red onion, Bibb lettuce, all coated with red wine mustard vinaigrette.

5. Mid-Mountain Lodge
Feature Menu Item: Prime Rib French Dip

Chef Alex and I had one more stop to go, but we had to make room in our stomachs first.  We began lapping the Bonanza Express debating how we would attack our next menu at the Mid-Mountain Lodge.  On the chairlift, Chef Alex described the menu at Mid-Mountain lodge as a twist on traditional lodge food with menu items like a Grilled Cheese featuring Bacon & Heirloom Tomato, house made salads, and a grill with popular items like the Buffalo Bratwurst and Mid-Mountain Burger.  Somehow my appetite caught up to itself when Chef Alex began talking about the Prime Rib French Dip. Before I knew it, I was ready to eat again. Thinly sliced prime rib coated with melted Swiss, horse radish cream and drizzled with a house made Au Jus made this dish melted in my mouth every bite.  I was surprised to have finished the dish with 30 pounds of food resting in my stomach from the days tour, but I couldn’t stop. It was too good not to finish.

With a nap looming on the horizon, there were a few conclusions to gather from my foodie tour. 1) Quality is of upmost importance. All of the mountain restaurants use fresh, high quality ingredients in all their dishes. It’s amazing when most of those ingredients are delivered via a Snowcat during the night. 2) Prices can be expensive when dealing with fresh, local ingredients so don’t be afraid to opt out from a meal and bring your own food. Park City has done a great job creating a certain atmosphere within each lodge, if not tasting the delicious food; interact with the beautiful scenery and settings. Lastly, I must thank Chef Alex and the Food & Beverage team for allowing me to participate in this personal foodie tour. Chef Alex has created the best on-mountain dining menus ever witnessed and I look forward to enjoying more and more menu items each time I’m out skiing.

 

Comments Off on Discounted lift tickets for skiing Park City, Utah!!

Discounted lift tickets for skiing Park City, Utah!!

The snow is falling - purchase lift tickets now!

A Snowy Week for Utah

For all my guests staying at Old Town Guest House, Bed & Breakfast…  here is some info on discounted lift tickets!! 

The skiing is amazing!!  If you haven’t booked your lodging reservations, book now!!  Things are really filling up.

last minute gift idea

Give the Gift of Ski

This year, we’re making it easy to give your family and friends something they’ll actually enjoy. When you give the Gift of Ski, you’re also giving adventure, fresh mountain air, and powder days. A perfect last minute gift! Give the Gift! 

from the blog

Utah’s New Cherry Peak Resort

Brand-new ski resorts are rare commodities these days. The opening of Cherry Peak Resort this ski season marks the first such unveiling in Utah since Deer Valley in 1981. Read More 

Give the Gift of Ski | Gift cards available online.

The Dos and Don’ts of Après Ski

Like any social situation, there are a few dos and don’ts to the après ski scene. While most skiers and riders seek to enjoy warmth, conversation, and spirits after a day on the mountain, some people unfortunately don’t instinctively know how to hang nicely with others. Read More 

5 Reasons to Hit The Slopes On Christmas & New Year’s Day

Christmas morning is a magical thing. It’s one special day of the year that’s ALL about family, fun, love, and a whole lot of presents. This year, why not add white, fluffy powder and fresh mountain air to the mix? Read More 

Comments Off on Utah and Old Town Guest House make Fodor’s list!

Utah and Old Town Guest House make Fodor’s list!

Fodor’s Go List 2016

 

UTAH: OUR TOP PICK

Fodor’s #1 destination for 2016 promises exceptional scenery, unforgettable adventures, and something for everyone—hikers, skiers, solo travelers, and families.

Utah defies expectations: Salt Lake City, best known as the capital of the conservative LDS Church, recently elected the first openly gay mayor in the state’s history, and despite what you may have heard, alcohol is legal and easy to find—there’s even a ski-in whiskey distillery. Home to both desert and mountains, Utah is also the place to get outdoors in 2016. With the historic creation ofPark City, the largest single ski and snowboard resort in the country (there’s more than 7,300 skiable acres and 300 trails to choose from), there’s no better time to experience Utah’s legendary powder. Not a skier? No problem. Hiking the red-rock canyons of southern Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks—Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands—may change your life, and there are special celebrations planned throughout 2016 for the National Park Service’s centennial. Of course, Utah’s adventures don’t end at the national park borders: Scenic drives, dinosaur fossils, mountain biking on slickrock trails, and white-water rafting are all part of the fun. Best of all, Utah comes with an affordable price tag, with average daily room rates of $96 and average airfares into Salt Lake City of $361.

Where to Stay: Staying in Park City can be pricey; if you want a mid-range hotel, opt for Salt Lake City’s Hilton—Salt Lake City Center or Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City and ski at the seven resorts within a 30–40 minute drive from downtown. The affordable Bryce Canyon Lodge is a memorable place to stay in one of America’s best-loved national parks. Numerous reviewers have extolled the virtues of the Amangiri, which has received our own Fodor’s 100 Hotels Award, and with good reason. If you can afford the hefty price tag, this desert resort offers unparalleled luxury and privacy in Canyon Point, Utah, and includes adventure experiences to the national parks and beyond. I am adding  Old Town Guest House B&B in Park City!  You won’t find a better deal or location.  www.oldtownguesthouse.com

Insider Tip: For the truly unique experience of red rock canyon views while skiing, head to Brian Head resort in southern Utah.

When to Go: Utah ski season can start as early as November and last as late as July 4, and Utah’s resorts often see warm, sunny days. The best time to visit the national parks is in spring and fall to avoid high summer temperatures and peak tourist season.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Utah Guide

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Christmas Holiday Spirit in Park City

For all of you coming out to enjoy Christmas at Old Town Guest House, Bed & Breakfast in Park City, here is some holiday information.

There’s something magical about being nestled in Park City during the holidays. Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, twinkling lights, cheery residents and cozy fires, you might find yourself on the lookout for a certain red-nosed reindeer.

As if the idyllic scenery of two iconic resorts coming together to form the largest resort in the U.S. wasn’t enough, Park City’s many festivities add an extra touch of whimsy and holiday romance to the yuletide. Carolers, illuminated parades and a Main Street straight out of the North Pole will wake even the sleepiest holiday spirit. If you happen to find yourself in this majestic town during the month of December, make sure to check out these town-favorite places and events to get the most out of your holiday.

Shop And Stroll Down Historic Main Street
During the month of December, Old Town’s historic Main Street comes alive with holiday magic – hosting a number of free events, classes and activities to celebrate the festive season. If you still need to do some holiday shopping, be  sure to explore the hundreds of unique shops, boutiques, art galleries and specialty stores. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it on historic Main Street. Start your shopping early: https://www.visitparkcity.com/things-to-do/shopping/
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The Park City Singers
Nothing ushers in the holidays more poetically than a chorus of carolers. The Park City Singers have become a staple in the community over the last nineteen years, and their Christmas concerts are nothing short of spectacular. Starting December 19th, concerts will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. You’ll find yourself swaying along to a beautiful mix of holiday favorites and interesting arrangements of classical tunes – making it hard not to sing along.

Buy your tickets at: www.parkcitysingers.com

DecemberFest
Kick off your holidays with Park City’s DecemberFest, a new sixteen-day festival including morning and après musical acts, village entertainers, a Resort Lighting Ceremony and more. The festival runs from December 19th to January 3rd and comes packed with on and off mountain activities. No matter how diverse your holiday spirit, you’re sure to find something worth grinning about.

Start planning your DecemberFest: http://www.parkcitymountain.com/events/event-detail.aspx?year=2015&month=12&eventview=calendarview&eventName=DecemberFest

Santa Comes Down The Town Lift
Forget chimneys, when Santa and his magical sleigh come to Park City, he uses the ski lift. This magical Park City tradition takes place in the Town Lift Plaza and will occur on December 19th. Make sure to get there early – starting at 5 P.M. cookies, hot chocolate and plenty of merriment will be available to prepare for Santa’s arrival. Once he and Rudolph have made their way down the mountain and into the plaza, make sure to get your picture with the big guy – EpixMix will be snapping photos of families during the exciting event.

Find out more about when Santa skis into town: http://www.parkcitymountain.com/events/event-detail.aspx?year=2015&month=12&eventview=calendarview&eventName=Santa-Town-Lift

53rd Annual Torchlight Parade
Park City’s Annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade is a tradition as old as the resort itself. It also happens to be the longest-running tradition and a village favorite. Just after sunset on Christmas Eve, make your way to Park City Base and warm up with hot cocoa, holiday music, cookies and cheer. Try and spot Santa skiing as he leads more than one hundred ski and snowboard instructors down the trails before he takes off for his epic journey. Afterward, catch up with St. Nick for photos and any last minute requests. It’s no wonder families continue to travel back for this event.

Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade (photo credit- Park City Mountain Resort)

Don’t miss out on the fun: http://www.parkcitymountain.com/events/event-detail.aspx?year=2015&month=12&eventview=calendarview&eventName=TorchlightParade

Santa’s Shredding The Slopes
Did you know that skiing is one of Santa’s favorite extracurricular activities? It makes sense, considering his affinity for arctic culture. And from December 23rd to December 25th, Santa’s getting one last fix before heading to work. He’ll be shredding the slopes at   Greg,  It seems like the Cactus team is just copying and pasting from the Park City Chamber site here FYI. Flight of The Canyons Gondola is called the Red Pine Gondola.

Find out more about Santa on the slopes at: https://www.visitparkcity.com/events/annual-special-events/dec-celebrate-holidays/

Ring In The New Year “Park City” Style
When you celebrate New Year’s Eve in Park City it’s sure to be a memorable night. Canyons Village starts the celebration off in the afternoon with free concerts on the Ski Beach. Then head over to The Cabin for a family dinner from 5-7 P.M. Once you’ve got your fill, head back outside to watch the free fireworks show at 7:30 P.M.

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If you’re looking to continue the night’s festivities, put on your best disco gear and get ready to boogie. Starting at 7:30 P.M., the Kokopelli Ballroom turns into a New Year’s disco party and lasts until 1:30 A.M., Stay until the little ones get tired or put them to bed and head back to ring in the New Year, disco style. If disco isn’t your thing, head up to historic Main Street and hit up the hundreds of restaurants and bars for more ways to ring in the New Year.

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Skiing Park City

 

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Opening Day is finally upon us! Join us  Nov. 21st  at our Park City Base Area as we create history with the opening of the new largest resort in the country. No question about it, we’ve been very busy at the resort the past few months. Over the summer, we’ve completed a $50 million improvement plan to connect Canyons Resort and Park City as one, unified resort – Park City, along with various other mountain improvements all to enhance the guest experience.  As we all can’t wait to be sliding on snow again, get the low down on our Opening Day Celebration, Opening Day terrain selection and more!

Opening Day Festivities, Saturday, November 21: Park City Base Area

8:00 a.m.
Live music, giveaways, and complimentary hot chocolate and coffee at the Park City Base Area
8:45 a.m.
Welcome to the season from Park City COO Bill Rock
9:00 a.m.
First Chair – 3 Kings, PayDay, First Time
PayDay Banner Breaking
Live Music Continues
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Live après music on PayDay Deck by Parlour Hounds

Opening Day Terrain: Park City Base Area

Pay Day Lift – Lower Homerun, Treasure Hollow.
First Time  – Turtle Trail.
3 Kings  –    Quicksilver, lower 3 Kings, Silver Hollow.


3 Kings Park—Top to bottom Park
*Will update Friday Night with feature count.

 

 

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We are excited to announce that all of our $50 million in mountain improvement projects for this historic season will be ready for Christmas week, weather conditions permitting. This includes the new Quicksilver Gondola that connects Park City and Canyons creating America’s largest ski resort with 7,300 skiable acres and more! Read on to see what to expect and when.

Nov. 21, 2015:
Opening Day at Park City Base

Nov. 27, 2015:
Opening Day at Canyons Village
Red Pine Lodge Ribbon Cutting
Summit House Ribbon Cutting

Dec. 5, 2015:
Miners Camp Opening

Dec. 11, 2015:
Quicksilver Gondola Opening
Motherlode Ribbon Cutting

Dec. 18, 2015:
There Is Only One. GRAND OPENING event

Dec. 19, 2015:
DecemberFest
Demo Day and EpicMix Activation Event
Santa Comes Down Town Lift
King Con Ribbon Cutting 

 

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Park City Ski College Lodging Special!!!

Park City’s Ski College is so much fun!!  Come out and improve your skiing by leaps and bounds!!  Book your lodging at Old Town Guest House for a Ski College Special….   $199/night!!  Four night minimum stay!

5 Day Ski College

 

 

A tradition at Park City, the Ski College includes five days of lessons with one of our pros. During this time, you’ll make permanent changes in your technique. Best of all, Ski College is fun! Our instructors have the skills and experience to help you reach your full potential. Space is limited, so make your reservation early.

 

This program is for level 5 skiers and up (parallel turns on all green, and gentle blue runs) and all adults ages 21 and up. Participants will be placed in groups to match your ability level.

 

Lessons run from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm with a lunch break at the on-mountain restaurant of the groups choosing.

2015-16 Reservations Available NOW!

DatesPrice
Ski College #1Mon. Nov. 30 – Fri. Dec. 4, 2015$500 (lesson only) or $615 with lift ticketBook Ski College #1
Ski College #2Mon. Dec. 7 – Fri. Dec. 11, 2015$560 (lesson only) or $675 with lift ticketBook Ski College #2

Comments Off on 6 Tips for Planning A Budget Friendly Ski Vacation

6 Tips for Planning A Budget Friendly Ski Vacation

As I write this, it’s DUMPING snow on the mountains. Over a foot at last check! If you’re planning a ski vacation, this is the time to book dates. But let’s face it, skiing and riding can be hard on the budget if you have to travel.

Luckily, I have six tips that will save you from pawning grandma’s silver to fund your turns:

Travel with a crew

One of the best ways to save money is to split expense with friends. This way you get to share the cost of lodging, transportation. Remember that college roommate who skied all winter but you haven’t heard from in years? Reach out! Not only will you save money, but it will be a fun chance to catch up. You could also agree that the goal is to save money and each do your own thing once on the slopes.

Beg, borrow, and steal gear

Of course I’m not being literal about the “steal” bit, that’s my code for raid used gear shops like 2nd Tracks in Salt Lake or Switch Back in Park City. You can also score deals at local rental shops and on sites like GetOutfitted. Do this in advance because many of them give better deals online than in person. Look all over town as well, because the lowest prices may be just off the hill. For example, See N’ Ski has 12 locations. Chances are one of them is between the airport and the mountain. Even better, they sell discounted lift tickets too!

Don’t forget to ask friends if they have gear and clothes you could borrow as well, especially if they are local. I suggest acquiring skis and poles after you arrive if you are flying commercial to avoid checked baggage fees.

Stay at a Bed & Breakfast

Book your lodging at Old Town Guest House, Bed & Breakfast in Park City!  www.oldtownguesthouse.com.  Breakfast is included in the price of lodging!  This saves you up to $25/per person!   If you do plan to eat out, search for “Cheap Eats” on Yelp. It works!

Of course splurging on a good meal is sometimes part of the vacation experience. For a list of scrumptious mountainside meals in Utah, check out this list of 12 Must Eats.

Book early and off-peak

Secure the best deals by booking early. Often there are only so many rooms, airline tickets etcetera, available at discount rates, so you need to grab them quick. Also plan to visit early or late season, avoid holidays, and shoot for weekdays. An average of 6.7 feet of snow falls in April, making it a great time to get a deal on spring turns!

Hunt for deals on lift tickets

There are a number of ways to save on lift tickets, but you’ll have to do some looking. First, check this site for deals because we gather them up in one spot for you and have a few o our own available. If you’re traveling with a 5th or 6th grader, don’t miss the Passport deal. Yes, you can use it even if you live outside Utah. Tip: Allow two weeks for processing. Additionally, check sites like Liftopia.com, local gear rental shops, and individual resort websites. Some offer discounts during the week, late in the day, or at night (night skiing is so much fun!).

A well-kept secret is that the Salt Lake City Costco carries discount lift tickets. They can’t be found online, so you’ll have to call for details (ask for the membership desk). When I checked today they had Sundance tickets plus Ski N’ See rental discounts. More may be added by opening day.

I’m going to go wax my skis now… See you on the slopes!

Comments Off on Bigger and better: Park City expands into USA’s largest ski resort

Bigger and better: Park City expands into USA’s largest ski resort

A skier in Jupiter Bowl – one of 14 bowls at the new

Every fall around this time, ski resorts across North America start to roll out annual upgrades, hoping to woo travelers and outdo their competition. This season is an especially rich one in American skiing, with Jackson Hole, Wyo., adding a new lift, restaurant and trails, Sun Valley, Idaho, completely revamping its flagship Lodge, and Vermont’s Burke opening an entirely new hotel, along with many other improvements from coast to coast. But all of it pales beside what is going on in Park City, Utah — the opening of the largest ski resort in the nation’s history.

Skiing in Utah has been on the uptick ever since the 2002 Winter Olympic Games were held in and around Salt Lake City. While the Olympics have proved to be a double-edged sword for many cities that have hosted them, leaving a wake of unpaid bills and empty facilities, Utah was a rare exception. The number of skiers and snowboarders visiting the state has increased dramatically, up about 40% since the Games, while hotels and base lodges built for the event are still going strong.

No place benefitted more than Park City, a historic former silver mining town just 40 minutes from downtown Salt Lake and home to many skiing and non-skiing events (as well as the famous Sundance Film Festival). Park City has continued to grow and is more popular than ever, with two museums, the ski jumps, recently added attractions such as zip lines, hiking trails, high ropes courses, and the bobsled run — open for public rides summer and winter.

Now Park City is enjoying yet another renaissance, one that may well make it the top ski destination in the country. When the new Quicksilver gondola is fired up this December, it will carry skiers and snowboarders from one end of giant Park City ski resort to the other — except that the other end is what used to be the neighboring Canyons, which was already the largest ski mountain in Utah. Operating under the more recognizable Park City name, this new behemoth is a combination of the existing Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons, plus several new trails on the ridge that once separated them. The gondola and new trails are just the most visible highlights of the $50 million that operator Vail Resorts has spent fashioning the nation’s largest ski resort.

Before the merger, these were the state’s two biggest in terms of skiable in-bounds acreage, and the combined numbers are staggering: 7,300-acres of skiable terrain with 14 bowls, over 300 trails, and 17 on-mountain restaurants, linked by a 22-mile network of 38 lifts. The acreage is three to four times that of several major destination resorts in the West, such as Breckenridge, Colo., and more than seven times the size of the largest resort in the East, Sugarloaf, Maine.

The new giant will offer an unrivaled wealth of skiing and riding for all abilities, with more than enough trails, glades and bowls to easily occupy a trip — or season. But beyond its sheer size, the new resort will also greatly change the visitor experience to Park City. In the past, travelers have had to choose between staying in the charming town, filled with shops, restaurants, galleries and bars, or out at the base of Canyons, the largest of the area’s three resorts, for better access to the slopes. Now they can do either and still ski all the interconnected terrain.

Because the lifts and trails of the former Park City Mountain Resort come right down to Main Street, the sea change effectively transforms the entire town into a ski-in/ski-out base for America’s largest resort. Similar to the interconnected village model of Europe’s mega-resorts, visitors can start their day at one of three base areas, ski to another for lunch or finish up at the opposite end for dinner and après and then ride back, using the town’s extensive free bus system or the complimentary shuttles many area hotels operate.

“I think the new gondola will really open up town for people who want to ski a lot of terrain,” said David Perkins, proprietor of High West Distillery & Saloon. Immediately adjacent to the Town Lift, it lays claim to being the  world’s only ski-in/ski-out distillery. “You now can buy a lift ticket or Epic (season) Pass and instead of being locked into five days over at Canyons, you can mix it up and ski both sides. It’s a really big deal,” Perkins adds.

The new eight-passenger high-speed gondola is unusual in that it runs in both directions, with a mid-station atop the ridge between the resorts, linking three stops both ways like a subway for skiers. While most gondolas start at the base, this is up on the mountain, and riders can ski down from all three stations, none more than four and half minutes apart, while the end-to-end ride is less than nine minutes.

The mid-station sits atop Pine Cone Ridge, which used to divide the two resorts. On the old Park City side, the mid-station accesses an experts-only area called Thaynes Canyon, which used to require a lengthy hike. On the old Canyons side, three new trails have been cut down from the mid-station in Iron Canyon, with a mix of advanced and intermediate terrain, plus new snowmaking to ensure reliable access. A large new lodge, the 500-seat Miner’s Camp, was constructed for the gondola, while the existing Red Pine Restaurant added 250 seats.

With the new lifts, trails and snowmaking, Vail’s $50 million investment is most obvious on the slopes, but this summer the resort also opened a brand new 18-hole golf course at the Canyons base area, and is building an extensive new summer mountain bike park.

“As a local, I am certain our town will change, and slightly concerned that we will lose some of its character, but for tourists it is all positive,” said Eric Kent, a software executive and full-time resident who moved here from San Francisco seven years ago with his family for enhanced quality of life. “This will up the game for the entire on-mountain experience, lifts, food, lodges, après, and terrain.”

The resort now sprawls uninterrupted between the separate Canyons base area and town, with three entry points for visitors, and a wealth of lodging and dining options at all price points. The old base of Park City Mountain Resort sits just a few blocks above Main Street, with limited parking but lots of shuttle bus access, anchored by a pedestrian mall with shops and eateries. The Canyons gateway is a modern, purpose-built ski resort base area, with a gondola-style people mover connecting a large parking lot to the lifts, and several ski-in/ski-out hotels. A pedestrian village at the base of the slopes was completely redone just a few years ago, and is flanked with shops, restaurants, bars and a sunny, outdoor “ski beach” area.

The third option is the Town Lift, which serves the hotels and rental properties in historic downtown Park City. “We are extremely excited to (offer guests) walk-in, walk-out access to the largest resort in the U.S.,” said Michael Gregory, general manager of Washington School House Hotel, an upscale boutique hotel near the Town Lift.

One of the biggest appeals of skiing in the greater Salt Lake City area is ease of access. Six major resorts in the Wasatch mountain range are less than an hour from the airport, which is reliable even in winter. While on a map these seem split into three separate clusters in Park City (Deer Valley, Park City), Big Cottonwood (Solitude, Brighton) and Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta, Snowbird), in reality they almost all neighbor each other, mostly separated by ridgelines just as Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort were until this winter. For this reason, there has been a long-term plan in the works to interconnect all seven — now six — resorts into an enormous European-style ski network, a project dubbed ONE Wasatch.

“The merger of Park City Mountain and Canyons, making the biggest resort in the United States, is not only an unprecedented project in the history of skiing, it is one step closer to the completion of ONE Wasatch,” said Nathan Rafferty, president and CEO of Ski Utah.

The plan requires just three new connections — one of which is the Quicksilver gondola.

If you go

The town of Park City is less than 40 miles from the Salt Lake City Airport, and there are numerous shuttles, car services and shared-ride vans available. It is home to two large ski resorts, the newly formed Park City (merging former Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons, parkcitymountain.com) and Deer Valley (Note: Deer Valley does not allow snowboarding, deervalley.com). Both Deer Valley and the Canyons base area at Park City have significant ski-in/ski-out lodging with hotels and rental homes and condos.

The town of Park City also has extensive lodging in both hotel and vacation rentals, as well as direct access to the Park City resort from both its Main Street and the Park City.  Old Town Guest House, a Bed & Breakfast in Park City offers reasonable lodging with lot’s of amenities.  Plus, the location is great.  Book online at www.oldtownguesthouse.com.

The new Park City resort utilizes Vail’s Epic Pass, the nation’s bestselling season pass, priced to pay for itself in just five to six days of skiing and good at a dozen resorts in six states and two countries. For visitors coming from home resorts that use the Epic Pass, such as those in California, Michigan or Minnesota, trips to other participating resorts are essentially free.

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Ski Utah Magazine article on Deb Lovci

THE QUEEN OF THE BACKCOUNTRY

Deb Lovci

Nationally recognized backcountry guide Deb Lovci is the high-altitude devotee’s one-stop shop.
Unlike many Utah transplants—urban refugees seeking the mountain town dream— Ski Utah Interconnect Tour Lead Guide Deb Lovci hales from a locale very
similar to many communities found throughout Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. “I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, which gave me my love for the mountains,” she says, “but I wanted to find a place I could call my own.” So, 26 years ago, Lovci bought a miner’s shack in Park City’s historic district and put the backcountry skiing skills she’d honed her entire life to work for Ski Utah. Since then, she’s amassed a loyal clientele of skiers from around the world, many of whom spend multiple days with her both on snow with the Ski Utah Interconnect Tour and at her Park City B&B, Old Town Guest House (oldtownguesthouse.com). Be advised: if you’d like to experience Lovci’s adept guiding skills for yourself, book her early.

Last March, Outside magazine named Lovci Best Skiing Guide as part of its 2015 “Best of Travel” issue.

“Outside magazine named Lovci Best Skiing Guide as part of its 2015 ‘Best of Travel’ issue.”

Ski Utah Magazine: Would you say the Interconnect Tour is a good way to try out backcountry skiing? Deb Lovci: Absolutely! Our day in the mountains gives aspiring off-piste skiers an introduction to the skills required to stay safe out-of-bounds while sampling the amazing Wasatch Mountains backcountry.

Ski Utah Magazine: Describe a typical day in the mountains with you. Deb Lovci: We meet with Interconnect Tour groups in the morning and give them an overview of the day, talking about safety and group travel. Once we load the chairlifts, we ski through up to six resorts via the backcountry in all kinds of conditions and varied terrain. We also show groups some of our favorite stashes within the resorts we ski through.

Ski Utah Magazine:: Why do you think the editors at Outside magazine singled you out? Deb Lovci: Number one is the Interconnect Tour’s safety record. We don’t ever push it, and I can honestly say we have the best safety record in the industry. Longevity is another reason. I’ve been doing this long enough that I’ve developed a great clientele who regularly come and play in the mountains with me. Lastly is that I truly love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Ski Utah Magazine: What does a great day on the mountain mean to you?

Deb Lovci: When one of my clients falls in love with the backcountry and can’t wait to come back. Better yet is when they are staying at my inn and love the entire experience.

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5 Tips to Get Ready for Ski Season

Snow is  here!!  Time to get in shape and book your lodging reservations at Park City’s only Bed & Breakfast.  Old Town Guest House.

 

skier

Skier getting ready to come and stay at Old Town Guest House, Park City.

 

 

A winter filled with schussing, shredding the Gnar or just plain having fun on The Greatest Snow on Earth requires a healthy body. Back in early October, Ski Utah turned to social, and asked what ski questions you’ve always wanted to ask a ski doctor. We’ve teamed up with the experts at the University of Utah Health Care to answer your questions. And of course, squats do a body good, but you might want to save the boots and skis for the snow:)

 

 

Question #1 – Brendan Davis asks: “What is the best training regimen to prepare for the season for 20+ ski days?”
Cardiovascular fitness including endurance: Try a form of cardiovascular exercise: hiking, running, cycling, or indoor cardio gym equipment every day if not most days of the week for a minimum of 30-60 min.
Strength training: Gaining strength in your core and legs take priority, however not enough strength in your upper body, might leave your shoulder at risk for injury.  For core work: work to hold a plank on your elbows and either toes or knees for 60-90 seconds for 3 repetitions.  Lower extremity strengthening through body weight exercises such as lunges, bridges or squats with both or one leg, is a must for any downhill skiing. Using a weight machine to work on the hamstrings, quads and buttocks are best to not over-look!  Using the extra resistance, increase the load overtime to gain the strength needed for the demands put on skiers!
Flexibility: Snow sports can put us into physically demanding positions and our bodies need to be able to bend, we might get pulled more than we want.  being flexible in our hamstrings, quads and trunk is one way to help prevent injury!

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Impact training: Without a doubt, downhill snow sports is like a controlling a fall down a hill. In order to prepare our bodies for this type of work (eccentric muscle contraction) we need to practice it!  running hills, stairs or practicing jumping will help us prepare for the impact of skiing.

Question #2 – Stefanie Schulz asks: “How can I keep my knees stable and strong to prevent knee injuries?”

Dr. Stuart Willick, Sports Medice physician says: “Stefanie, this is a great question. Your skiing will be better and more fun if you train well in preparation for the ski season.  Balance exercises and strengthening exercises for the core, hip and thigh muscles are one important part of keeping your knees stable and preventing knee injuries.  Another important part of preventing knee injuries is proper skiing technique. Research has shown that maintaining good balance on your skis and avoiding getting “in the back seat” with your weight too far backward, can decrease your risk of knee injuries during skiing.”

Question #3 – Many, many people asked: “What’s the best way to avoid being really sore after the first couple of days of skiing?”

LInda Scholl, Physical Therapist at University of Utah Orthopedic Center, says: “These three specific exercises are your best place to start. Run/walk stairs, any hamstring exercise and squats. If you are sore the next day, walk/hike it out! Stiff/sore muscles will remain stiff/sore if not given a way to increase the blood supply through gentle exercise/motion.

Question #4 – Mike Kemp asks: “What are your general thoughts about the efficacy of a 58 year old man with dual full hip replacements returning to the slopes?”

Dr. Stuart Willick, Sports Medice physician says: “Mike, most joint replacement surgeons allow their patients with hip replacements to ski, once they have completed a successful course of rehabilitation after their surgery. However, everybody is a little bit different so each individual has to discuss their activities with their surgeon.”

Question #5 – Jeremy Hadley asks: “I’m unable to do some activities because of left knee pain. Any secrets to deal with tendonitis? And any special exercises to strengthen Ski legs?”

 

Dr. Stuart Willick, Sports Medice physician says: “Jeremy, the first step in getting you ready for ski season is to establish a firm diagnosis of your knee pain.  The sports medicine specialists at the University of Utah can help provide you with a clear diagnosis and a treatment plan that will get your knee ready for the slopes.  If your knee pain is indeed from tendonitis, then strengthening exercises focused on the thigh and hip muscles are the first line of treatment.  Consider taking a ski conditioning class such as the one offered at the University of Utah Orthopaedic Center.”

Bonus Question – Mason Jewkes asks: “What are the best (day of) pre-ski and post-ski exercises?”

LInda Scholl, Physical Therapist at University of Utah Orthopedic Center says:
Pre-ski warm up: Don’t count on walking your snow equipment from the car to the base of the lift as a “warm up”!  Be your best on the slopes, especially on those beautiful “gotta-be-first-in-line” powder days, take time to prepare your body! Swing one leg forward/back to loosen hips.   Keep your leg relaxed with the big movements warming the body.  Total lower body stretch: place one leg behind you, knee straight and heel flat.  lunge onto forward leg keeping trunk upright, stretching the calf & hip flexor.  after 30 sec, bend back knee to stretch the quad.  Trunk: standing, feet firmly planted slightly more than hip width apart, twist trunk using arms side to side, loosening the spine.  Shoulders: Big sweeping arm circles on each side.

Post-ski stretches: Be sure to get your quads and trunk as described above! Add in, hamstring: sit tall, place one foot in front of you with the knee straight.  Bend forward from the hips until  you feel a gentle pull behind the thigh. Deep hip rotators: Sitting, cross one ankle over the other knee and sit up slightly bend forward for deep hip rotators. Foam roll your buttocks, front, side and back of legs and stretch in the hot tub apres ski!  just keep your head above water!