Dan Howard has been Director of Public Relations for the Montage Deer Valley, located in Empire Canyon, ever since the establishment opened up to the public three years ago. We wanted to know more about the Montage’s Après-Ski options that are made available to its guests and day-visitors, and we asked Dan to provide us with an update of what happens at his hotel when the ski day comes to an end…
What is the meaning of Après-Ski at Montage?
It means everything to us. Montage was recently named the number one family-friendly hotel of any resort in the world, and our Après-Ski program is one of the reasons we have been recognized in that way.
Are you saying an “Après-Ski Program?”
Yes, we have eight activities that really fall into that category at Montage. Again, we’re a family-oriented, multi-generational resort. The family generally skis together and Après-Ski together at Montage and all of these activities are geared to everyone, from the youngest to the oldest.
Can you start with traditional Après-Ski that includes food and beverages?
Although Après-Ski isn’t limited to food and wine, I will start with that category and introduce the Apex Restaurant that is easily accessible from the mountain. It’s located directly above Compass Sports and features a large wrap-around terrace, perfect for blue-bird days, with Adirondack chairs circling a large fire-pit. We have some wonderful foods available including a lunch menu until 3 p.m. followed by a bar menu that runs until 5:30 p.m. when the dinner menu begins. To accompany our delicious bar menu we have two beers that are brewed for us locally by Wasatch Brew Pub, the Montage Mountain Ale, on tap, and the Monty Belgian White Ale, in bottles, that is named after Monty, our Bernese mountain dog. We also offer our extended wine list and local whiskey.
What else is available?
Right below Apex near Compass Sports, we’ve added a new popular option, the Beach Haus, that is also a children favorite. There, we’re grilling bratwursts, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, right on the mountain, and people can ski-in and stay in their ski boots while making just a fast stop if they wish to still keep skiing.
What happens if some guests, not staying at Montage, have so much fun that they miss the last Ruby Express chair at 4 p.m.?
If guests are enjoying Après-Ski so much and find themselves still with us at 6 or 7 p.m., on the “wrong” side of the mountain from where they’re staying, we’ll gladly take them home. We have complimentary transportation, and we’ll take them to Silver Lake, Snow Park or even Main Street, wherever they came from, within Park City, we’ll take them there.
Is there live music available anywhere at your hotel?
Yes, we do! It begins in the Apex from 12 to 4 p.m. and we have speakers for those outside on the patio can also enjoy the music. At 4 p.m., it moves into the Vista Lounge. (Here’s a tip: the Lounge fills up between 5 and 7 p.m.) The Lounge features a roaring fireplace and live music, the menu is Asian entrees, served in a relaxed lounge setting with a huge variety of signature drinks. Vista is wonderful because it’s a true family gathering place, a giant living room; it’s our largest space and the classic Après-Ski lounge.
Is there a place where guests can get light fare?
Yama-Sushi near the Vista Lounge is perfect for that. It opens as early as 4 p.m. It’s another great option for Après-Ski that offers signature rolls, nigiri, Japanese beers and sake pairings. As you probably know, “Yama” means mountain in Japanese. Then from 4 until 5 p.m. each day, we offer complimentary marshmallow s’mores for guests staying at the hotel and everyone can roast the s’mores on the open fire-pit, next to the Vista Lounge.
Do you have outdoor Après-Ski activities too?
Yes, we have the Powder Park, our own tubing park. Even though it starts at 11 a.m. it is another after ski favorite. Access to the park is complimentary to our hotel guests. It’s a fun Après-Ski option for kids who still want to play in the snow and it’s always a perfect complement to roasting s’mores at the end of the ski day.
What else is there for kids and their families?
The other family gathering place is the Daly’s Pub and Rec, on the lower floor of the resort. There, we offer four bowling lanes, billiards, English darts, a nostalgic video game arcade and the more modern, Wii Lounge. Fresh pizzas made from scratch and other pop foods are served and are perfect for families that choose to hang out in what is the most popular section of the whole hotel.
Does your famous Spa also participate in Après-Ski activities?
As you perhaps know, ours is the largest spa in Utah. It’s also a place where guests can enjoy their Après-Ski experience with food and wine served right in this indoor, mosaic spa pool. Lots of people are looking to this unique spa experience after a long day on the slopes. Guests can pick between the whirlpool, the swimming pool or even book a spa treatment. While our spa doesn’t offer family hours during the day, our guests’ families are always welcome from 6 to 8 p.m. in the spa pool.
Any other Après-Ski options?
Oh yes, I almost forgot; there’s Buzz, our coffee, hot-chocolate and tea quick-stop. There, you can find homemade sweets from our pastry kitchen and it’s where our resident beekeeper offers his honey production that is available along with some hand-made gelato. Buzz is located alongside the retail promenade, a wonderful shopping area complete with designer jewelry and extraordinary fashions which completes in high-style the Après-Ski cornucopia at Montage.
What happens to Après-Ski at Montage when winter is over?
When the ski chairlifts close, Montage becomes a family camp as the days grow longer. One of the first things that changes is that s’more-time goes from 4 and 5 p.m., to 8 and 9 p.m. in the summer months around our camp fires that remain a daily, year-round routine, and then Compass Sports converts from ski shop into a mountain bike shop. We’re the only official demo center from BMC Swiss mountain bikes and guest can try them all on Deer Valley’s trails.
What other activities do you offer outside of winter?
Compass Sports becomes the recreation hub for 30 different activities that are offered to families in the summer and in the fall as long as the sun is up. Activities cover soccer, croquet, badminton, complimentary archery lessons on the front lawn, now that the tubing park has long melted. When the sun goes down we also offer star-gazing, a non-winter activity, that gives the opportunity to urban guests to discover a sky and some constellations that are almost impossible to observe from any large metro areas.
So, are you magically turning Après-Ski into Après-Sports as soon as the snow melts?
Absolutely, you can say it; the end-of-day fun never stops at Montage!