My Typical Deer Valley Day

There must be thousands ways to ski Deer Valley Resort, here is one local’s perspective. I am sharing with you my favorite way to navigate the mountain.

From my bed, I look out the window. I scrutinize the sky. If it’s not snowing I can see Bald Mountain in the distance and hear it calling me, “are you coming today?”

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This is the moment when I ask my wife if she feels like skiing. Depending on whether she will join me or not, my itinerary on the mountain may differ at bit, but we’ll get into this as the day unfolds.

Most of the time my day begins with a three and a half mile morning run around Park Meadows. I then eat a solid breakfast while still staring at Bald Mountain. I can now see the sun shinning off the top of the Sultan Express chairlift. Soon it’s time to gather all of my stuff, slip my pass around my neck, and get dressed. I drop my boots and helmet in the car. I load my skis on the rack, and am on my way to Deer Valley Resort.

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I make a quick stop at the unloading area to drop off my wife and our gear while I park my car. Since we always make a point of leaving home early, I usually find a convenient spot in parking Lot 2. I don’t even catch the skiers tram and instead jog back to the plaza to join my wife, pick up our skis and poles, and in no time we’re riding Carpenter Express chairlift.

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When my wife accompanies me, our morning always begins with Jordanelle ski run. We like to follow the sun around the resort. We ski down Little Stick ski run to Deer Hollow ski run where we catch Mountaineer Express chairlift. When we get there early in the morning we have the Jordanelle run to ourselves. We ski down this magical ribbon that sits above the reservoir below. There are not many ski runs like this one. If the crowds are light and the snow stays firm, we’ll repeat it, and sometimes we even do it three times.

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We then head to Bald Mountain and warm up on Nabob or Keno ski runs. Sometimes we stay there the entire morning. If I’m alone I go directly to the Ruins of Pompeii, Triangle Trees or Grizzly ski runs. I can stay there for hours on end.

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When I ski with my wife, we sometimes stay a little bit longer and include lunch in our ski day. Planning our skiing time with with a delectable goal in mind will inevitably bring us to the Empire Canyon Lodge. Perhaps it is because of its setting, cradled at the base of Daly and Empire Bowls. Most likely it is because we love the paninis that they serve. A valid set of reasons! While relaxing and enjoying our lunch break, I check the surroundings, ask questions, assess Daly Bowl and its surroundings, and depending on the conditions of the day, either ski there or check out Lady Morgan Express chairlift.

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When we’re done skiing on that side of the mountain, we eventually head back towards Silver Lake by way of Ontario Bowl. We love exploring new lines in the aspen glades all the way back to the Judge chairlift. I like this run best, it leads us effortlessly to the edge of the Nastar Race Course finish area and funnels us towards the Crown Point chairlift.

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I like riding this chair so I may turn around and observe the late afternoon skiers slaloming down the runs of Bald Mountain. I also like to stare at Empire Bowl, far in the distance, where moguls look like dimples on a golf ball and reflect the last sun of the day. Just a few days ago there was a moose eating bark off of a tree under that chairlift.

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From the top of Bald Eagle mountain, Kimberley ski run is always my favorite. I love to ski under the bridges on a trail that reminds me of a half pipe and transitions with downhill turns into Big Stick ski run. I appreciate Big Stick’s steep pitch and eventually slow down on my way to the resort’s base, I am thinking. “Another wonderful day at Deer Valley!”

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Deer Valley Resort

Celebrate all that is Irish with carefully crafted St. Patrick’s Day dining options throughout Deer Valley Resort. On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, six of Deer Valley’s fine dining establishments will pay homage to Irish heritage with modern twists on St. Patrick’s Day dining. The special menus feature fresh seasonal produce and a warming, robust taste to delight the wee bit o’ Irish in us all.

St. Patrick’s Day Menus

Snow Park Restaurant will feature its St. Patrick’s Day menu from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Grill will offer Niman Ranch Corned Beef Brisket Sandwich ~ Warm Brussels Sprouts, Caramelized Onion and Bacon Slaw, Caraway Aioli, Gruyere Cheese, Spicy Grain Mustard, House Tomato Chutney and Stone Ground Bakery Caraway Bun for $13.50. The Carvery features Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage ~ Lemon Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Braised Cabbage, Trio of Baby Carrots and Tullamore Dew Mustard Sauce for $15.50.

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EBS Lounge will be serving two Irish concoctions from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The first is an Irish Coffee ~ Tullamore Dew Whiskey, Raw Brown Sugar, Millcreek Coffee and Freshly Whipped Cream for $9.00. The second is an Irish Buck ~ Tullamore Dew Whiskey, Fresh Lime Juice, Ginger Ale and Freshly Whipped Cream for $9.00

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Empire Canyon Grill will offer its Irish inspired lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., featuring a Shaved Corned Beef Sandwich ~ Celery Root and Green Apple Slaw, Mustard Cheddar Cheese on an Onion Brioche Bun for $13.50.

Silver Lake Restaurant will share its St. Patrick’s Day offering from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., consisting of Niman Ranch Prime Grade Corned Beef ~ Potatoes, Braised Cabbage, Housemade Mustard and Irish Soda Bread for $18.00.

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Royal Street Café will serve its Irish-inspired menu for both lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. It also features Niman Ranch Prime Grade Corned Beef ~ Braised Cabbage and Apples, Russian Dressing, Housemade Caraway-Beer Whole Grain Mustard, Fresh Baked Rye Bun and RSC Shoestring Fries for $18.00.

Deer Valley Grocery~Café will provide St. Patrick’s Day dining from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with Niman Ranch Prime Grade Shaved Corned Beef ~ Wilted Cabbage and Bacon Salad, Fig Mustard Cheese, Honey mustard Aioli and Stone Ground Bakery Caraway Bun for $11.25.

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To learn more about Deer Valley Resort’s special St. Patrick’s Day dining options at deervalley.com. To follow resort happenings on social media, search #skithedifference.

World Cup Dual Moguls Competition 2015: Those Moguls Look High

From the bottom of the Dual Moguls World Cup course on Champion ski run, the moguls look big. In fact, they look really big even from far away. Imagine what they look like to the athletes facing them down the run.

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The skiers don’t go around them either, they slam right into the side of them one after the other. All the while, (I am assuming) contemplating their aerial moves and focusing on competing against another racer right next to them.

It’s crazy fun to watch.

I don’t know about you but I doubt I’ll ever ski this run or anything like it (other than carefully peering over the edge). So I decided to get some perspective on how high the moguls might look to the athletes by making some comparisons with items we see every day in Park City.

I read the moguls can run as high as 1.2 meters which translates to about 3 feet and 11 inches.  Pulling out the measuring tape, I figured that 3 feet hits me right at the belly button and if the course set them up at maximum height, the additional 11 inches brings them to about chest-high on me.

Whew. That is high!

How would that look staring down at it?  I won’t ever know but here are a few photos showing comparisons for about 3 feet high – my waist level.

Would moguls this high, (on a steep run) be a problem for you?

Would you like to ski the top of this bike rack?

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The box office at the Egyptian Theater?

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The Moose’s legs?

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A whisky barrel at Rock and Reilly’s Pub?

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Not tall enough for you?  How about moguls this high?

Would you be intimidated jumping the Banksy?

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How about the ski rack at Snow Park at Deer Valley Resort?

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Enjoying the World Cup Dual Moguls with the crowd at the base of Champion ski run is exciting enough for me. Congratulations to winners! 

Final results

Men’s Final

1st: Mikael Kingsbury (CAN)

2nd: Dylan Walczyk (USA)

3rd: Marco Tade (SUI)

Women’s Final

1st: Justine DuFour-LaPointe (CAN)

2nd: Hannah Kearney (USA)

3rd: Britteny Cox (AUS)

Check out footage of the women’s final here.

If you ski the Champion ski run off the Carpenter Express chairlift, let me know how it goes for you!

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JF’s Mid-Season Review

As February begins, I feel that we have now stepped into the second half of winter with longer days, deeper snow, great light and an urgent need for generous layers of sunscreen. Before we turn the page on the earlier portion of winter and look to its brighter second half, I wanted to share with you my on-snow experiences so far so we can compare notes or make you feel just a tiny bit jealous if you haven’t skied yet!

With me, winter always begins with great expectations of bottomless powder, but I publicly refrain to verbalize these thoughts as I actively manage my expectations. In fact, when I speak to other skiers, I loudly claim that I expect nothing in terms of snowfall, so Mother Nature will constantly surprise me!

While most of my skiing took place at Deer Valley Resort, I began skiing late November at nearby ski areas. The snow received through November bode very well for another great season. Still, I kept my exuberance in check and prudently, adjusted my expectations. In spite of that, I watched the weather like a hawk. It’s not something I just do daily, but several times in the course of a single day. Over the years, I have become partial to the Weather Underground website and app, that I find most accurate.

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While other weather stations give me a week preview of the weather to come, this one predicts up to ten days into the future. So if there’s something I don’t like today, I generally can find what I want to see in one of the nine remaining days. If a ten-day time span sounds like overkill, there’s the more granular hour-by-hour detail that enables you to poke your nose out when the snow stops and the sun starts filtering through the clouds.

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But enough said about weather and snow, let’s go back to my early season skiing. The very early weeks are often a progressive process. It always takes time to get a big resort like Deer Valley 100% open. That’s good, because a finite run work-in-step with early season physical conditioning and the time needed to reawaken skiing skills.

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I have had a wonderful ski season so far. I’ve skied just over 50 days and just shy of one million vertical feet. I hope to reach the century mark in ski-days before the season is over. I was lucky enough to avoid an imprudent white ermine that was crossing the bottom portion of Perseverance ski run and startled a large jack rabbit at the top of Centennial Trees ski run.

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So where did all of my skiing take place? It began on groomers; Deer Valley Resort grooms its runs better than most and the experience is always good whether we receive a foot of fresh snow a day or not. My favorite groomed runs remain both Nabob and Jordanelle ski runs and many of my days at Deer Valley are marked by one of these two runs.

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Most of my skiing takes place around my three favorite chairlifts: Sultan, Wasatch and Lady Morgan. While they’re spread at the opposite ends of the resort, with so much challenging terrain and fast chairlifts, I’m able to accomplish one full day of skiing within just a few hours. The snow cover has been especially good on Ruin of Pompeii and Grizzly ski runs, two of my favorites. These runs are wonderful; not only are they longer and more challenging than most, but they both end as a groomed segment just in time to relieve some very tired legs.

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I also like Wasatch Express chairlift for the large array of ski runs it serves. My favorite one is definitely Rattler ski run that sends an invitation as one rides up the chairlift. The early season has had great snow cover on this run.

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From the Lady Morgan Express chairlift, I’m partial to Argus, Hillside and Centennial Trees. I find the two first trails extremely technical and they never fail to provide me with a good challenge. Centennial Trees ski run remains the forest wonderland where some regular and well-thought out glade skiing keeps making the ski experience better, season after season for me. The bonus with skiing Lady Morgan is it always provides me with an excellent excuse to ski Ontario Bowl on my way back, with more trees and steeps to round off the experience of the day.

Here’s to 50 more days on the mountain this season!

World Cup like a Local

One of the great things about being at Deer Valley during World Cup Week is that you get to observe preparation for the venue from the ground up, watch the athletes train, and gain a real appreciation for all the work that goes into putting on this incredible event. When youre a Park City local, and a Deer Valley skier, you often test positive for a chronic condition: Olympic Fever. People in other towns around the globe are immune to this.

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They dont wait in line at Snow Park Lodge behind the once-and-future Olympic Freestyle champions. They dont support athletescareers by hiring themas babysitters, as baristasand cheering for them at every turn. For most of the world Olympic,isnt a word that pops into every conversationfor us, its just the air we breathe.

In our world its absolutely normal to hear USSA chief, Tom Kelly, urge locals in an interview on KPCW to go up to Deer Valley, spend the day skiing, stay for dinner and watch the competition.Its a normal-this-weekafter-school activity to zip up to Deer Valley to watch the training and the competition as the weeks events heat up. Thursday of World Cup week finds me rushing the kids through the after school routine, hustling them into layers, sticking adhesive sole-warmers to their feet, and loading them into the car, all so that we can get to the competition site as quickly as possible. Of course my kids are just as excited as I am to visit the VIP tent, mingle with the athletes, and practice their butt-sliding skills at the base of the course as they get to watch the competitors’ incredible athletic feats.

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The fact that our town plays host to the FIS World Cup Freestyle Championships each January means that on this weekend the entire social scene in town revolves around the competition. Are you going to the concert on Main Street, Wednesday?is an oft-overheard query as friends greet each other in line at Starbucks, at school pick-up, or at the gym. Weeks before the competitions I start getting calls from friends—“Are we going? Which night?

And then, gloriously, it is time for date night. Friday, when my kids are tired from the action the night before and relieved to be able to chill out in front of a movie, the grownups head to the hill. The previous weekend may have found us at the Symphony, or the Eccles Center, a movie theater, or a nice meal at Mariposa. But this week our culture is skiing and our wardrobe is warm and functional versus styled and fashionable. Our music is dispensed via giant amps on scaffolding and the polite applause is replaced with hollering, cheering and, yes, cowbells.

The best part is that you dont have to be an actual local to enjoy the experience like a local. The sense of community and pride, as the crowd applauds the grace of every well-landed trick, absorbs the shock of every fall, admires the grace of every athlete, is palpable and thrilling. Whether youre a local or a guest in town, bundle up, come on out and make some noise. And when you see me there, flag me down and tell me what youre loving most about the experience. Or just tell me below, in the comments. See you on the hill!

Deer Valley Resort will Host the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup January 7 – 10, 2015

Deer Valley Resort will once again host a FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup event Wednesday, January 7, through Saturday, January 10, 2015.

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Please join Deer Valley Resort, the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team for an opening press conference on Wednesday, January 7, at 3:45 p.m. in the Bald Eagle room on the second level of Snow Park Lodge. Current members of the U.S. aerial and moguls teams will be on-site answering questions about their season and the week’s events at Deer Valley.

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All FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup competitions will be held at night under the lights at Deer Valley®. Men’s and women’s aerial events will be held on the White Owl ski run on Thursday, January 8. Men’s and women’s moguls event is scheduled on the Champion ski run on Friday, January 9 and Dual Moguls will take place Saturday, January 10. Finals for all disciplines will take place in the evening, with a fireworks display concluding each night. Each discipline will also be filmed and televised on NBC and NBC Sports Network airing on Sunday, January 11and Saturday, January 17, 2015.

Monday, January 5, 2015:
4 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Press Center is open on the second level of Snow Park Lodge

Tuesday, January 6, 2015: 
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Press Center is open

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Press Center is open
3:45 p.m. – Opening Press Conference with the U.S. Ski Team and the Bald Eagle room on the second level of Snow Park Lodge
7 p.m. – A free live concert featuring Chris Robinson Brotherhood will take place on lower Main Street in Park City. The celebration continues immediately after the concert with a spectacular fireworks display

Thursday, January 8, 2015
Noon to 10 p.m. – Press Center is open
2:45 to 3:20 p.m. – Ladies’ Aerial Qualifications on White Owl ski run
5 to 5:50 p.m. – Men’s Aerial Qualifications on White Owl ski run
7:45 to 8 p.m. – Aerial athlete showcase
8 to 9 p.m. – Ladies’ and Men’s Aerial Finals
9 p.m. – Awards and fireworks in the competition venue

Friday, January 9, 2015: 
11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. – Press Center is open
3 to 4 p.m. – Ladies’ Mogul Qualifications on Champion ski run
5 to 6:25 p.m. – Men’s Mogul Qualifications on Champion ski run
7 to 8 p.m. –Ladies’ and Men’s Mogul Finals
8 p.m. – Awards and fireworks in the competition venue

Saturday, January 10, 2015
Noon to 11 p.m. – Press Center is open
4:55 to 6:40 p.m. – Ladies’ and Mens’ Dual Mogul Prelim Rounds on Champion ski run
7 to 8:20 p.m. – Ladies’ and Men’s Dual Mogul Finals on Champion ski run
8:25 p.m. – Awards and fireworks in the competition venue

All events are free to the public.

This year, all events will be streamed live at usskiteam.com. To follow the event on social media, please search #DeerValleyWC.

Deer Valley Resort Rings in Its Holiday Festivities

Holiday magic is happening at the resort recently awarded United States’ Best Ski Resort by the 2014 World Ski Awards. Deer Valley Resort’s holiday events have become beloved annual traditions for visiting guests, the entire Park City community and locals alike.

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To celebrate Christmas, Santa Claus will visit Deer Valley on Wednesday, December 24, 2014. The jolly old man will first jingle around the Snow Park Lodge area at the resort base from 9 to 11 a.m., and then from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Silver Lake Lodge (mid-mountain) area. Guests are invited to bring a camera and have their picture taken with St. Nick during his visit.

Another highlight of Deer Valley’s holiday season is the annual Torchlight Parade. The parade takes place Tuesday, December 30, 2014, at dusk (approximately 6 p.m.). The resort’s renowned ski school will dazzle guests with torches, synchronized skiing and incredible “illuminating” moves. The parade descends down Big Stick ski run on Bald Eagle Mountain and is best viewed from the plaza area of Snow Park Lodge, where complimentary hot cider and cookies will be served from 5:45- 6 p.m. New this year, the Snow Park Restaurant will remain open during the event and offer a full menu.

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Deer Valley Resort has guests covered when it comes to gift ideas for everyone on the list, which can be conveniently purchased at resort retail stores or ordered online. From the youngest to the oldest on the list, guests will find merchandise for any age and style at Deer Valley Signatures, Deer Valley Etc., Shades of Deer Valley, and NextGen DV offering skiing apparel and accessories for the next generation of Deer Valley skiers: toddlers to teens. For those who savor Deer Valley’s award-winning cuisine, perfect gift ideas include food items, such as the resort’s famed Turkey Chili Mix, Jumbo Cookie mix or housemade mustards and marinades. The top-selling resort cookbook Chocolate Snowball: and Other Fabulous Pastries From Deer Valley Bakery (now in its second printing in paperback) is a must-have for the bakers on the list. Also available are gift items such as fleece vests, stylish Deer Valley coffee mugs, plush toys, ornaments, jewelry, wine glasses and top quality sunglasses, goggles, clothing and accessories.

Guests may shop at Signatures in person at three locations: 625 Main Street, Park City (open daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. year-round); Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Village (open daily 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during ski season); and Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge (open daily 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during ski season). Signatures items can be ordered online at deervalley.com or via phone at (800) 833-2002. Deer Valley Etc., Shades of Deer Valley and NextGen DV are all open daily during ski season in Snow Park Lodge.

The Deer Valley Gift Card is also a fabulous and flexible holiday gift idea. The Gift Card can be used at any of Deer Valley’s operations for lift tickets, Ski School, restaurants, Signatures Stores, Shades of Deer Valley, NextGen DV, child care or ski rentals. Cards can be purchased for any amount, and are reduced by the amount of each purchase until all money has been used. Cards may be used while at Deer Valley Resort, or for phone orders for Signatures merchandise. Gift cards can be purchased online at deervalley.com or in person at Deer Valley Signatures.

As the holiday season is all about entertaining, Deer Valley has 12 restaurants open during the holidays with options perfect for either an intimate dining experience or large-group fun. See the resort website for full descriptions of cuisine and restaurant hours. Happy Holidays from Deer Valley Resort! For more information or a complete schedule of holiday events and festivities, please log on to deervalley.com.

Deer Valley Resort Welcomes Elite Athletes at Fis Freestyle Ski World Cup

Deer Valley Resort is pleased to once again host the world’s best aerial and mogul skiers for the 2015 Visa Freestyle International. For the 13th consecutive year, Deer Valley’s slopes will cater to elite athletes competing in aerials, moguls and dual moguls January 7-10, 2015.

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Hosting FIS Freestyle Ski World Cups, along with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and two World Championships, has garnered the resort a reputation as a preeminent venue for the freestyle community.

“FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup has become a time-honored, crowd-pleasing event that athletes from around the world, visiting guests to Utah and Park City locals look forward to each year,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort. “We look forward to another amazing display of athletic ability on our slopes.”

Expected to compete in the 2015 World Cup are two Deer Valley® sponsored athletes and ambassadors, Bryon and Brad Wilson. With longtime roots in Park City, this brotherly duo, both of whom are members of the US Freestyle Ski Team, have accomplished a lot in their short tenure as Ski Team athletes. Bryon won the bronze medal at the 2010 Olympic Games and Brad has climbed his way up the World Cup rankings. Together, the two are looking forward to furthering their success at Deer Valley.

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All World Cup competitions will be held at night under the lights at Deer Valley Resort. Men’s and women’s aerial events will be held on White Owl ski run Thursday, January 8, 2015. Men’s and women’s mogul and dual mogul events are scheduled on Champion ski run Friday, January 9 and Saturday, January 10, 2015. Finals for all disciplines will take place in the evening, with a fireworks display concluding each night. Each discipline will also be filmed and televised on NBC and NBC Sports Network the following week.

The FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup celebration will kick off with a free concert by Chris Robinson Brotherhood, led by front man Chris Robinson (of The Black Crowes), on Lower Main Street in Historic Park City Wednesday, January 7 from 7 to 9 pm, with a fireworks show immediately following.

All events during the 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup are spectator-friendly and free to the public. A complete schedule of events can be found at http://www.deervalley.com/WhatToDo/Winter/FISWorldCup. For an enhanced spectator experience, Freestyle Feast VIP tickets are available for Aerial, Moguls and Dual Moguls competitions. Tickets provide special access to the on-hill events, a gourmet buffet and beverages in the VIP tent and a commemorative gift. Tickets are $100 per person, per event and can be purchased by calling 435-645-6510. Quantities are limited.

For more information on the 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup visit DeerValley.com