At Divadend we're all about making the most of life - whether it's being productive in our professional lives or maximizing our leisure time with friends and family. Recently I was lucky enough to do the latter in joining my brother and two sisters along with our spouses in Park City, Utah for a 3-day ski trip. We gathered from Boston, Chicago, Santa Monica and Sydney. Despite my ties to Vail where my husband and I met while living there, I have to say that it's hard to beat Park City / Deer Valley for a quick ski trip.
The scene at Deer Valley ski resort
We flew into Salt Lake City after work on a Thursday where we then drove 45 minutes to a reasonably priced, well-equipped 4 bedroom rental condo walking distance to lifts and the charming historic district of Park City which is teeming with great restaurants and even a Gorsuch, one of our all-time favorite stores.
Gorsuch in Park City
Despite staying near the base of Park City Mountain Resort, we made the short drive each day to Deer Valley to ski. Deer Valley knows how to remove all the friction from skiing. They greet you at the curb and unload your skis from the car. They limit the number of lift tickets to prevent crowding. There are guides at the top of the lifts to recommend trails and each day they publish a grooming report trail map. I'm in heaven on the dozens of perfectly groomed runs with just enough pitch to keep it interesting. Because Deer Valley attracts skiers who appreciate their meticulous grooming, the more adventurous skiers can find fresh tracks on the non-groomed runs days after a snowfall. With the high speed lifts and lack of catwalks, you can pack in great turns on the sprawling mountain. And when you're ready for a break, the lodges have delicious food to be enjoyed on sprawling decks or near charming fireplaces. My favorites are the turkey chili, the gourmet salad bar, the homemade potato chips and because of all the calories expended, something from the dessert bar like the homemade carrot cake or chocolate chip cookies. At the end of the day, I don't even know how to get to the bottom of the mountain other than skiing to the terrace bar of the St Regis Hotel where they perform a nightly ritual of sabering a bottle of champagne. Our favorite cocktails were the Smoke and Fire with Mezcal and hibiscus and the ginger margarita. We also sampled some festive non-alcoholic juice drinks with hibiscus and berry juices. From the St Regis you can download to the base are in their funicular - a luxurious engineering marvel.
Apres-ski at the St Regis Deer Valley
Each evening back in Park City we enjoyed walking to Main Street to explore the shops and make an event of dinner. We dined at Chimayo the first night where the Southwestern food seems to go with skiing and although it was delicious, the entree prices were steep. I think we'd all agree that Handle was our favorite where we shared several courses of small plates notably the cumin roasted carrots and lemony pasta.
Historic Park City
When it comes to making the most of a long weekend ski trip with friends and family, it's hard to beat Park City / Deer Valley for the accessibility, rental home inventory, ski terrain, proximity to a charming town and no altitude sickness!