Deer Valley Resort President and General Manager Bob Wheaton, gives a preview of the 2014 – 2015 ski season and invites you to come #SkiTheDifference.
For the second year running, Deer Valley Resort has been awarded United States’ Best Ski Resort by the World Ski Awards. Following a year-long voting process from leading ski tourism professionals worldwide, as well hundreds of thousands of ski consumers from 127 countries, Deer Valley Resort won the distinction among a short list of USA finalists during the 2014 World Ski Awards the weekend of November 21-23, 2014, in Kitzbühel, Austria.
The World Ski Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in ski tourism and focuses on the leading 20 nations who are shaping the future of the ski industry. Deer Valley Resort’s win comes after a record number of more than a million votes were cast across the globe for the competing resorts. Votes were cast by leading ski tourism professionals worldwide—senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media—as well as thousands of luxury travel consumers via worldskiawards.com and World Ski Awards’ Facebook page.
Deer Valley Resort had been invited to attend the 2014 Ski Oscar’s formal announcement and presentation taking place in the legendary winter sports destinations of Kitzbühel, Austria—the home of skiing and home of the World Ski Awards.
“Deer Valley Resort has a time-honored commitment to excellence,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort. “This accolade further cements our determination to be a worldwide industry leader. We are thrilled to have earned the distinction for two consecutive years.”
The World Ski Awards is part of World Travel Awards, serving as “the Oscars of the travel industry” for the past 21 years.
About World Ski Awards
Launched in 2012 as the sister event to the World Travel Awards, World Ski Awards is the first ever global initiative to celebrate and reward excellence in the ski hospitality industry. World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. The World Travel Award’s annual program is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the travel and tourism industry.
David Smalis manages a lodging reservation team whose job it is to paint a vivid picture of a winter vacation home that will perfectly match the needs of its guests. Every piece of the puzzle needs to fit and this requires superior listening abilities, tireless research and absolute integrity during the entire process. David began working for Deer Valley Resort as an intern during the 2007-2008 ski season and is now the Assistant Manager of Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations; he shares with us the essence of his experience.
JF: David, what exactly are your responsibilities with Deer Valley Resort?
David: I supervise a team of Vacation Planners, that’s what we call our reservations agents. Our team fluctuates from about five individuals during the summer to around 10 in the winter.
JF: How do your Vacation Planners work with guests?
David: Mostly over the phone; they take in-bound calls related to lodging reservations and associated activities, when needed.
JF: What did you do prior to your employment with Deer Valley Resort?
David: I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and lived there until I was 24. I went to college at Arizona State University. I was already familiar with Park City since my family used to vacation here. I decided to come to Utah while in college, just to do something different; since I really liked the ski industry, I applied to work at Deer Valley Resort.
JF: What was your job at the time?
David: I began with an internship on the mountain with the Race Department and came back to start as a Vacation Planner the next summer.
JF: What specifically attracted you to Deer Valley Resort?
David: I was already familiar with the resort and that’s what brought me to my internship. Later, having worked with a travel agency during college, I had the skills required for the Vacation Planner position.
JF: What did you expect as you started your internship?
David: Since my internship counted for credits during my last semester in college, I expected to have fun skiing, get credits for my work and then come home. At that time, I didn’t expect to be here full-time!
JF: What made you change your mind?
David: Once I came back home after my internship, I realized that I wasn’t tied down to anything since I was finished with college. I still needed to get a job, so I came back to Deer Valley Resort.
JF: What were your key motivations for returning?
David: Skiing has been a passion of mine since a very young age, and not just skiing, but also the general atmosphere surrounding the sport; since I was familiar with this area, it seemed like a natural choice. I have been a life-long golfer as well, so with the best of both worlds within easy reach, skiing in winter and golf in summer, I couldn’t be happier.
JF: The perfect confluence.
David: Exactly! In college I majored in communication and I felt that I could go in many directions with it. The fact that I was able to find a job up here I could enjoy as well helped to seal the deal. I found something that I enjoyed doing in a place where I enjoyed being!
JF: Compared to your previous jobs, what has your Deer Valley work experience been like?
David: I worked through college at a travel agency in Tempe, Arizona, which gave me some valuable experience as it relates to the travel industry. This said, the company I worked for was neither too organized nor the most professional, and I found a stark difference when I joined Deer Valley Resort. Here, people stay employed for years and years, something I haven’t seen in other companies!
JF: What impressed you the most at Deer Valley?
David: The executives really set some great examples conducive to cementing a strong team spirit. They’re not above helping employees when the need arises. I’ve seen the president of the resort taking skis at the ski corral during a busy time, just because there was a need. Likewise, I’ve seen other executives clearing tables during Christmas and these kinds of situations go a long way towards creating a unique and wholesome work climate.
JF: How much support did you get along the way?
David: I found that Deer Valley has a culture of promoting from within whenever possible. This helps a lot when you start from a ground-level position and can see that possibility. But you need to have the motivation to move up the ranks. I had it and I’ve always received all the support I needed from my superiors.
JF: Would you like to share some advice for people looking for employment with Deer Valley?
David: I have had nothing but good experiences at Deer Valley. It’s a great place to work and the company treats people very well, but it’s not a job where you can just come in and go through the motions. You must care a lot and be intensely driven in making a real difference to our guests.
JF: A real difference? Is that what defines the “Deer Valley Difference™”?
David: The easiest way to answer is by using the three circle model, “Take care of the guest, take care of the company, and take care of each other.” If you do all three and have them in mind whenever you are making a decision on the job, you are making that Deer Valley Difference™ a reality.
JF: Would that difference influence your making a lifelong career with Deer Valley Resort?
David: When I look at the resort’s master plan and what is going on at the moment in town, I’m truly excited for the future. So to answer your question, I would love to work for Deer Valley for the rest of my career; that would be an ideal scenario for me!
Available exclusively to Utah residents, Deer Valley’s Locals Only Passes offer savings of up to 45% on Deer Valley Resort lift tickets. Deer Valley® is pleased to announce there will no longer be a pre-season purchase deadline. Guests who would like to participate in our Locals Only Pass program for the first time may purchase at any time this winter season, with proof of current Utah residency.
Deer Valley 2014-2015 Locals Only Pass program benefits include:
- Up to 45% savings on lift tickets
- Buddy Passes - one Buddy Pass with each Five Pass or two Buddy Passes with each Ten Pass purchase
- Ability to join the Snow Park Restaurant Lunch Card program, offering 20% savings on lunch
- Two qualifying Utah residents may share one Ten Pass. Same age categories apply. Five Pass option may not be shared
- One-year subscription to SKI Magazine
- One complimentary all-day lift ticket, per 2014/2015 Locals Only Pass, for our 2015 summer chairlift operation
Each season, current documentation of one of the following is required to participate in the Locals Only program: Utah driver’s license; Utah property tax bill; Utah utility bill; Utah business paycheck stub with a photo ID.
Deer Valley Locals Only Passes are available for purchase at our Snow Park Ticket Desk, open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving Day), online at deerlocals.com, by phone at 435-645-6626 or email at email@example.com.
Deer Valley Resort’s President and General Manager, Bob Wheaton, is the 2014 S. Joseph Quinney Award Honoree from the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. Named for the late Utah lawyer, businessman, state legislator, ski visionary and founder of Alta Ski Resort, who is often referred to as “the father of Utah’s ski industry,” the Quinney Award is presented each year to an individual or organization exhibiting the same public-spirited attributes and contributions to winter sports as its namesake.
Quinney Award recipient, Bob Wheaton, joined Deer Valley Resort in 1980 and worked his way up to resort president in 1997. With Wheaton at the helm, Deer Valley Resort has held the distinction of being rated by readers of SKI Magazine as the number one resort in North America seven times, five of those years consecutively, and has ranked among the top three resorts in North America for the past 16 years. For 2015, Deer Valley was ranked the number two resort in North America and the number one resort in the United States. In 2013 the resort was awarded the United States’ Best Ski Resort award at the inaugural World Ski Awards.
“To receive the S. Joseph Quinney Award, that pays homage to a man I revere, and be included among peers who have all played a vital role in furthering Utah’s ski history, is such an honor,” said Wheaton. “For the past 45 years, the ski industry has been a cornerstone of my life. I will continue to do what I can to keep it a mainstay of Utah’s future.”
Wheaton’s extensive public service work and contributions to winter sports are aligned with the legacy of S. Joseph Quinney. He is a past president of the board of directors of both the Park City Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau and the Intermountain Ski Areas Association. Currently, he serves on Ski Utah’s executive committee and is a two-time past president and has served on the board of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Wheaton is also on the boards of the Utah Symphony and Opera, the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and the National Ski Area Operators Association.
Wheaton is a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Intermountain Ski Areas Association, the Park City Rotary Club’s Professional Citizen of the Year Award and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. He was inducted into the Utah Tourism Hall of Fame and worked closely with the organizing committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, for which Deer Valley hosted the freestyle mogul and aerial events, along with the alpine slalom competitions.
Wheaton received the Quinney Award at the 24th annual Ski Affair, a fun- and nostalgia-filled fundraising dinner presented by the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library’s Ski Archives, held at Little America in downtown Salt Lake City on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. The Ski Archives house the largest cache of skiing and snow sports history in the country.
Nearly every day, I find some reason to appreciate the moments and experiences that make life in Park City, Utah unique. Believe it or not, these moments don’t revolve entirely around sports experiences—though I engage in as many seasonally-relevant sports as possible every week. But sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, you get those, “Only in Park City” moments that fill you with wonder at the dumb luck of living in such a terrific place. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Everyone gives back
The ways in which we give back are so numerous, I can’t even begin to list them all here. Schools get kids involved early with opportunities to give—often having classrooms compete with pennies to raise funds for a charity, and once the students enter middle school, their curriculum includes community service hours. Deer Valley connects hundreds of students each year with our state’s heritage at the annual Navajo Rug Show. Parents and non-parents volunteer time in the classrooms of our schools. Also, I have been asked annually to be a guest speaker on the topic of professional writing and blogging for the ninth graders in Honors English, as they embark on writing their own blogs. I’m very proud to be able to give back to my community in this way. And I’m hardly alone: When Lance attended a summer camp called Innovation in Action Institute (which focused on entrepreneurial skills), one local entrepreneur-parent gave a video-conference presentation to the students, while he was on a business trip. Countless friends of mine contribute their time to the Center for Advanced Professional Studies, run by the school district.
And on November 7, the annual Live PC, Give PC Day of Giving will overtake the town, with volunteers wearing T-shirts, holding signs, calling in to KPCW and generally getting the word out that people can donate to one or more non-profits to help support the programming that keeps the town running (with ED, or otherwise.) It’s a great way for locals and guests to show their support for all the work our town’s non-profits do to benefit the entire community. It’s this kind of collaborative approach that makes our town unique—because we all feel that we’re contributing to the success of the town, beyond just spending money on ski passes and shopping in the stores.
Parkites love nothing more than sharing an experience—witness the countless outdoor concerts, where there’s a “huge crowd, whether it’s free or paid. But we seem to excel at the experience of giving.
2. We WIN Lost and Found
Our local radio station, KPCW does an excellent job sharing Lost and Found announcements. Dogs, wallets and cell phones figure heavily in these announcements. But once in a while, I’ll have an experience that wouldn’t happen in most of the cities I’ve lived in previously. To wit: One week, I enjoyed Standup Paddleboarding outings with friends, not once, not twice, but three times. My son, Lance, left a tote bag with dry clothes somewhere on the grass beach near the pond.
We discovered this after we arrived home, so we schlepped back to the Deer Valley Grocery~Café to look for it. Oddly, we couldn’t find it—but we did spot a towel and wet suit belonging to his friend Ben, who’d been with us that day. So the trip wasn’t for naught and I began to wonder if we’d actually brought the bag with us in the first place. Imagine my delight when, the following Wednesday after we’d finished paddling with our friends Tracy, Michael and their kids, I spotted the bag sitting between the building’s AC units.
When I showed it to Michael, he was astounded—“That’s been here since Saturday?” he asked with the disbelief of a longtime city-dweller. So stunning was this discovery, that Michael took a photo of the bag in its waiting spot.
3. We Chase Balloons
No matter how frequently it happens, my family and I never tire of noticing hot-air balloons dancing over the early-morning horizon. On a recent morning, there were three coming up over the ridge that we could see from our breakfast table. It looked improbably pretty, like a painting. One morning, when Seth and I had some time between dropping off his brother at camp and the beginning of his own camp, we saw a balloon that was about to land near a parking lot off of US 40. We drove over to watch the landing, so he could see how graceful it looks.
4. We get customer service
Deer Valley Resort is only one example of the way Park City does its best to be hospitable to locals and visitors alike, and to make sure the experience is stellar. Park City MARC runs terrific programming all year for our town’s youth, exposing them to skateboarding, soccer, fencing and basketball, to name just a few. One standout? The excellent tennis programs, including their camps, which my kids attended this summer.
Of course everyone has an “off”day, and happened one day when my younger son was attending the tennis camp. I couldn’t get a straight answer on something that was happening at camp—the details of the situation are unimportant here, but the fact is when I expressed my concern, the front-desk staffers, Sadie and Marianne, heard it. Sadie escorted me to the operations office where I met Recreation Supervisor Tate Shaw. “I get that mistakes and oversights happen,” I told him. “But the mark of a good organization is how well the situation gets handled after the mistake.” Tate took my concerns seriously, addressed them with the staff and called the following day to let me know that it had indeed been resolved to my satisfaction. I know this seems like a small thing to some people—but if you’ve ever been stuck in an endless ladder of customer service auto-prompts with a big company, the fact of having an actual human being listen to you is not to be undervalued. The other thing that this experience reinforced is Park City’s small town charm and the “it takes a village” mentality, that comes to bear almost every day in little ways. When I expressed a concern about an issue in a program my child was in, it was taken as seriously as though it were a staff members child.
5. We Dress for Success
On most of the days that I took Lance to Standup Paddleboarding camp at the Deer Valley Grocery~Cafè Pond, I arrived ready to paddle.
Except one day, I arrived dressed for the meeting I’d left briefly, to run Lance up to camp. As Trent came paddling ashore to greet Lance, he said with some surprise, “Oh, it’s YOU! I thought you sent someone else to drop off Lance!” The fact is most days I put on exercise clothes first—and may not find myself in street clothes until the following day. After all, when you’re fitting in exercise and sports around the other necessary activities of daily life and you have the kind of job that only occasionally requires a professional wardrobe, dressing for work has a different meaning. For someone who worked in fashion magazines for a very long time and once received a “once-over” from the editor of Vogue, it’s frankly a relief. There’s a definite vibe of “come as you are,” in Park City. Biking to a meeting is a good thing, riding a chairlift to one is even better. So if you see me looking like I’ve been loafing around in yoga pants or ski clothes all day, chances are you’re half-right—but in this town, that’s dressing for success.
This year marks my first summer in Park City. After the ski season, I thought that the town would slow down. Friends and family would ask, “What do you do when the ski season ends.” Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. Numerous people told me that summer in Park City is just as fun as winter. I was told stories of outdoor concerts, hiking, mountain biking, standup paddleboarding and all of the other activities the #DeerValleySummer had to offer. I was excited to see for myself what all of the talk was about.
To kick off the summer, we planned to attend the first concert of the season at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, The Bacon Brothers. My girlfriend and I are huge Kevin Bacon (the actor) fans and when we learned he would be performing at Deer Valley Resort, we had to be there. We didn’t know that Kevin Bacon played in a band; we later found out that Kevin and Michael Bacon had been playing music together since they were small boys and as The Bacon Brothers since 1995.
I was told that to truly get the full experience, you should order a Deer Valley Gourmet Picnic Basket. I made sure to order the basket 24 hours in advance as per the ordering instructions online. We had the choice of salmon or beef entrèes and of course, Kourtni and I had to go with both. The salmon was lightly smoked with marinated cucumber ribbons and dill caper aioli. The beef was a chilled petit fillet with caramelized onions and horseradish cream. The Gourmet Picnic Basket also came with steamed artichokes, aioli, imported olives, Deer Valley’s housemade Tuscan salami, slow roasted tomatoes, baby heirloom tomatoes and fresh arugula, Deer Valley Artisan Meadowlark double cream brie with freshly baked baguette, an apple, grapes and two salted caramel chocolate brownie pops. We also added on a bottle of Ceago Chardonnay.
You would think after all of that food, we would have had enough. A little girl walked by with a Deer Valley cookie that was bigger than her head. I realized Kourtni had never had one so we decided that one cookie couldn’t hurt. We made a quick stop by the concession stand and picked up a delicious chocolate chip cookie. Kourtni was very impressed and even sent a snapchat to all of her friends with it. I told her you could buy the mix online or from the Deer Valley Grocery~Café and make them at home. She bought the mix a few days later. The music was great, but for us the food stole the show.
The Bacon Brothers ended the night with Footloose and had the entire crowd standing up and singing with them. Our seats were fantastic, but honestly, knowing what I know now, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
After the concert, to my surprise, the party didn’t stop. We made our way to the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights VIP after-party inside the Snow Park Restaurant where drinks and appetizers were served. We met a few friends and talked for an hour and a half. Realizing we were one of the last groups still there, we decided to call it a night.
We sat in reserved seats again for Martina McBride. She was surprisingly short and looked as if she hadn’t aged a day. She made note of the elevation and how beautiful the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater was. Afterwards, we attended the VIP after-party and were one of the last groups to leave again.
Dierks Bentley was by far Kourtni’s favorite concert. We had general admission seats on the lawn, brought our own cooler and got there early to make sure we had a good spot. My sister, Andrea, and her boyfriend, Tyson, met us there. They purchased hamburgers from the Deer Valley concession stand and beer from the Deer Valley Etc. store. We stood the entire concert and sang every word with 5,000 other Dierks fans. He put on a great show and really interacted with the crowd. The venue and great music made this one of the best concerts we have ever attended!
The 25th annual Navajo Rug Show and Sale will take place at Deer Valley Resort‘s Snow Park Lodge, November 7 – 9, 2014. This special event provides attendees the opportunity to experience Navajo culture through demonstrations of weaving, singing and other traditions; and to help support Navajo elders by purchasing their hand-woven rugs and hand-crafted jewelry.
The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program is proud to sponsor the event, celebrating its 25th year in Park City. This year’s show has the theme “Honoring Our Weavers” and pays tribute to the weavers who make the show possible, many of whom have been participating since its inception in 1990. This year’s participants were asked to weave a self-portrait of themselves at the loom into their creations.
Program founder, Linda Myers, started the Rug Show as a way to help the elders support themselves by selling their crafts and to raise awareness for the elders’ needs. “The Rug Show offers guests a unique opportunity to learn more about the Navajo way of life and to meet 30 elders and their families who will travel from their native homeland to Park City,” said Myers. “From its humble beginnings of just a few rugs at the Kimball Art Center, the Rug Show has evolved into what may be the largest event of its kind in the country. More than 700 rugs will be on display and available for purchase at the show. The proceeds from the rug sales go directly to the weaver.”
Adopt-A-Native-Elder assists more than 500 Navajo elders living traditionally in remote areas of the Navajo Reservation in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. Volunteers deliver food, clothing, medical supplies and other necessities twice a year to support the elders and to build a bridge of hope between cultures.
On Friday, November 7, the event opens to the public with a preview fundraiser from 6 to 10 p.m. at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge. This preview allows guests to view the complete selection of rugs available at the show and to purchase rugs at a 10 percent discount. A live auction featuring the rugs, trips and special gift packages will take place between 8 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children under 12. They can be purchased at the door or with a credit card by calling 435-649-0535.
The Rug Show and Sale continues on Saturday, November 8, and Sunday, November 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5 and/or $5 worth of donated canned goods, per day. On Saturday, a Navajo Children’s Princess Pageant will take place at 10 a.m., a weaving demonstration at 1 p.m., Navajo Grandma Idol contest at 3 p.m. and the Navajo Grandpa Idol singing contest at 4 p.m. On Sunday, there will be a Navajo Veterans ceremony at 10 a.m., a weaving demonstration at 1 p.m. and a closing Pow Wow at 3 p.m.
Food and clothing collected during the show and all funds generated from the sale of rugs and jewelry go directly to the elders. The Rug Show is supported by grants from the Utah Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Summit County Restaurant Tax.
Deer Valley Resort is truly out for blood this Halloween by hosting the 11th annual Transylvania Tea Party Blood Drive. This fun-filled, Halloween-themed blood drive is a tradition started by Deer Valley staff who wanted to support the community blood banks and get into the Halloween spirit.
“This event has become a fun and worthwhile Halloween tradition at Deer Valley,” said Kim Mayhew, Deer Valley Resort director of human resources. “Our staff enjoy dressing up and coming together in support of a worthy cause. We also encourage the public to join with our staff in donating. The need is urgent and constant and donations are vitally important for emergencies and for people suffering from cancer, blood disorders, sickle-cell anemia and other illnesses.”
Last year’s Transylvania Tea Party Blood Drive received more than 100 donations. This year’s event will take place on the second level of Snow Park Lodge in the Clock Room from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2014. Deer Valley’s current staff base is being encouraged to participate in full force, and the blood drive is open to any community members wishing to donate. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are encouraged and can be made by calling 435-645-6654. Light refreshments will also be provided.
Donors must present a photo ID, be 18 or older (or at least 16 years old with parental permission slip), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. To find out if you are eligible to donate blood, please consult the ARUP Blood Services website at utahblood.org. ARUP Blood Services, a division of ARUP Laboratories which is an enterprise of the University of Utah and the Department of Pathology, will be conducting the drive and is proud to be the sole blood provider to University of Utah Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, Primary Children’s Medical Center and Shriners Hospital for Children.
For more information on the Transylvania Tea Party Blood Drive at Deer Valley Resort, visit deervalley.com.
Deer Valley Resort is honored to be ranked the #1 ski resort in the United States by the readers of SKI Magazine in 2015 and to be voted #1 in the categories of Access, Guest Service, Family Programs, Dining, On-mountain Food, Lodging and Grooming.
Deer Valley Resort revolutionized the ski industry by providing the first-class service one would receive at a five-star hotel. The resort offers 21 chairlifts, 101 ski runs, six bowls, 12 restaurants, 300 annual inches of powder, three elegant day lodges, 2,026 acres of alpine skiing, hundreds of luxury accommodations and a renowned Ski School and Children’s Center.