Early July Activities in Park City

Summer is now upon us with its bounty of fun events and activities. During the long holiday weekend, you’ll be able to hike, ride, even race your mountain bike, golf and fly fish. The rest of the time, you’ll be wondering which outdoor concert to attend, considering strolling the Park Silly Sunday Market, stocking up on vital supplies at the Farmers Market or taking in a concert at Deer Valley Resort. There is so much to do in Park City this time of year. You can even take a trip to the Olympic Park and go for a bobsled ride or experience the zip line! You’ll also be given the opportunity see a show at the Egyptian Theater and test your taste buds at the Fox School of Wine, and culminate the week by watching the popular Fourth of July Parade on Main St. Park City!

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If you love a concerts then Park City is the place to be this week. The first St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series show of the summer featuring Toad the Wet Sprocket, Smash Mouth and Tonic kicks off on Tuesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at Deer Valley Resort.

You can also check out the free weekly concert presented by Mountain Town Music on Wednesday, July 1 featuring Robyn Cage at 6 p.m. If you miss that concert, make sure to catch another free performance by Rose’s Pawn Shop at Newpark Town Center on Thursday, July 2, at 6 p.m.

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There’s another St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Friday, July 3, at 7 p.m., featuring Funky Meter, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Lucia Micarelli.

On Saturday July 4, at 7:30 p.m. the Deer Valley Music Festival opens up with the Utah Symphony featuring Patriotic Pops with Bravo Broadway. You don’t want to miss that. 

The Independence Day Celebration, on Friday, July 4, in Park City has grown by leaps and bounds over the years to become the main public event of the summer! The festivities start early at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at City Park. Then at 8 a.m. there’s the Park City Ski Team 5k Fun Run. The rest of the day is peppered with all kinds of activities like rugby games, live music, BBQs, a beer garden at the north end of City Park and of course at 11 a.m., the famous Fourth of July Parade in Park City with over 70 floats including, one from Deer Valley Resort. Get there early to pick your spot on Main Street or Park Avenue because it will fill up fast. The day will end with fireworks set to go off over at Park City Mountain Resort at dusk!

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The Fourth of July events aren’t limited to Park City. In nearby Oakley, there will be the 80th Annual Oakley’s Fourth of July Celebration & Rodeo that blends a patriotic event with classic, western entertainment.

You won’t need to get up early the next day. Explore the Park Silly Sunday Market, right on Main Street on Sunday, July 5. It runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.! Walk over, catch a bus or ride your bike because parking spaces can be hard to find. The Park Silly Sunday Market is a family friendly open-air festival and market where you can unwind and find something for everyone; a cornucopia of vendors, artisans, kids’ activities, gourmet food, music, performers and even fresh vegetables!

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If you like a great American classic theater, remember that you can see West Side Story at the Egyptian Theater from July 3 through July 24, 2015. Widely regarded as one of the best scores ever written, West Side Story takes the world’s greatest love story to the streets of New York City, right here in Park City.

If you are a wine connoisseur or want to become one, there’s the Fox School of Wine‘s Weekend Wine Series that kicks off on July 4 and continues through September 5. The class runs from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Silver Baron Lodge, near Snow Park at Deer Valley Resort and is designed to give beginner to experienced wine lovers a glimpse into little known stories and factoids that make the world of wine so interesting.

Even though we’re in full summer, there is some exciting freestyle skiing to watch every Saturday (11 a.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) at the Utah Olympic Park from July 5 to early September. “The Flying Ace All-Star Aerial Show,” is a must do for any summer list!

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For nature lovers there is a Wetland Pond Walk on Tuesday, July 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Swaner EcoCenter, near Kimball Junction. You can take a short wetland walk out to the frog ponds where the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is reintroducing the Columbia Spotted Frog!

There is also a dance performance “You Are Now Here” by NOW-ID at the Kimball Art Center off Main Street, Park City, on Friday, July 10, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This international and interdisciplinary contemporary dance performance will take place in the Kimball Art Center’s window display on Heber Avenue, it can be viewed from either inside the gallery, or via the sidewalk and street.

For those of you into serious sport, there’s the Echo Triathlon, on Saturday, July 11. This triathlon has become one of Utah’s largest events and traditionally sells out early. Combine the competition with warm July temperatures, a scenic ride in Utah’s unique Echo Canyon, a run on the Historic Rail Trail, and you have the perfect event for both seasoned athletes and beginners.

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The Park City Food and Wine Classic begins on July 8 and last through July 12. The festival offers a variety of experiences on the mountain, in restaurants, classrooms, and around town, which can increase your knowledge, and enjoyment of food and wine Park City has to offer.

What fun activities are you planning to attend this July in Park City? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @Deer_Valley.

Sunday Summer Concerts at Deer Valley Grocery~Café.

I’ve never met a Deer Valley employee who isn’t multi-talented. I’m now in the habit of asking, “What else do you do?” I’ve met ski instructors who are sound engineers, fine artists and real estate agents. Careful readers of this blog know at least one instructor who has been a candidate twice for the United States Congress.

Imagine my delight when I learned that among the many great acts planned for the Sunday Summer Concerts on the Deck at Deer Valley Grocery~Café is Stiff Hooch on June 28, 5 – 8 p.m. The classic country band boasts three Deer Valley Grocery~Café chefs, plus a Deer Valley ski instructor.

IMG_9928“We were so excited to be able to give Stiff Hooch the opportunity to play on our deck this summer for at least three shows. They’ll be featured around Labor Day,” says Janine Troilo, Deer Valley Grocery~Café manager. “Guests that come to see their shows will not only enjoy their music but the food that they, prepared as well.”

Not only will you hear some great jams, but you can enjoy dinner–try the band’s new menu favorite, an All-Natural Turkey Panini with Apricot Chutney and Deer Valley’s Meadowlark double cream brie.

See you on the deck!

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Deer Valley Resort 2015-16 Winter Lodging Offers

With winter packages available for early and late season, holiday season, mid-season and everything in between allows guests ample opportunity to ski at Deer Valley Resort during the 2015-16 winter ski season. Consistently rated the #1 or #2 Overall Best Ski Resort by the readers of SKI Magazine and named the United States’ Best Ski Resort by the World Ski Awards for two years running, assures Deer Valley Resort guests an incomparable alpine winter vacation experience.

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Guests who book vacations through Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations have access to the largest selection of accommodations in the Deer Valley Resort area and the resort’s guest services is consistently rated #1 by readers of SKI Magazine. This year’s lineup of vacation packages include the popular Family Value Package and the Sundance Film Festival Package, as well as a new Holiday Lodging Special and Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend Ski Package.

“In years past, the holiday seasons and popular vacationing weekends, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, have been excluded from the package dates,” said Dirk Beal, director of sales for Deer Valley Resort. “We are excited to now offer great package deals in and around some of these peak winter periods. Guests booking through Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations receives personalized attention to detail by local vacation-planning experts familiar with all the extras that make Deer Valley a renowned vacation destination.”

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The winter season specials and packages offered exclusively by Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations are included below. Guests can visit deervalley.com or inquire with one of the resort’s Vacation Planners at 800-558-3337or 435-645-6528 for further package details or to customize a Deer Valley vacation.

Family Value Package
Kids ski FREE and save 20% on lodging, lift tickets and kids’ ski rentals.
With family friendly amenities, including an outdoor pool and hot tub, free hot breakfast buffet, a complimentary in-town shuttle and on-site restaurant and rental shop, all within close proximity to Snow Park Lodge and ski school, the Lodges at Deer Valley and Silver Baron Lodge are the perfect choice for families vacationing at Deer Valley Resort. Package is valid December 5-17, 2015; January 4-February 10; and March 28-April 10, 2016. Receive up to two complimentary lift tickets for children 12 and under per day and two Deer Valley children’s ski rental discount vouchers. The purchase of four adult lift tickets is also required. Minimum stay is required and varies by property.

Early and Late Season Package
Experience Deer Valley Resort during the early and late winter season periods and receive 25% savings on lodging and lift tickets at a wide range of accommodations managed by Deer Valley. Package is valid December 5-10, 2015, and March 28-April 10, 2016. A minimum of four adult lift tickets total must be purchased with this package. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property.

Pre-Holiday Lodging and Lift Package
Experience Deer Valley Resort during the pre-holiday season and receive 20% savings on lodging and lift tickets at a wide range of accommodations managed by Deer Valley. Package is valid December 11-17, 2015. A minimum of four adult lift tickets total must be purchased with this package. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property.

Holiday Lodging Special
Experience Deer Valley Resort during the holiday and receive 15% savings on lodging at the Lodges at Deer Valley, Silver Baron Lodge and Deer Valley’s Signature Collection properties. Package is valid December 18-25, 2015.Minimum night stay is required and varies by property.

Ski, Stay and Dine Package
Enjoy Deer Valley Resort’s award-winning cuisine, luxury accommodations, renowned skiing and service along with a 20% savings on lodging and lift tickets at participating properties. The package includes a $50 dining certificate valid at any of Deer Valley Resort’s owned and operated evening restaurants. Package is valid January 4-February 10, 2016. A minimum of four adult lift tickets total must be purchased with this package. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend Ski Package
Experience Deer Valley Resort during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend and receive 20% savings on lodging, lift tickets and select rental packages. Package is available at a wide range of accommodations managed by Deer Valley and is valid January 14-18, 2016. Minimum night stay is required and varied by property.

Sundance Film Festival Special
The Sundance Film Festival is a great time to experience Deer Valley Resort! Save 20% on lodging at select properties from January 21-25, 2016. As an optional add-on, receive a 20% discount on a Max4 adult lesson, lift ticket and/or rental package. Or reserve three nights lodging and receive the fourth night free at select properties, valid January 26-31, 2016, with the option to receive 25% off lift tickets. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property.

Spring Ski and Stay Package
Save 15% on lodging and lift tickets when you book your Deer Valley Resort spring ski vacation. Package is validFebruary 21-March 10, 2016. A minimum of four adult lift tickets total must be purchased with this package. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property. This package is not offered at Black Diamond Lodge.

Stay Longer, Save More
Receive free lodging the longer you stay at Deer Valley Resort. Purchase six nights and receive one night free, purchase eight through 10 nights and receive two nights free, purchase 11 through 13 nights and receive three nights free, purchase 14 nights or more and receive four nights free. The stay six nights and receive one night free option is not valid December 26, 2015-January 3, 2016, February 11-21, and March 11-27, 2016.

The following apply to all packages: at time of booking, offers are based on availability at select properties, on new reservations only and packages cannot be combined; tax and service fees not included. Purchase of daily adult lift tickets is, at times, required to obtain lodging discounts; end dates are checkout dates. Please speak with a Vacation Planner to clarify all package details. Visit deervalley.com for additional packages or promotions.

For a complete list of Deer Valley Resort’s 2015-16 winter packages, rates and restrictions, please view the Deer Valley Resort Lodging & Reservations website.

Deer Valley 2015 Summer Concert Schedule

Tickets are on sale now for Deer Valley Resort’s renowned annual summer concert series. The resort’s lineup of celebrated singers, songwriters and musicians feature musical stylings from all genres set to entertain visitors and guests in the idyllic Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater mountainside setting. The 2015 summer concert series consists of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Deer Valley® Music Festival, the Park City Institute’s St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Outdoor Concert Series and the Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series presented by Mountain Town Music.

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For an impressive 12 consecutive years, the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Deer Valley® Music Festival has made Deer Valley Resort its summer home with time-honored favorites and exciting guest performers. Deer Valley’s Fourth of July festivities will launch the start of the Deer Valley Music Festival with a Patriotic Pops performance. This year’s symphony featured guests include Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Smokey Robinson, Classical Mystery Tour, Ozomatli, Kristin Chenoweth and Diana Krall. Running from July 4 to August 14, the 2015 season also includes the 1812 Overture!, Disney’s Fantasia, Country Legends and Hollywood Under the Stars. Show times and ticket information are available at deervalleymusicfestival.org.

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Also celebrating 12 years of summer concerts on Deer Valley’s outdoor stage is the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Outdoor Concert Series, presented by the Park City Institute. The 2015 concert series features ten powerhouse concerts: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Smash Mouth and Tonic (June 30); Lucia Micarelli, The Funky Meters and Dirty Dozen Brass Band (July 3); Warren Haynes with Gov’t Mule (July 16); Easton Corbin with Parmalee (July 23); Esperanza Spalding, Perla Batalla and Anna Wilson (July 30); Grace Potter (August 4); Chris Botti and Joshua Bell (August 15); The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo (August 22); Lee Brice (August 29); and Aloe Blacc (September 6). For show times and ticket information, please visit bigstarsbrightnightsconcerts.org.

A weekly staple of Park City’s social scene, the Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series, presented by Mountain Town Music, is a free event, highlighting local musical acts every Wednesday night June 17 to August 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. This year’s musical showcase include such acts as the Stranger Band, The Changing Lanes Experience, Slickrock Gypsies and The Motherlode Canyon Band. The series culminates with a Park City All Star Jam Session on August 26. Additional information is available at mountaintownmusic.org.

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To make Deer Valley Resort vacations coinciding with concert events seamless, Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservation offers a Summer Concert Package that provides a 20 percent savings on deluxe accommodations and tickets to select concerts. And to complement any evening concert, Deer Valley also features Gourmet Picnic Baskets or Bags filled with delicious epicurean items from Deer Valley’s kitchens, with options for children, single bags and gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan meals. Orders must be placed and purchased by 5 p.m. the day prior to the event; cancellations will not be accepted after that point.

The shows, performed rain or shine, are family-friendly and guests are welcome to bring picnics, blankets and chairs less than nine inches high; animals are not permitted. For more information on Deer Valley’s summer concert series, concert packages and Gourmet Picnic Baskets and Bags, please visit deervalley.com.

Deer Valley Resort’s Purchase of Solitude Mountain Resort Official

ADeer Valley Resort successfully closed on the purchase of Solitude Mountain Resort on April 30, 2015. As of today, May 1, 2015 Deer Valley will begin operating Solitude Mountain Resort in its entirety. Deer Valley Resort appointed Kim Mayhew as Solitude Mountain Resort’s new general manager in January, which also became effective today.

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“This is an exciting venture for both Solitude Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort,” said Kim Mayhew, general manager of Solitude Mountain Resort. “As a member of the Deer Valley team for more than 30 years, I look forward to sharing with Solitude Resort similar values and practices that make Deer Valley one of the best operated resorts in the country.”

“Solitude is an incredible resort and will be in great hands with Kim at the helm,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort. “Deer Valley staff worked hand-in-hand with Solitude staff this past winter to share knowledge and develop strong plans for the future.”

Deer Valley’s first capital improvement announcement to Solitude for the 2015-2016 ski season will be to remove the current Summit double chairlift and install a new detachable high-speed quad.

Also, a new ski run will be cut from the top of the existing Apex Express chairlift to the bottom terminal of the realigned Summit Express chairlift, significantly lessening the current travel time to Honeycomb Canyon. Other priority improvements include; remodeling the Moonbeam Lodge restaurant, an increased guest service presence throughout the resort and new uniforms for Solitude staff.

For more information about Deer Valley’s purchase of Solitude Mountain Resort, please visit DeerValley.com. 

Deer Valley Resort to Update 625 Main Signatures Store

Deer Valley Resort will be updating its Signatures store located at 625 Main on Park City’s Historic Main Street. With the store changes, the 625 Main Street location will be closed beginning April 27 through May 15, 2015. The store will reopen May 16 with Deer Valley Signatures’ full line of new spring and summer merchandise.

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“We look forward to the enhancements being made to our Main Street shop and brightening our customer’s shopping experience,” said Georgia Anderson, director of merchandising for Deer Valley Signatures. “We’ll close for just a couple weeks to complete the updates and look forward to welcoming customers back on May 16.”

Following the brief closing, customers looking to purchase unique Deer Valley gifts for friends or memorable souvenirs for themselves are invited to visit the newly updated Main Street Signatures, which will then remain open year-round or visit the resort’s other Signatures store location at Deer Valley Resort at 7620 Royal Street in Silver Lake Village, which will reopen for summer June 19, 2015. Deer Valley’s third store location located plaza level at Snow Park Lodge is closed during the summers.  In the interim, guests can call Signatures at 800-833-2002 with any questions or shop online at deervalley.com.

Deer Valley’s Signatures stores are stocked with exclusive apparel, blankets, accessories and glassware, along with exclusive Deer Valley logo merchandise. Customers will also find specialty food items straight from Deer Valley’s kitchens, like the legendary Turkey Chili mix or savory Fireside fig grain mustard. During the summer at Signatures, customers can also purchase general admission tickets in advance for any of Deer Valley’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater concerts and performances.

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For more information about the Deer Valley Signature stores view the resort’s website at deervalley.com. To follow resort happenings on social media, search #deervalleysummer.

Skiing is a state of…style

I’ve taken the idea that skiing is a state-of-mind to a new level this year. Some in my family would argue that this isn’t entirely a good thing. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to dress when you’re off the slopes, is in clothing that tells the world, “I am a skier. I love to ski. I even wear clothes with skiers on them!” Bear with me.

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Recently, my good friend Shari had sent me a photo of a cute sweater she found in the Talbot’s outlet. Neither of us are regular shoppers in that store, and yet, their sweater selections caught our attention. She popped into the store one afternoon and hit the jackpot: a sweater with a pattern that depicts a skier carving turns (stylishly, of course) down a tree-lined slope.

“That’s it!” I announced, I proudly showed the text message to my family. “I need the skier sweater.”

My style-minded spouse and oldest child looked at me, incredulously. But young Seth aligned himself with me and Shari. “You NEED that, Mom! It’s awesome. And you and Shari will MATCH.” He said with all the urgency only a seven-year-old can muster (which is to say, quite a bit). The other two looked on, quizzically, as we high-fived.

Fortunately, the doubting duo know to humor the person who makes sure that the ski bags are packed every night. [Which is how, on a recent afternoon, while Seth was at a play-date, they came to walk into Talbot’s with me, wearing their best game-faces.] To our delight, a dear friend’s mom was working in the store—and she produced not just the sweater, but also a turtleneck with a pattern of little skiers all over it. “Oh, and what about the skier scarf?” she asked, proffering one from a nearby rack. Sold, sold and sold. I grinned from ear-to-ear, as my middle-schooler shook his head in anticipation of the sheer embarrassment of being seen with me, dressed in theme clothes. (Silently, I reminded myself that if I’m not embarrassing my kid, I’m doing something very, very wrong.) My husband pointed out that I had owned a similar turtleneck, back when we first met, over 25 years ago. It occurred to me that he may not have meant this in a good way. Still, nothing could dampen my glee.

Once home I admired my loot and took a great deal of joy in photographing the apparel. I sent the photos to Shari, “I will take your skier sweater, and raise you a skier turtleneck and a skier scarf. I WIN!” She immediately wrote back that she’d be returning to the store to complete her own set. This emboldened me to send boastful text messages, photos included, to a few friends who have, like Jeffrey, known me since the last time I thought that these items were at the height of fashion. I would be lying if I told you that the responses were not filled to the brim with celebrations of my awesome style.

I will be modeling this look all over town. I have paired the scarf with basic black leggings and turtleneck, and the sweater with a pair of motorcycle-style jeans in a light blue that perfectly matches the shade of the sky on the sweater. Clearly, it’s not a “technical” piece, but what fashionistas (like, ahem, myself) would call “a statement piece.” So, I’m now on the hunt for retro-styled ski clothes—you know, Fair-Isle knits, and maybe a more technical version of the cute, printed ski-turtlenecks of my childhood. I draw the line at the neon-colored one-piece ski suit—for now.

What is your skiing state of style? Tweet me  or @Deer_Valley.

Date Night At The Mariposa: Five Times The Enjoyment

Shorts Program is my new film favorite at the Sundance Film Festival.  Though full length feature films give you a 90 minute in-depth movie experience, a Shorts Program provides five different films filling the same time period. The way I look at it, you get five times the enjoyment during your 90 minutes of film watching.

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Though the Sundance Film Festival has long since packed up and cleared out of Park City, Utah, my yearning for “five times the enjoyment” has not. When my husband. Jay, and I celebrated with a “date night” at Deer Valley, we were excited to find the opportunity to try the “Mariposa Tasting Experience.”

Looks like I found what I was looking for. The experience reminded me of an award winning “Shorts Program,” but for dining.

You see, the “Mariposa Tasting Experience” is unique. Rather than choosing one entree, guests choose a variety of small plates.  Our waiter recommended we make 4-5 choices plus a dessert. So we did!

Now, of course, date night in and of itself is inherently fun. It’s just the two of us, out for a romantic dinner, celebrating life and, in our case, our 20 year partnership in marriage. Spicing things up by experimenting with new, unique, and abundant culinary delights added five times the enjoyment to date night.

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Each special small course at the Mariposa had enough to enjoy, to share and not too much to preclude us from trying another. Our date night at the Mariposa started with:

A bottle of red wine from the Mariposa’s extensive wine list. As transplants from California, we have long enjoyed wines from Napa and Sonoma so we chose a Cabernet from Sonoma.

An Artisan cheese plate with made locally at Deer Valley with four different cheeses.

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Wild Mushroom Beggar’s Purse – wild mushrooms, of course, with beaujolais reduction sauce, Deer Valley Triple Truffle cream brie, and baby greens in a beautiful delicate pastry pouch.  Almost too beautiful to eat.

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Bison Carpaccio- with wilted spinach. This was a first for me.  Wonderful!

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Quail – I might have had quail in the past, I don’t recall but I certainly won’t forget this quail dish!

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Sorbet – Jay and I shared three different types of sorbet with my favorite being green tea. To my delight, it was served with a tiny fortune cookie that included an edible fortune – a new experience!

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Whether you dine at the Mariposa with family, friends or just your sweetheart, consider coming with an empty stomach and bringing an appetite for culinary adventures.

If you are coming for date night, though, be sure to experiment with a few new interesting dishes to spice up your night.


For more information on the menu and to make reservations, click here.

Three Things that Make a Good Ski Lesson Great at Deer Valley

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Our daughter, Ali, has been skiing since she was three years old. She’s now 10 and just like in nearly every other facet of her life, there’s been a shift. Oh, hello, our young tween who is figuring out she has a mind of her own.

When she was younger, we’d all ski together, guiding our little cherub with our ski instructing wisdom that she happily took to heart, heeding it as if it was written on the golden tablets themselves. A year or two later, she took a series of large group ski lessons where the kids mostly played follow the leader, but that gave her the basics and got her to keep track of her own gear. I say yes to that!

Then she hit the magic age of eight, and listening to mom and dad’s advice to keep her knees bent, close the gap from pizza to french fry, and can you please ski just a little faster?!!?!, went straight out the window.

It was time for the pros to take over. We needed another round of ski lessons, but this time with more focus and attention on just her. We needed to push our little Lindsay Vonn-wanna-be to the next level and not destroy our skiing as a family in the process.

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Our daughter loves her friends almost as much as mom and dad (yikes! that teen thing is hiding right around the corner) and when she goes skiing, being on the snow with her pals is one of the best parts of her day. So we gathered a group of some of her friends and headed to Deer Valley Resort.

This group of gal pals all ski at about the same level. They can easily cruise the greens and are firmly entrenched in the blues. They plow through the trees on their way to Quincy’s Cabin and are all at the stage of making the leap from an advanced snowplow to a graceful parallel. But they needed to be pushed out of their comfort zone, and neither my husband nor I could take them there.

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Enter ski instructor Kristin Egan, a 26-year veteran of the Deer Valley Ski School and a Park City local. As impressionable young girls who are always on the lookout for great role models, we’d hoped they’d have an instructor who was a woman. The girls were thrilled to be paired with Kristin.

The half day lesson took the girls from the bottom to the top of Bald Mountain, over to Empire and back again. Kristin saw what motivated each of these young skiiers and assigned them each something to work on as they went down the mountain.

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Sarah said, “I liked when she explained to us the easiest ways to stop on a steep hill. You can stop by doing a big C turn, or if you’re going faster you can do a J.”

Katie said, “She had me ski on one leg for a whole minute and to practice so I could feel the turns.”

Elise said, “Kristin showed me how to put my skis sideways on the mountain and take little bounces down, or slide slip, to get out of a tricky spot.”

And Ali said, “Mom, she was really nice. She told us WHAT to do and not just to do a good job.”

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After experiencing a day of ski lessons at Deer Valley, I realized there are three things that are essential to taking a ski lesson from good, to great.

  1. Keep class size to a minimum. Deer Valley’s ski school kids private lessons are kept at the small size of just 4 or 6 per class and are available for all ages 3 -18 and abilities. As we all know with any school situation, small class size emphasizes personal attention. While we could have chosen to send Ali up on a ski lesson by herself for the ultimate one-on-one ski education, we felt like having the girls together motivated them to challenge one another. Because who wants to be outdone by your bestie? Not these gals.
  1. Experience is essential. Deer Valley Resort has over 550 ski instructors total and 176 of them have been teaching at Deer Valley from over 10 years. These instructors are experienced professionals who take their jobs very, very seriously. And love it! With these years of experience, there’s an emphasis on safety, certification and of course, motivation by having fun. With years of instructing under their goggled helmets, there’s not much they haven’t run across when it comes to inspiring, coaching and wrangling kids.
  1. Time for food! As parents, we all know that if a kid is hungry that kid is no good at all. When hunger pangs appear, attentions leave the mountain and there is no one, and no way, to motivate a hungry, grumpy kid. If your child’s ski lesson includes lunch, you want your kid to have a great one. In a group lesson Deer Valley treats their child patrons just as well as the adults and provides a delicious, nutritious lunch menu created specially for them by Executive Chef Jodie Rogers. It makes lunch almost as much fun for the kids as the time they’re having on the hill. Pass the Bucky’s Beef Sliders, please!

Ski Mom Survival Guide

Each phase of my children’s lives brings me a different perspective on what are the essential survival skills for a skiing mom. When the kids were tiny it was the simple fact of remembering that sometimes a “ski day” meant a total of 30 minutes on snow, and then hour after hour of building Lego creations in the lodge, with frequent breaks for cookies.
As they’ve gotten older my “survival skills” have expanded to include having the boys manage their own gear and allowing them to lead me toward more technical terrain. The “mom” in me doesn’t want to believe that they can handle it. The “skier” in me could not be more proud.

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I think a successful family ski experience boils down to keeping a balance between the supremely efficient and the supremely silly. Here, in no particular order, are my tips: .

 

  1. CREATE HABITS: Knowing that you have to lay out gear the night before so that kids can dress themselves (to the best of their developmental ability) is a great habit to get into. Insisting that they wear all their gear in the car including boots, is another habit. This way you simply have to run down the mental checklist as you eyeball them when they exit the car: Helmet, goggles, neck gaiter, jacket, pants, boots. When you leave the mountain, run through a similar checklist, then again when you exit the car at home. Make sure all the gear is removed from bags, and laid out to dry, when you get home.
  2. BOOK LESSONS: Ski School is often the saving grace of the family ski vacation. I live here and it has been the saving grace of entire seasons of skiing. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, instructors know how to coach people so that the equipment is doing the lion’s share of the work. People who haven’t had lessons don’t always know what their equipment is capable of doing and the ensuing overcompensating can result in very sore legs. Second, it gives your family the chance to “wow” each other with skills you developed while apart. Third, you acquire only the best skiing skills out of the gate and if you haven’t skied in a while, a good instructor will help break you of some old habits.
  1. GOOF OFF: Alternate challenging terrain with something less challenging. If your kids are starting to explore intermediate terrain, it’s still important to ski the easier stuff. I have found that my kids get as much of a mental boost out of being the masters of Wide West ski run as they do when they lay claim to bragging rights on Square Deal ski run. Also, some wise instructors have told me that when you catch your “french fries” skier suddenly relying on the “pizza” wedge, it’s time to dial back the difficulty until they find the “fries” again. Plus, some of the obstacles on easier terrain can do wonders to help improve overall skill levels.
  1. USE YOUR PHONE’S CAMERA: You can create a combo-platter of trail-memory backup and scrapbook-ready photos if you snap photos of your family standing under the trail markers at the beginning of a run. At the end of the day, you can look through the photos and make a note of trails you want to ski again. Share your photos on social media with the resorts hashtag to connect with other ski families and to learn local secrets. We use #SkiTheDifference at Deer Valley Resort.
  1. CARRY CANDY: If I have said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. A stash of candy in your pocket can go a long way toward keeping kids’ energy and excitement levels high. Recently when skiing with my extended family, my cousin Erica quipped that she’d just enjoyed a “grape smelling” run, as Lance skied in front of her while enjoying a grape-flavored candy.

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  1. AVAIL YOURSELF OF THE BASKET CHECK, LOCKERS and SKI CHECK. If you’re skiing consecutive days use the complimentary ski storage at Deer Valley. If you know your family will have “boot fatigue” by day’s end, stow your snow boots in the lockers or basket check in the bottom of Snow Park Lodge. Basket check is great if you know you’re going to be spending part of the day in the lodge entertaining yourself (book) or a young family member (small bag of toys).
  1. CONSIDER SEASONAL RENTALS. Some local shops have amazing seasonal rental programs for kids. We have used the one at Utah Ski and Golf for Lance. Many of these programs charge a flat fee for multiple seasons. Seth is in the Surefoot and Jans programs for boots and skis. At Surefoot, we receive credit toward the next size up, at Jans, we trade in skis and bindings for a 30% discount. Buying adjustable poles for both boys has saved us a bundle too.
  1. SHARE OFTEN. We all have different preferences for lunch. Lance eats a giant bowl of chicken noodle soup, every day. Seth is my pasta friend. I’m partial to the baked potatoes with various toppings. Jeff’s a fan of the daily specials at Snow Park Lodge. We’re all fans of the french fries, so we usually just get one plate to share between us. This is a strategic move that leaves plenty of room for dessert even if that’s just a shared cookie.195 Deer Valley Bakery
  1. CREATE GAMES ON THE LIFTS: Have your kids count the number of orange helmets they see. Winner gets an extra piece of candy. Everyone in the family can point out skiers who are demonstrating good form, or form we’d rather not emulate. This exercise can help everyone visualize their ideal turn.
  1. FOLLOW YOUR KIDS: If they have attended even one day of ski school, their instructor let them in on “secret” trails or even special ways to attack not-so-secret trails. From exploring the “whoop-dee-dos” on the side of the trail, to taking a detour through Bucky’s Backyard, your kids will delight in leading the way and more than likely, the upper hand in confidence on the terrain.
  1. LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE: This is another thing that bears repeating. Cut the day a little short, maybe two runs fewer than you think the group can handle. You get bonus points if you receive a ton of protest from your newly-addicted skiers. Remember, when you’re six, “a long time ago” is when you were four. So, no matter how much fun they had before 2:30 pm, if the day sours at 2:45, that may be all they remember. Giving them the opportunity to hunger for more days is a guaranteed way to ensure they’ll be ready for more the next time you ski.
  1. AVAIL YOURSELF OF APRÉS. Whatever your poison, cookies and cocoa or cookies and creme de cacao, remember that you deserve a reward for shepherding your family through another ski day. I’m a fan of EBS Lounge in Snow Park Lodge, there’s usually live music on weekend and holiday afternoons.