Girls’ Weekend Spa Day – Five Tips To Make It Fabulous

Girls talk.

We’re wired that way.

No seriously, we really are. In fact, recent research has shown that women’s brains are wired differently than men’s. This research has confirmed what many of us suspected. In females, wiring in the brain goes between the left and right hemispheres, suggesting that they facilitate communication between the analytical and intuition. (Think great memory, multi-tasking and group solutions.)

In men’s brains, the wiring is front to back suggesting their brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action. (Think singular focus.) (Read more here.)

What this means to us, ladies, is we are meant to be communicators.

We talk. We listen.

So when I was setting up my girls’ weekend spa day, I knew I had to plan for lots of communication time.

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Since my girlfriends carved out precious time away from their families to get together and unwind, I needed to make sure we made the most of our time together. I asked Katie at Zanté Spa, located at the Deer Valley Plaza Building, to help me plan a morning of relaxation and rejuvenation with the girls. As a pro at creating special pampering experiences, she gave me a few tips.

Here are five of them:

1. Take over the place. Since you and your girlfriends don’t get together as often as you like, you want every moment to count. Zanté Spa was able to book our appointments so that we had the place to ourselves the whole morning. We’d welcome any other spa visitors, of course, but having “just us girls” made it feel so welcome and cozy. We were able to employ “no filter” conversations which is what girls’ weekend is all about.

2. Build in transition time. Katie scheduled our treatments with plenty of time for lounging in-between. Instead of feeling rushed and checking our watches, we were able to relax as some of us were getting done with our treatments and others were getting started. As a Type A personality who lives her life by the clock, I appreciated the no-stress attitude. This is one tip many of us can apply to all areas of our lives – I certainly will.

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3. Customize your experience. We brought in some special fruit plates, juices and appetizers to complement the selection of goodies the spa provided. Don’t laugh but we also brought some “lighter” reading – fashion magazines! The spa supplied some wonderful reading material, but be sure to bring in whatever makes you feel comfortable whether it’s a special book or a fashion magazine.

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4. Linger. When your spa day comes to a close, don’t rush out. After a few hours of Zen space and total relaxation, we didn’t want to just bolt out the door. We needed some transition time to step back into the world. The ladies at Zanté Spa, suggested we linger. They also had menus on hand for us to review some choices for our next stop – lunch at Deer Valley Grocery~Café.

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5. Treat yourself to something special – you deserve it. Try something new to enhance your experience. My girlfriends who had massages tried a Japanese energy technique called Reiki integrated into their massages and felt fabulous afterwards. I tried the restructuring and soothing facial called Vital-Elastin which included a facial massage with the exfoliation and dry brushing. This was a new experience for me and my skin appreciated it!

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So remember when planning your event, girls talk.

Just go with it.

Do you or a family member need a retreat or special getaway or do you have questions about our girls’ weekend? Connect with me on Twitter  and @Deer_ValleyClick the links for more information on; lodging at Trail’s End Lodge, spa services at Zanté Spa and menu options at Deer Valley Grocery~Café.

Kathy Sherwin’s Deer Valley Difference

Fresh out of college, Kathy began her career at Deer Valley Resort as a Ski Instructor before joining the Ski Patrol team and then moving on to the resort’s Human Resources department. She didn’t stop there and worked part-time in retail at the resort’s Signatures Stores, while she pursued a career as a professional cyclist. Today, she is the Tour & Travel/International Coordinator in the Marketing department. Before she re-invents herself once more, I stopped Kathy for a few precious minutes to uncover the secret of her breathless career path with Deer Valley Resort.

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JF: What was your life like before Deer Valley Resort?

Kathy Sherwin: I was raised in Tacoma, Washington and always was a very active child. I was a tomboy, I guess; I already had my little BMX bike and built a track for it in the back of the house. I also played soccer, tennis and was put on the ski bus every week by my parents.

JF: Where did you go skiing?

Kathy Sherwin: Snoqualmie Pass, Crystal Mountain and White Pass; those were the main places I learned to ski; I was always on the go!

JF: As you grew up, which career path did you want to pursue?

Kathy Sherwin: It’s kind of funny; I wanted to be a doctor. As I started volunteering and working in that field, I soon realized that everyone was sick. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be around all these sick people all the time and started looking instead into preventive approaches to healthcare which led me to a healthier lifestyle. I met my late husband in college and he was the one who had a bicycle and said, “Hey, let’s commute to school everyday.” It was of course much faster to ride our bikes than drive for 40 minutes in Seattle’s traffic. That’s how I got back into bike riding.

JF: I guess, biking was well planted into your DNA.

Kathy Sherwin: Yes. I remember telling my mom, “I want to bike race!” when I was 6 years old, but it didn’t happen.

JF: So you are at the university and then you graduate; what brought you to Deer Valley Resort?

Kathy Sherwin: My late husband said, “I’ve heard about Deer Valley Resort, it’s a great place in Utah; they treat their employees extremely well.” So we went, we got jobs, he became a Mountain Host and I became a Ski Instructor.

Kathy in the early days at Deer Valley Resort with late husband Chris Sherwin.

Kathy in the early days at Deer Valley Resort with late husband Chris Sherwin.

 JF: Had you taught skiing before?

Kathy Sherwin: Yes, I forgot to tell you; I had taught skiing at Ski Acres, next to Snoqualmie in Washington, during my last year of college.

JF: What were your expectations when you arrived at Deer Valley Resort?

Kathy Sherwin: That we would work there for a season or two and leave.

JF: And move on to another place?

Kathy Sherwin: Yes, but Deer Valley Resort was so fantastic and with the employee benefits, the way we were treated, and the tight-knit family atmosphere, it was hard to think about leaving.

JF: Were you hooked?

Kathy Sherwin: Totally!

JF: What did you learn during your first season?

Kathy Sherwin: The importance of customer service. If you had a question from a guest and didn’t have an answer for it, you would go find it out and would get back to the guest no matter how much work it meant and whether it took a few minutes or an hour. I thought it was pretty cool because many other places didn’t know how to service their customers that well.

JF: What else did you learn?

Kathy Sherwin: The other thing that I discovered, that I thought was really neat and interesting, was that all the departments were working well together. So we got along well with the kitchen and the kitchen would help us, Mountain Hosts would help us too; soon, the other departments would pitch in. The philosophy was, “We’re all under one roof, we’re trying to achieve the same goals, so we need to help each other to achieve them.”

JF: Did you feel this came naturally from all your coworkers?

Kathy Sherwin: We had orientation and training, but no one can force a certain attitude on you. With the kind of employees that we have, many of them so well-educated, this way of acting comes quite naturally. It isn’t pushed down your throat and most people buy in to that concept.

JF: What’s remarkable about your career at Deer Valley Resort is the impressive range of positions you have occupied over the years; tell us about that.

Kathy Sherwin: The ski school came naturally because I had done it previously. Still continuing on the thought that I wanted to go into medicine, I became an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and joined the Ski Patrol for a few years. Then about a year later, after my husband and I married, I had the urge to get a “real job” and an Administrative Assistant position in Human Resources became available. I applied and got the job.

JF: Was it a year-round job?

Kathy Sherwin: Yes, salaried, full-time. I did it for a little over 10 years and worked my way up to HR Manager by the time I left. I decided to then pursue my passion of racing a bicycle full-time.

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JF: Did you take a sabbatical or did you find some other working arrangement?

Kathy Sherwin: What I did was to work on-call with the Deer Valley Signatures stores. I would come to help over Christmas, holidays and other busy periods and did this for six years. In the meantime, I was racing my bike full-time, traveling the world and training daily.

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JF: How did that passion for mountain bike racing develop?

Kathy Sherwin: When I was sitting in the HR department, I watched the NORBA (National Off Road Bicycle Association) series come through and set up mountain bike races; I wondered what this was all about and thought it would be cool to try one day.

JF: Did you have any mountain biking experience?

Kathy Sherwin: Not really, I would occasionally ride a hard-tail mountain bike and eventually I ended up getting a full-suspension one. I loved it and started to race. My first competition was the Intermountain Cup Series, 14 years ago. I participated as a beginner and won my category, which was a real shocker to me.

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JF: What happened after that?

Kathy Sherwin: Everyone was excited for me and told me to go on to the next race, which I did and won! Then I got a local sponsor and little by little, I built my resume up to garner even more sponsors, about ten of them. I was able to accomplish all this without even setting the goal of becoming a professional in the first place.

Kathy on a muddy day of cyclo-cross.

Kathy on a muddy day of cyclo-cross.

JF: Is this how you went on to race nationally and joined the international scene?

Kathy Sherwin: Right. I raced in Canada, Belgium, Scotland, Germany, among other countries.

JF: How long did you race as a Professional?

Kathy Sherwin: About six years.

JF: How did you return to Deer Valley Resort?

Kathy Sherwin: I always knew I wanted to return to Deer Valley and this was always part of the plan. I knew I wanted to work in the Marketing department. A position became available when my husband was sick with cancer, which made the transition so timely. 

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JF: How do you like working in the Marketing department?

Kathy Sherwin: I love it. It’s amazing, as a professional athlete, how you must learn to sell yourself. First I was really shy about it, but it soon became a matter of survival. You learn how to push yourself and show what is important to the person you’re selling something to. It’s amazing how my competitive experience translated into the sales and marketing process. Add to this my love and passion for Deer Valley Resort, the best product out there, all these pieces make it so easy!

Kathy sharing trade secrets with the Travelocity Gnome.

Kathy sharing trade secrets with the Travelocity Gnome.

JF: In looking back over your remarkable career, where do you see the essence of the Deer Valley Difference?

Kathy Sherwin: It’s all in the guest service quality, being upfront with all the experience and value we’re offering our guests. The key is to provide guests with an experience that is always over the top and makes a true difference for them. I love being part of that entire process. I would also add that the company’s leadership has a huge influence on the Deer Valley Difference. For example, Bob Wheaton, our President and General Manager, is instrumental in making it work by leading through example and there’s a trickle down effect throughout the entire work force. This and the fact that we’re all empowered to think out-of-the-box when it comes to solving problems and finding solutions for guests, continuously fuels a customer service experience second to none.

JF: In closing, and for our readers considering a Deer Valley Resort career, what advice would you give them?

Kathy Sherwin: They should know that our employees are kind, open, willing to engage guests, hardworking and willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. Another very cool thing about Deer Valley Resort is that we hire a lot from within – I mean a lot. So go get that “entry-level” job, because, before you know it, you can have a year-round position; this is exactly what I did.

Deer Valley Resort Agrees to Purchase Solitude Mountain Resort

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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.

FAQs:

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
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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 the Winter Season with the Annual Celebrity Skifest

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.

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“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.”

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

#DeerValleySummer Adventure Camp Art Show

08012014 Art Show 024Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Camp has been entertaining kids for 19 summers. Based out of the Children’s Center at Snow Park Lodge, Deer Valley Summer Adventure Campers experience hiking trails, biking, lots of guest speakers, hillside playgrounds, bouldering, a rock climbing wall and a full supply of craft projects, games, puzzles, videos and books to complement the outdoor activities.

Each summer the campers participate in S.A.V.E. (Summer Adventure Volunteer Effort), which raises money through an art show for a selected organization. Some of the past recipients have been the Carmen B. Pingree School for Children with Autism, Recycle Utah, Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project and the Blind Children’s Learning Center.  In 2013, the kids raised $772 for the Ocearch Organization.

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Before the Art Show this year, I spoke with Deer Valley’s Children’s Programs Manager, Mya Frantti, to see what the Art Show was all about.

Ryan: Where did the idea of an annual Art Show come from?Mya: The idea of the Art Show came from a brainstorm between summer camp employees, while exploring what we could do to recognize local organizations and get the campers tuned into how important volunteerism is, what it adds to the child’s experience as a whole and connecting them to the community.

Ryan: How many years has Deer Valley been hosting the Art Show?

Mya: We have been doing the Art Show for at least 10 years. Our first recipient was Whiskey, Deer Valley’s avalanche dog. He was sick and needed to undergo a very expensive procedure and the kids wanted to help out.

Ryan: How do you determine where to donate the money?

Mya: In years past we have given the campers a choice of a couple of organizations and they voted. This year the format was a bit different. The People’s Health Clinic did an outreach program with us throughout the summer. They first visited and explained what they do for the kids, then the kids made “goodie” bags for the dentist to hand out which included toothbrushes, toothpaste, temporary tattoos and stickers. After that, the campers went to visit the clinic.

Ryan: How much money do you typically raise with the Art Show?

Mya: Typically we raise between $700 and $1,000.

Ryan: What do you think the kids take away from the experience?

Mya: The Art Show is the culmination of the Summer Adventure Campers’ arts and crafts projects throughout the summer and presents an opportunity for their parents and Deer Valley staff to be able to give a donation for the art pieces that they would like to purchase. This year, the money raised went to purchase books for the People’s Health Clinic. They give each child a book who visits the clinic, whether they are there for their own appointment or with someone else who has an appointment. They are also starting a program for expecting moms, in which the mom-to-be receives a book each time she visits the clinic during her pregnancy. This way they have a starter library by the time their child is born.

Ryan: Any idea who you will be donating to next year?

Mya: 
Typically, we do not decide on the organization until early in the summer.08012014 Art Show 033This was my first art show and I was impressed by the range of different art projects the young campers produced. Everything from hanging lanterns, hand print art, origami, flowers, figure paints and everything in between.  Art lined the halls of the Snow Park Lodge, inviting parents, community members and Deer Valley staff to browse the art work and buy their favorite pieces.08012014 Art Show 026I soon found out that the Art Show offered a lot more than just art. Complimentary drinks and chips and salsa were offered for those browsing the Art Show. The campers served these treats with a smile. The kids being involved really added to the overall environment. The show was a lot of fun for the campers, parents and Deer Valley staff.     08012014 Art Show 075The annual Art Show is held the first week of August and allows the campers to proudly display the varied art projects they have worked on so diligently all summer. The pieces are available to purchase for a donation and this year, the kids raised $1,173 for the People’s Health Clinic.08132014 Check 060The People’s Health Clinic offers uninsured people who live in Summit or Wasatch Counties access to professional medical providers. They offer services such as; general medicine, pediatrics, chronic disease care, prenatal care, women’s health care, mental health services along with many other specialties.Other services offered by the People’s Health Clinic include referrals to low-cost diagnostic testing, free mammograms for women over 40, referrals to social services, job services and help with health insurance applications.

08012014 Art Show 065A few weeks after the Art Show, the campers were able to present representatives from the People’s Health Clinic with books that they were able to purchase from the money raised, as well as the really big check pictured above.

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The Executive Director of People’s Health Clinic, Nann Worel, took time to sit down with me and answer a few questions after the presentation.

Ryan: Where did the idea to give every child a book when they come into the clinic originate?

Nann Worel: We believe very strongly that health literacy is an important part of our mission.  It is very difficult to live a healthy life if one is unable to read. Imagine how difficult life would be if you couldn’t read the instructions on a prescription bottle or read a food label in the grocery store. Statistically, low income children have one or NO books in their home so we wanted to encourage parents to read with their children and give them books to do that with.

Ryan: How many books a year does the clinic give out?

Nann Worel: Hundreds!

Ryan: How do you get all of those books to give away?

Nann Worel: Various organizations have children’s book drives for us throughout the year and we are frequently given donations with which to purchase books, like the Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp did recently.

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Ryan: Are there other ways people can help out the clinic?

Nann Worel: We are always in need of volunteers—whether they have a medical background or not. We also need financial support.

Ryan: Are there other items the clinic needs?

Nann Worel: We currently need new computers and printers, a portable tympanometer and a 3D probe for our Ultrasound machine.

Ryan: How can people get involved?

Nann Worel: They can call me at 435-333-1875, or our Volunteer Coordinator, Barbara Clark at 435-333-1849

Five For…Dancing?

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It would be easy to blame the euphoria I felt throughout the Five For Fighting concert at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater on the incredible gourmet picnic basket, the delicious red wine (and let’s be real, people), the salted caramel brownie on a stick. But not everyone had that particular delicacy and the euphoria of the evening was a shared audience experience. Because, you see, we were all on our feet dancing for most of the evening.IMG_7949

Nobody ever accused Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik of being a purveyor of dance jams. Yet, there is something to be said about a performer whose energy is so infectious, whose lyrics are so heartfelt and whose talent is so worthy of celebration, that the crowd can’t help itself.

In fairness, the crowd was pretty excited before Ondrasik and his talented band members took the stage. Not only were we treated to two opening acts, one of them was Park City’s own Austin Wolfe. Locals are very proud of Austin—she competed on the most recent season of American Idol and made it to the top 15 female performers on the show. No lesser a star than Harry Connick, Jr. told her that she not only had the talent to be a star, but she had a cool name to boot. Still in high school, Austin has the stage presence of someone much older and a voice that can handle everything from standards to pop. On this night, she even got to sing “Happy Birthday” to her mom—we were fortunate to be seated just a couple of rows ahead of her proud family.

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And then, out came Five for Fighting. Before long, we were all singing along to his hits. Some of us (okay, Jeff and I and the fun woman just behind me who kept high five-ing with me as we danced) sang along to some of the lesser-known songs. In so many ways, it felt like an intimate party. John told a lot of great stories and he teased us for dancing to his not-dance-jams. He and the band played their hearts out. John told us we were his favorite crowd; he may say this to all the crowds but he told us that he doesn’t. And the thing is, I believed him. All three of the acts that night, Jesserae, Austin Wolfe, and John Ondrasik, had connections to Park City and Deer Valley. Jesserae, told us his family has a vacation home in Heber City and skis at Deer Valley. Austin Wolfe is a home-grown local and John Ondrasik told the crowd how much his family loves their ski vacations at Deer Valley Resort and how he plays in the Luke Robitaille hockey tournament at the Park City Ice Arena every year during the Sundance Film Festival. Like many of the audience members who aren’t lucky enough to live here full-time but who are lucky enough to visit here, often these performers consider Deer Valley a part of their hometown crowd.

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John solidified his connection to the crowd when he truly let whatever shred of his remaining “guard” down at the end of the show. “We were going to play two more of our songs, but you guys clearly want to dance, so we picked out some other songs—some party songs,” he announced. “But I forgot some of the lyrics, so you have to forgive me for reading some of them off the iPhone.” And that’s how we all came to sing along with the band, as they played Simon and Garfunkel’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”  It all felt so…familiar. Perhaps, in part, because he was foisting the mic into the crowd, giving solos to people at the stage’s apron—and I realized I’m not the only person in the world who thinks I am singing on key. In between songs, John had to hand off the phone to his drummer, “What’s your code? It locked up? Can you look up the lyrics for the next song?”

It takes a special guest to make the host crowd feel more welcome than when they walked into the venue. But it turns out this was just part of the magic of the evening. That, and the salted caramel brownies on a stick. More on those soon, I promise.

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The Wasatch Benefit Returns for the 2014-2015 Ski Season

Alta Ski Area, Deer Valley Resort and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort are pleased to announce that they will continue with the Wasatch Benefit for the 2014-2015 season. Select season passes at each resort qualify for three complimentary day tickets at the other two resorts. Blackout dates apply. Quantities are limited.

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This lift ticket benefit will be honored seven days a week, including weekends, throughout the season – with holiday blackout dates applying December 24, 2014 – January 2, 2015; January 17 – 19, 2015; February 14 – 16, 2015.

Eligibility requirements for the ticket benefit are particular to each resort. Supplies are limited, please purchase early.

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“Continuing to add value and variety for our Alta skiers is exciting for us. We think it is great to offer skiing at two of our fine neighboring resorts – Snowbird and Deer Valley Resort,” said Alta Ski Area President and General Manager, Onno Wieringa.

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“The most important thing for us is to thank our loyal guests who continue to come back year after year,” said Deer Valley Resort President and General Manager Bob Wheaton.” We are pleased to be able to offer this benefit for the second year to our Deer Valley season passholders. It’s a great way to show our gratitude and continue this partnership with two world-class Utah resorts.”
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“The Wasatch Benefit is another way to show our season passholders how much we appreciate their business,” said Snowbird President Bob Bonar. “Our guests told us last winter how much they enjoyed the days at the other mountains. We are proud to partner with these two world-class resorts.”

For more information, including eligibility requirements, visit: alta.com/pages/passes.php,seasonpass.deervalley.com and snowbird.com/seasonpass.

Deer Valley Resort’s 2014-2015 Digital Winter Guide

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Deer Valley Resort has launched the digital Winter Guide for the 2014-2015 season. The guide is available as a free download from the iTunes App Store within the SKI Magazine newsstand. In addition, a web-based version of the interactive guide can be downloaded at deervalley.com for any tablet, laptop or desktop. The media rich tool is full of helpful tips on how to plan your Deer Valley ski vacation, best ways to navigate the resort and its amenities, as well as insider knowledge on what to expect upon arrival at the resort with its on-mountain restaurants, hundreds of luxurious condos and variety of skiable terrain.
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Additional resources in the 2014-2015 digital Winter Guide include resort stats, travel information, reservation contact information and a video series featuring resort employees, athletes and partners.

To download Deer Valley’s Winter Guide, please visit: deervalley.com/WinterGuide

For more information on Deer Valley’s Winter Guide, visit the resort’s website at deervalley.com

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Jam-packed Summer

Dear Reader,

I owe you an apology. I was too busy living the Park City lifestyle to write about it this summer. I didn’t have the heart to part with my kids for many full-day camps. As I write, the boys are in their first full week of school after a two-day opening “week,” and I am missing all the adventures we shared over the summer. I jokingly referred to the school-free months as “Our Summer of Academic Rigor,” because I was convinced that if I didn’t stimulate their minds in nearly equal measure to their bodies, all the things they’d learned in school would, quite simply, fall out of their heads. So, there were academic camps, sports camps, even a sleep-away camp for Lance one week. But I wanted to squeeze in as much time with these dudes as possible, so after every morning camp, we’d hit the pool together, or a trail, or, yes, the movie theater.

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We enjoyed lazy mornings too and we thrilled at the fact that when the day ended, there was no homework. We took our RV on a few trips and got rained out of a few others. Yes, the RV means rain isn’t a tragedy, but being cooped up in the RV because of the weather isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of fun. One of our trips took us to Bear Lake. It’s close enough for a day trip, so if you’re visiting Park City in autumn, a drive north to this turquoise-blue lake on the Utah/Idaho border is something to consider.

Bear Lake is known for its raspberries and its raspberry shakes. Garden City, Utah features a seemingly endless strip of “shake shacks,” whose shakes my family is more than happy to sample. There are ATV trails and tons of rentals available, a marina, beaches suitable for sunbathing or launching kayaks and paddleboards, yet you’re surround by lush trees and rugged mountains. Garden City boasts a multi-use path for biking and walking, that makes it a very biker/pedestrian-friendly location. Oh, yes, and there are also go-karts. My family loved racing around the track and then getting a shake to celebrate our “victory.”

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Like any vacation house, our RV is stocked with games. Our favorite, and one which I recommend to all travelers, is Story Cubes. Because it’s pocket-sized, you can take it with you on the plane, in a car or wherever. You simply roll the dice, which bear symbols instead of numbers, and players have to tell stories using the symbols they have rolled. This was the winner of the picnic table game night.

IMG_7472That’s just one highlight. I’ll be reminiscing about many more as the gorgeous fall descends into mud season and we have nothing but the memories of a sweet summer and the anticipation of a snowy winter (please!!) to get us through.

How was your summer? Did you jam-pack it as well? Tell me in the comments below or on Twitter  or @Deer_Valley.

Our Night with Dierks Bentley and the rest of Park City

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I asked my friend if she wanted to be my date for the Dierks Bentley concert at the Deer Valley Resort Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. She immediately text me back, “Would love to! I’m getting drunk on a plane…it’s Mardi Gras up in the clouds. Buying drinks for everybody but the pilot, it’s a party.”

I thought, wow, she’s having a fun summer! I told her to have fun on her trip, but to save some fun for our night out. Funny right? She wasn’t actually on a plane getting drunk (I am sure you knew that), she was quoting one of Dierks Bentley’s new songs. I obviously had a lot to learn. And I did, fast.

I walked into a sea of Dierks Bentley fans, “The Congress,” and it was awesome! The venue itself is one of a kind. The Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at Deer Valley Resort is absolutely majestic. Every concert I have ever been to at this venue has resulted in the entertainer commenting about the fact that they have the perfect seat to take in the amazing view, which is a rare gift from the stage.

249 Deer Valleys Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater

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We had general admission seating tickets, which means you can bring blankets and/or small lawn chairs with you. We pre-ordered a Deer Valley Resort Gourmet Picnic Basket for the full experience. It didn’t take long and we all became one big Dierks Bentley family. The night was gorgeous. The crowd was perfectly clad in cowboy hats and boots. It seemed like everyone knew every word and if they were like me and didn’t, they were still on their feet because Dierks Bentley was THAT GOOD!

Here is our night in pictures.

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The awesome volunteers were ready for a little country! Good vibes from the very beginning.

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My friend Julie and I heading up to find a spot in “The Congress!” And also, a glimpse of the amazing view from the stage.

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Thinking ahead, we ordered a Deer Valley Resort Gourmet Picnic Basket. Order them 24 hours before your concert. They have a few options; vegetarian, beef and salmon. We went with salmon and steak with baguettes, wine, brownies on a stick and more!! Pure awesomeness. It was beyond yummy. You can bring your own food into the venue but it probably won’t be this good. I highly recommend enjoying your concert with a Gourmet Picnic Basket.

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(Brownie on a stick) YES PLEASE! My favorite part of the Gourmet Picnic Basket had to be the salted caramel chocolate brownie pop.

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A little boy let me borrow his cowboy hat. Next time, I’m dressing the part.

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It was such a big event with a HUGE star but it is always local when you are in Park City. I ran into many friends in the crowd.

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I really enjoyed the views of the crowd with a beautiful setting sun. Honestly, it couldn’t have been a more perfect night with regards to weather. I think everyone fed off of that and knew it was going to be special.

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Here is our view before the concert started and everyone got on their feet.

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Fans of every age rocked out all night. Everyone was standing up dancing after the first couple of songs. There was no need for sitting and no reason to! The crowd was rocking the entire time.

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Rock On!

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It didn’t take long before the front was filled with a bunch of beautiful women! And Dierks loved every second of it! It was awesome.

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These girls on the side of the stage knew every word to every one of his songs. I watched the crowd almost as much as I watched the stage!

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He told stories about his guitar and even commented that Park City brought something special out in his comedy…”I’m killing it tonight” he said to his band and he was. He said, “We are Southwest fliers. We like to think we are all preferred!” And then he went straight into “Drunk On A Plane”. The crowd went wild!

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It was such a fun concert that we didn’t want it to end. However, walking to the car we got to see this amazing sunset. This capped the night off perfectly. Have you been to a concert at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater? Share your experience with me in the comments below or on Twitter  and @Deer_Valley.