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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Deer Valley Resort early-season rates on all Season Pass products end on Friday, October 31, 2014. Deer Valley offers a wide range of Season Pass options, including the Midweek Senior, Super Senior and Young Adult passes. For more information on all Season Pass products and pricing, please visit deerlocals.com.
Deer Valley 2014-2015 Season Pass holder benefits include:
- Valid for summer 2015 chairlift rides. Deer Valley offers lift-served mountain biking, hiking and scenic chairlift rides. Operating mid-June through Labor Day. Midweek season passes are valid seven days a week in the summer.
- Eligible Adult, Senior and Midweek Season Pass holders will receive up to six Buddy Passes for each Season Pass purchased. Eligible Teen and Child Season Pass holders will receive four Buddy Passes for each Season Pass purchased. Season Pass holders must present their Season Pass at the ticket office in order to receive the discounted rate. Midweek Season Pass holder discounts are valid Monday-Friday only. Black-out dates for Season Pass Buddy rates are December 26, 2014 – January 1, 2015 and February 14 – 16, 2015. Adult and Senior: $71, Midweek: $62, Teen: $62, Child: $43
- Wasatch Benefit Pass, enjoy shared lift privileges at Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort with the purchase of a qualifying Deer Valley Resort Season Pass. Select season passes at each resort qualify for up to three complimentary day tickets at the other two resorts. One ticket per day, per resort, will be issued and the tickets are 100% non-transferable. Black-out dates apply: December 24, 2014 – January 2, 2015, January 17 – 19, 2015 and February 14 – 16, 2015.
- Eligible Season Pass holders will receive four ski days at Solitude Mountain Resort this coming season. Midweek pass holders will be given two passes valid Monday-Friday. One ticket per day will be issued and the tickets are 100% non-transferable. Holiday restrictions will apply: December 24, 2014 – January 2, 2015, January 17 – 19, 2015 and February 14 – 16, 2015.
- A 20% discount Snow Park lunch card is available exclusively to Season and Local Pass holders. They may be used at the Snow Park Restaurant between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
- 15% discount on dinner at three of Deer Valley’s evening restaurants: Royal Street Café, Seafood Buffet and The Mariposa. Holiday restrictions will apply: December 20 – 31, 2014 and February 14 – 16, 2015.
- One-year subscription to SKI Magazine
Deer Valley Season Passes are available for purchase at our Snow Park Ticket Desk, open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., online at deerlocals.com, by phone at 435-645-6626 or email at email@example.com.
Deer Valley Resort has entered into an agreement to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort and will begin operating the resort on May 1, 2015.
“Solitude is an incredible resort and provided a huge opportunity for us to expand our offerings right here in Utah,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort. “Solitude is in unique position with their widely varied terrain that attracts both local and destination skiers. We are ecstatic to be able to add the resort to the Deer Valley® family.”
“The DeSeelhorst family has enjoyed being a part of Solitude’s history for almost 40 years. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish at the resort and in our mountain community,” said Dave DeSeelhorst, owner and general manager of Solitude Mountain Resort. “We feel very fortunate for the opportunity to have worked with so many amazing people in our industry and most importantly being able to work with our incredible staff at Solitude over the years. It is exciting to pass on this unique and beautiful resort to one of the best resort operators in the country, Deer Valley.”
For the upcoming 2014-15 ski season, Solitude will operate as usual under the leadership of the DeSeelhorst family. To foster the most effective and strategic change over, select Deer Valley staff will work alongside Solitude staff during the next six months to evaluate resort operations and gain knowledge about the Solitude brand and culture. Deer Valley will then take full ownership of Solitude Mountain Resort on May 1, 2015.
Why did Deer Valley Resort enter into an agreement to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort?
Deer Valley recognized a great opportunity to expand within the Utah market by adding Solitude Mountain Resort to the Deer Valley family. Solitude is an incredible resort, with both family friendly and expert terrain, and we are sincerely excited to begin working with the staff.
Amount Paid? Assets acquired?
This is a private acquisition.
How will this purchase change the experience at Solitude?
It will be business as usual, run by the DeSeelhorst family, at Solitude for the upcoming 2014-15 season. Deer Valley recognizes Solitude’s unique position in both the local and destination markets and acknowledges that we have much to learn about the current operation and brand position. Consequently, we will have select Deer Valley staff work hand in hand with Solitude staff this winter to share knowledge.
Does current Solitude staff need to worry about their employment?
Deer Valley does not anticipate any major changes in staffing at Solitude at this time.
Will snowboarding still be available at Solitude? How about the Brighton
Deer Valley plans to continue allowing snowboarding at Solitude and keep the Brighton connection in place.
What about One Wasatch? Now that Deer Valley intends to own Solitude does a connection from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Deer Valley, instead of Park City Mountain Resort, make more sense?
One Wasatch has been analyzed over the years and the present lift alignment recently released by Ski Utah seems to make the most sense.
Will it become a mini-Deer Valley?
Although Deer Valley will bring some of our service oriented and operational philosophies to the resort we do not plan to re-brand Solitude as another Deer Valley.
Will the name change?
At most, Deer Valley would make a small adjustment to the name to let current guests and potential visitors know the resort is now part of the Deer Valley family. We believe there is a lot of awareness and brand equity in the Solitude name.
Will there be a reciprocal arrangement for skiing benefits between Solitude and Deer Valley Resort?
Deer Valley Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort full season pass holders will receive four ski days at each respective resort. Deer Valley midweek pass holders will be given two passes valid, Monday through Friday, at Solitude for the coming season. Holiday restrictions will apply: December 24, 2014 – January 2, 2015; January 17 – 19, 2015 and February 14 – 16, 2015.
Will Solitude be added to the Wasatch Benefit program?
Deer Valley anticipates the Wasatch Benefit program will remain as announced in September with shared lift privileges for select season pass holders between Alta, Deer Valley and Snowbird.
Will lift ticket, locals and season pass prices increase dramatically due to the purchase of Solitude by Deer Valley?
There will be no changes to the lift and season pass rates announced by Solitude for the 2014-15 season. Moving forward, Deer Valley Resort will analyze past resort performance, operational expenses and projected revenue potential prior to setting rates.
Will Deer Valley bring more capital and marketing investments to Solitude?
Deer Valley will take the next six months to analyze operational and marketing/brand opportunities prior to announcing any capital investments. In addition, Deer Valley will begin promoting the great experience and resort jewel Solitude currently is in spring of 2015.
Does Deer Valley plan on buying any more resorts?
Although Deer Valley is not actively pursuing purchasing another resort, we have always been open to analyzing opportunities that may be a good fit for Deer Valley.
Did Deer Valley purchase Solitude in response to Vail Resorts’ purchase of Park City Mountain Resort and Ian Cumming’s purchase of Snowbird?
Absolutely not. Deer Valley has entertained many opportunities to purchase resorts over the years and in the end, those opportunities did not make good business sense. Solitude came to us at the right time and for the right reasons including: the location in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah; past business practice and performance; and great awareness in the local market.
Deer Valley Resort will kick off its winter season with the excitement of the annual Deer Valley® Celebrity Skifest on December 6 and 7, 2014. The invitational ski event pairs former Olympic ski legends with television and film celebrities for an exciting weekend of skiing, live music and fundraising for Waterkeeper Alliance, the fastest-growing grassroots environmental movement in the world. There are presently over 225 Waterkeeper Organizations around the world defending their communities against anyone who threatens their right to clean water—from law-breaking polluters to unresponsive government agencies.
“Kicking off Deer Valley’s ski season with the Celebrity Skifest event is a great way to welcome our guests back each year,” said Bob Wheaton, resort president and general manager. “This event has become a tradition for our opening weekend and allows us to help support Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit organization we feel strongly about.”
The Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest is a three day event that includes giant slalom races on both Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 on Deer Valley’s Birdseye ski run. Races are free to the public and can be viewed from the Silver Lake area at mid-mountain. The Skifest’s host property, Montage Deer Valley, will be the location of additional evening events throughout the weekend with all proceeds to benefit Waterkeeper Alliance. The event has raised over $5 million since the partnership began in 2006.
Festivities throughout the weekend are featured in the number-one rated winter sports television special on CBS, broadcast to more than one million viewers. The 2014 Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest is scheduled to air on CBSSunday, December 14, 2014, at 5 p.m. EST (after the NFL).
Some of the best-known legends of U.S. skiing are scheduled to compete in this year’s event, including Steve Mahre, Phil Mahre, Tommy Moe and Deer Valley’s own Ambassador of Skiing, Heidi Voelker. Previous guests have included Academy Award-winning actors Glenn Close and Marcia Gay Harden; Emmy Award-winning actors Larry David and Neil Patrick Harris; Paul Mitchell Systems President John Paul DeJoria; Grammy Award-winning artists Miranda Lambert, Mary J. Blige, Train, Melissa Etheridge and musical talents Natasha Bedingfield, Gavin DeGraw, Gavin Rossdale and James Blunt. This year’s Skifest is sure to bring another amazing group of supporters including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cheryl Hines, Giancarlo Esposito, Rachael Harris and a special performance by Grammy Award-winning country group Lady Antebellum.
The Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest is presented by JUMA Entertainment. For more information on the event please visit DVskifest.com. To follow the event on social media, search #dvskifest.