Summer Shopping at Deer Valley

Summer sales are my jam. That’s when I pick up technical base layers at bargain prices, reduced-price ski pants off of the kids’ racks (for my kids and their vertically challenged mom), and lots of other winter gear basics that always seem to be in short supply in our house once the snow flies. So imagine my delight when I was strolling past the Deer Valley Signatures store at Silver Lake Village one day this summer and found a sweater. Not just any sweater, mind you, but one I’ll call The Sweater of Joy.


See, in the last few months, I’ve been reading “The Magical Art of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo, and I made a commitment to only acquiring (and keeping) items for myself that bring me JOY. This sweater passed the test on so many levels. First, it was available only in my size. Not too big, not too small. My size. Second, it was displayed on a rack outside the door, marked “SALE.” Bargain! Yay! The original price had been scratched out, a price about 50 percent lower had been penciled in. Third, and perhaps most importantly, it elicited a bunch of groans from my kids. “You’re buying that, Mom?” they aren’t always on board with my predilection for polka dots or for mixing bright hues in a single garment. It embarrasses them. SOLD.

I was so convinced that owning this sweater would bring me joy that I didn’t even try it on. (My mother-in-law, visiting us for the weekend, was shocked that I would purchase any item of clothing without trying it on. But hey, sometimes you’ve got to live on the edge, right?) I knew it would be the perfect piece to layer year-round bright enough to show flair at a summer concert, after sunset, or to lend a pop of color to a snowy day.

Truth be told, there was a rack full of awesome bargains. Leather jackets, marked down to well-below mid-winter prices, more sweaters, some pants. But the thing is, I knew not one of these other garments, no matter how lovely, would match this sweater in the JOY department. So off I went to the register, wherein I was greeted with yet another surprise, the sweater’s revised price tag did not reflect an additional discount being offered that day. I’m calling it a win.

You can grab the last of the summer sale items this weekend (September 19 and 20, 2015) at the Signatures store at Silver Lake Lodge before it closes for the season. Or stop by the Signatures Store on Park City’s Historic Main Street this fall. Let me know if you find any hot deals.

Women on Wednesday: Perfect Partnerships

Some of my favorite combinations in life can be described as perfect partnerships: peanut Butter and Jelly. My boys, when they’re getting along well. In skiing, there are a couple of “perfect partnerships” every skier should cultivate. One is an instructor who “gets” you and whose style suits yours. The other is a good shop that can guide you through the care and feeding of you ski gear quiver rather than just sell you what you think you want, or tell you what you think you want to hear.

Eric Schramm Photography 2015

The 2014 – 2015 season was my second year skiing Women on Wednesday, and when my two favorite “perfect partnerships” came together at the program’s welcome reception, I knew I was in for a treat. Jans Mountain Outfitters hosts the reception in their Snow Park Lodge store. Instructors and students mingle, meet and clinic veterans reconnect. I was happy to see Terri and Darlene, two members of the group I skied with the first year. And then, Donna—wonderful Donna McAleer. “The band is back together!” we shrieked (really, we did). I told them, excitedly, that our friend Kellie would be there in the morning, too. As far as I’m concerned, skiing with Donna is proof that perfect partnerships exist, especially when I think about the time we lucked into a ski day together, a couple of years ago.

We toasted our good fortune and then turned our attention to the excellent gear-head pep-talk from the Yoda of Jans Mountain Outfitters, Scott. (If, you know, Yoda were not short, green and hairy, but rather tall, gentle and genial.) “Please take advantage of the demo day we offer you,” he urged. “Finding the right pair of skis when you’re getting this level of instruction, can improve your skiing dramatically.” He also underscored the importance of a well-fitted boot.

He urged us to take advantage of the excellent tuning department. “Yes, I enjoy some privileges, but I will tell you that I never go out on the mountain without freshly-waxed skis,” he explained. “It makes the equipment work for you.” At that moment, I made a mental note to bring my skis in for a wax at the end of the following day. I’d logged more runs than I realized and the bottoms of my skis were, in fact, begging for some attention.

On day one there was a welcome breakfast, during which the catch-up continued, and students and instructors discussed goals for the five-week session. “We’re all here to have fun,” said Kelly, who supervises the Women on Wednesdays program. “So speak up if you’re not, so we know how to make it better.”

At the buffet, I bumped into a woman who had skied program the year before as well. “Wait a minute, I remember you,” she said. “Aren’t you an amazing skier?”

“Well, if you put it that way, of course I am!” I joked with her. “You’re my favorite, don’t tell the others!”

With my ego pumped, my pals Kellie, Terri and Darlene by my side, and the prospect of a sunny day on the slopes, I was ready to take on the day. A fun morning of get-to-know-you lift rides, including a warm up run on Success ski run, and a ski-off on Big Stick ski run, and we were split into our groups. We urged another woman to come join us with Donna. “We need a drummer!” someone said. “Come be our Ringo!”

Four instructors—two Advanced and two Expert—led us to the top of the double blue section of Big Stick, and we were told each group’s goals. Expert groups would spend the majority of their time, conditions permitting, off-piste, and likely in the Daly Chutes. “We’ll work on fundamentals on the groomers, double blues and blacks. So we can build confidence in every kind of conditions and terrain,” Donna said to the Advanced groups. “My group will go off piste, into moguls and probably the Chutes.” My heart skipped a beat, but I reminded myself this was a longer term goal, that Donna would build our group into a team that would be ready for the challenge by the time it presented itself. “Let’s go!” She said, as she prepared to make her first turn down Big Stick. “The Band is back together!”

All morning, Donna led us down double blue ski runs, Tycoon and Jordanelle were my two favorites. I love her “Ski it twice” mantra. If you like the conditions, ski it again. If you don’t like them? Ski it again because now you know how to adjust for the terrain.

Jordanelle Sign

By lunchtime, we were ready for a break—and lots of water, since we’d spent most of the day in the sunshine. The first day of Women on Wednesdays, we eat in Silver Lake Lodge, taking our trays to the Mariposa dining room, so that the instructors and students can compare notes on the morning. Instructors compare notes on the skiers they’re coaching, to make sure that everyone is placed in groups from which they will learn the most. And, as I learned, the resort uses this moment to make sure the groups are split into the promised 4 – 6 students-per-instructor ratio. “I’ve really enjoyed the morning skiing with you, but I want you to listen to what Kelly, who supervises this program, has to say,” she explained.

Kelly noted that if we wanted to remain as a group of seven, then we’d need to sign a paper that acknowledged that we were not getting the ratio we’d paid for. “Deer Valley wants to honor its promise to you,” Kelly said. “And we want to ensure a great experience.”

“I don’t care what I have to sign, I’m staying with you!” I announced to Donna—and the whole table. Everyone laughed, but I was dead serious. Still, It broke the ice enough for others to speak up. One of our group asked if she could move down to an Intermediate group from our Advanced crew. Another was encouraged—by the instructors and by the rest of us, to try out the Expert group for the afternoon. With that, we had achieved wiggle room, so that if one of the two changed her mind, there would be room to welcome her back.


With that settled, our newly-minted group of five headed for Stein’s Way—where conditions were not quite as stellar or consistent as promised, and for some reason, I lost all my mojo by the third turn. I clamped my boots down to the point of distortion and pain, and fought my way down the hill. The inevitable had happened—my boots were giving me every indication they’d seen better days. I made a note to stop into Jans to get my skis waxed—and to lay the groundwork for a boot fitting later in the week. I ended the day feeling grateful for perfect partnerships—and for the fact that four more weeks of fun lay ahead.

Glade Skiing at Deer Valley Resort

If you ever skied the X-Files or Triangle Trees, you have experienced the impressive glading work performed by Deer Valley Resort over the last two decades. For those not familiar with glade skiing, it means roaming freely through sparse trees in what used to be a denser forest. Many love glade skiing for its serenity, its fun, its challenge and for its fresh powder caches that remain shaded and sheltered for weeks.


To measure the resort’s commitment to glading, I met with Chuck English, Deer Valley’s Director of Mountain Operations. “It all began twenty years ago after we built the Northside Express chairlift; we wanted to create more powder opportunities,” recalled Chuck. At that time, the Utah State Forester came to Deer Valley to evaluate the entire mountain. After dividing it into specific sections, he shared his assessment about the forest stand that, in his view, was too tight. He called the excessive treed areas “dog hair stands”, and offered to paint the standing dead, or sick trees that needed to be pulled.


This is how glading began at Deer Valley. Not only did the prescribed cut improve the health of the forest, but Chuck and his associates immediately realized that they could easily ski through the openings they had just created. The work began with an area located skier’s right off Solid Muldoon ski run, where the stand of trees was particularly thick. The next summer saw the turn of the Sunset Glade and some of the Black Forest, off of Perseverance Bowl, that needed some serious clearing too.


In subsequent summers, as the State Forester could no longer work directly with the resort, a crew of several year-round employees who knew the mountain inside-out, who were all very good skiers and chainsaw experts, was formed to continue the glading work. Over the years, that sawyer’s team evolved. At some point, the resort’s top level ski instructors were part of it and today, it’s made of a couple of snow making supervisors and snow grooming supervisors. Deer Valley’s snow grooming manager currently heads the group.


The planning begins in the spring when Chuck English and the sawyers ski around the resort to spot where more glades can be added. A considerable amount of time is also spent taking input from Ski Patrol who probably know the mountain better than anyone else. Glading is a whole summer project. The team begins to work at the beginning of June and continues until October. The workday is 10 straight, long hours, four days a week, as work sites are generally difficult to access.


Sawyers do more than just glading, though. They’re also responsible for cutting the lift line when a new chairlift is installed, they may be called to cut or maintain ski trails, clear trees and branches fallen by windstorms and also perform maintenance on existing glades, just to keep up with new growth. The process is quite involved, demands a sound knowledge of the forest and of the skiing terrain.


Sawyers need to keep a meaningful variety of trees of all ages. Remarks English: “Once trees aren’t too tight, they tend to do very well and flourish. Glading is an opportunity to remove trees infested with parasites and protect healthy ones from contagion. Trees are one of our best mountain amenities!”


There is a conscious effort to identify different areas with the best glading potential. Each Deer Valley mountain has its prime spots; for example, Empire has the X-Files and Anchor Trees. Lady Morgan has Centennial Trees, Flagstaff has Ontario Bowl, Bald Mountain has Sunset Glade, Triangle Trees, and so on. Deer Valley’s sawyers try to keep most of their work above 8,000 feet. On steep and less accessible areas, the wood is left on the ground, cut into rounds small enough to lay flat, creating habitats for many animals. The dry fuel is removed to minimize fire hazard and, where accessible, the timber is pulled out and used for firewood in the Deer Valley lodges.


Unlike most western ski areas, Deer Valley Resort is located on private land. Glading wouldn’t be as easy to perform if the resort were on National Forest land. It would be possible, but would take significantly more time due to administrative rules and regulations. The sawyers have gotten skilled at knowing how to open things up. “Glading is as much as an art as it is a technique”, said Chuck. “A glade that is too open promotes moguls, something you want to avoid. Straight-line clearing isn’t desirable either. A ‘maze’ pattern is preferable to create a much more diverse and interesting skiing experience.”


While glade skiing generally requires more skills than open-terrain, Deer Valley wants more of its intermediate skiers to enjoy tree skiing. This is where some areas like Sunset Glade or the X-Files get a lot of its sawyers’ attention. They are on moderate grade and can be designed to be very user friendly and accessible to most skiers skills.


One great benefit of Deer Valley’s 930 acres of glade skiing is that they act as a reservoir of powder, as snow stays fresh longer in these sheltered areas. In addition, tight glades retain most of the snow on tree branches and requires twice as much snowfall to accumulate as much cover as that of open meadows.


In the fall, sawyers are asked by ski instructors and eager skiers wanting to know where the brand-new powder stashes will be found. Very little information percolates out of these early-season queries, as a shroud of mystery traditionally hang upon any new “powder lode.” Eventually, the secret gets out. As Chuck concludes, “our Mountain Hosts do a great job broadcasting these secrets, especially those assigned to the expert mountain tour.”

Deer Valley Resort Vying Again for World’s Best Ski Resort

Beginning today, the competition for the third annual World Ski Awards commences and Deer Valley Resort hopes to maintain its title as United States’ Best Ski Resort earned the past two consecutive years and vie for the title of World’s Best Ski Resort. The World Ski Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in ski tourism and focuses on the leading 20 nations who are shaping the future of the ski industry. Launched in 2013, World Ski Awards was developed in reaction to overwhelming demand from the ski industry for a fair and transparent program with a mission to serve as the definitive benchmark of ski tourism excellence.

“Deer Valley Resort won the distinction of being named United States’ Best Ski Resort for 2013 and 2014 among a short list of USA finalists,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort. “It was an honor to have our commitment to excellence rewarded by industry peers and the guests and fans of the resort who voted for us. We plan to work just as hard this year to earn the same honor and hopefully continue on to be named Worlds’ Best Ski Resort.”

Voting for this year’s World Ski Awards opens June 5 and closes September 25, 2015. The 2015 country winners will be announced at a red carpet World Ski Awards ceremony at the A-ROSA Kitzbühel, Austria, on November 22, 2015, as part of a three-day program of VIP events and networking activities. Voting will take place at and World Ski Awards’ Facebook page.

The World Ski Awards is part of World Travel Awards, currently celebrating 22 years as “the Oscars of the travel industry.” For more information on the award and voting for Deer Valley as World Best Ski Resort, please visit the resort’s website at To follow Resort happenings on social media, search #skithedifference.

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.

300 The Lodges at Deer Valley

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.”

299 The Lodges at Deer Valley

The winter season specials and packages offered exclusively by Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations are included below. Guests can visit 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 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 Resort Appoints New Food and Beverage Director


Jodie Rogers

                                               Jodie Rogers

Deer Valley Resort announced the promotion of Jodie Rogers to director of food and beverage. Julie Wilson, Deer Valley’s former director of food and beverage for over 30 years, will be retiring from the director position and transitioning to consulting for special food and beverage projects for Deer Valley Resorts, including Solitude Mountain Resort.

Julie Wilson

                                                Julie Wilson

Most recently, Rogers served as the executive chef of Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges, where she handled operations for all Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges restaurants and food events, including breakfast and lunch in the Snow Park Restaurant and Empire Canyon Grill; cuisine for the child care and ski school programs; après-ski appetizers in the EBS Lounge, Seafood Buffet, Fireside Dining, Deer Valley Grocery~Café and The Brass Tag, as well as, all summers banquets and weddings at the resort.

“Deer Valley is known for its award-winning food and beverage operations and Jodie has been vital to this success,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager for Deer Valley Resort. “She is a talented chef and her contributions to Deer Valley over the years have been substantial. We are so lucky to have her continue in this new role.”

As the Director Food and Beverage, Rogers will oversee all operations and offerings at the resort’s 12 restaurants, bakery and banquet operations.

Rogers, a native of Australia, spent her first five winters at Deer Valley as the manager of the employee dining program as well as an assistant sous chef and then sous chef at Snow Park Lodge. She was promoted to Snow Park Executive Chef in December 2000, Empire Canyon Lodge was added to her responsibilities in 2002, Deer Valley Grocery~Café in 2010 and The Brass Tag at the Lodges at Deer Valley in 2014. Rogers boasts a 20-year cooking career that includes several hotels in Sydney, Australia and working as head chef at Australia’s Charlotte Pass Resort. In both 1994 and 1998 she was part of the cooking teams that took the Australian Salon Culinare, Restaurant of Champions gold medal. She successfully opened Toast Bar and Restaurant in London, England in 1999. Rogers was invited to cook on NBC’s Today Show in March of 2014.

In addition to her many roles at Deer Valley, Rogers is the co-president of the Park City Area Restaurant Association, vice chairperson for the Summit Community Gardens and volunteers for the EATS program at Park City area schools.

Rogers currently resides in Park City with her husband Michael, son Graham and daughter Remy and enjoys skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, running half marathons, hiking, traveling, rock climbing, and cooking with her kids. For more information visit

Lessons for a Memorable Mother Daughter Ski Day

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Getting away from the daily grind and escaping to the silence and solitude of snow capped mountains is something this mom dreams of. Where piles of laundry are replaced by a blanket of fresh falling snow. Where my snug fitting helmet drowns out the constant river of minutia that continually babbles from my 10 year old daughter. To simply have a little “me” time.

So what the heck was I thinking, inviting all of these people with me??

It’s not what I was thinking, it’s what I knew: The more the merrier! This day on the slopes was meant to be shared, and I was going to have a blast with moms who have become friends and their sweet gals, too.

When it came time for my daughter to have her second round of ski lessons to help her become the pro she sees in her mind (see her first time here), I knew from experience she’d do best with her gaggle of gal pals.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Each year, Ski Utah offers a Ski Passport program that gives 5th graders the opportunity to ski at each of Utah’s 15 resorts three times during the ski season for a one-time processing fee of just $45. 6th graders can sign up too, receiving one pass to each of the 15 ski resorts.

Ali and her friends each had their Ski Passports in hand so it was a no-brainer we should have them all come up together.

But then I had an epiphany! Let’s make this a mom and daughter date and invite the moms along for the ride. Why should the kids be the only ones to have all the fun?

I’d skied with each of the girls together but this was a first with the moms. There are a few rules of thumb I followed in gathering this larger group together and I must say, it made the day a total success.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Invite Skiers of the Same Level

A group that skis together has fun together. Making sure each of the young girls were all at the same level of skiing was paramount to turning the day into a fun day instead of a purely teaching day. And that went for the moms too.

Two of us moms grew up skiing and had skied together before so that was a no-brainer. Two moms had taken up the sport just a few years before. One mom just switched over from snowboarding to skiing, she realized it was no fun to have to rescue your fallen daughter on skis while on a snowboard.

Not to worry, moguls and bumps for the two more experienced in the group have given way to long cruisers on Deer Valley’s perfectly groomed runs. We were more than happy to spend the day working on our turns with the rest of the crew.

For the girls, they had all been skiing together before and loved having their freedom of riding the lifts on their own. And us moms were more than happy to let them.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Take It Easy

With five moms who are used to being in charge, five girls who were beyond chatty with excitement and two cars with plenty of gear to keep straight, the decision was made early in the game to take it easy and don’t rush the morning. We put the girls all in one car with one mom driver so they could crank up the tunes and chit chat away while the other moms piled into the other car for a more leisure ride of discussing school politics, hair dye and the latest episode of Scandal.

Once we arrived at Deer Valley, we consciously didn’t rush. Nor did we have to. Everyone from the shuttle driver to the ticket agents and the lift operators made it simple for us to ease into our snow day.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Independence Day

Being together as moms and daughters doesn’t mean we had to be glued in pairs like animals on Noah’s Ark. Instead, the moms were happy to let our gals head up on the first chair on their own and leave us in their snow dust as we followed a few chairs behind.

As luck would have it and being the extra observant mothers that we are, one of us spied a single blue ski pole half buried in the snow under the chair. “I hope that isn’t ours,” said one mom, as the other mom immediately replied, “Oh no, it is. I bet it’s Katie’s.” “Yep,” we all agreed in unison. “If it’s anyone’s, it’s Katie’s.”

Long story short, we spent our first two laps on Silver Link ski run searching for the easiest route to gather Katie’s pole. But good moms (and daughters) that we are, there was no blaming, there was no sulking, it just became an adventure for us all to map out and go on together. Finally, we put in a call to Deer Valley Ski Patrol to retrieve it for us.


Deer Valley Natural Buffet Snow Park Lodge

Ladies Who Lunch

With a few runs under our belts the girls were already asking for lunch. What? After operation pole retrieval It seemed like we’d just gotten there. But why fight it? Sure, let’s get some food in those bellies, because we all know a hungry kid is a grumpy kid. And truth be known, I knew what was in store so I was more than happy to belly up.

We headed back down to Snow Park Lodge for a feast. When Katie’s mom jokingly told her she’d packed her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich she almost fell off her of chair. As the most adventurous eater of the junior group, this was her favorite part of the day.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

There was no shortage of variety for all of us to load our trays. As a fan of the Natural Buffet salad bar, I was pushing it like a used car salesman. Where else on a ski hill can you get a daily variety of ultra fresh salads to accent your baby greens? Italian Wheatberries and Tomato Salad, Rainbow Pasta and Shrimp Salad or Sczechan Eggplant Salad with baby kale, fried tofu and sugar snap peas! Not to mention steamed artichokes with saffron aioli and Deer Valley’s own housemade cheeses and an assortment of olives that made a meal in themselves.

Even so, two of the moms simply couldn’t resist Deer Valley’s famous Turkey Chili. And, really, why should they? It’s the best.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Grilled cheese, more turkey chili, and for our wonder-eater Katie, the special Ruben Cheese Burger rounded out our tastings.

Of course treating the girls to whatever dessert they wanted (carrot cake for my girl!) gave each of us moms a reason to ask for a bite (or five) as we discussed who was on what diet and how it was going. No blame here, we were working up an appetite.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Ditch the Kids

As every mom will tell you, we love our babes. But how great is it to put them into the capable hands of someone else so we could be on our own for a little faster paced afternoon?

Enter Letitia Lussier, a Deer Valley ski instructor since 1981, she knew exactly what motivated these girls and was ready to teach them a lesson or two that they wouldn’t usually hear—or listen to—from their dear old moms.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

After assessing their abilities, Letitia took the girls down Silver Link and then over to Quincy Express and Silver Strike Express chairlifts, where they happily skied blue ski runs and discovered hidden trails through the trees. As moms will do, we followed along for a run or two and then headed off on our own girls day adventure.

It had begun to snow harder at this point, making for a fluffed layer of Utah’s famous light powder on the expertly groomed runs. We couldn’t have asked for more.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

The moms made our way over to Empire Express and skied longer and faster than we had with our mini-me’s, giving our thighs and form the workout they both needed.

Or, something like that.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Snow Park to meet up with our gals and start the trek back home.

Why oh why did it have to end?

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

Take a Selfie

After finding our girlie group and thanking Letitia for an amazing day on both spectrums of the age range, we brought the cars up and readied ourselves for the ride home.

But first, of course, we posed for a selfie.

In this day and age you simply can’t escape getting a group photo (or 19) to document the day. And why would you?

Because these memories are what mom and daughter dates are made for.

Lessons for a Great Mother/Daughter Ski Day at Deer Valley Resort

What We Learned

Favorite part of the lesson: I really liked our ski instructor. “She told me to lean forward more and it just helped a lot.”

Favorite thing about Deer Valley: “My favorite part about skiing at Deer Valley was hanging out with all of my friends and their moms. The runs were really groomed. Yeah, it was awesome.”

Favorite lunch: “Cheeseburger and a chocolate chip cookie”

Favorite part of the lesson: “I liked learning how to ski the trees. She took us on more inclines and more steep hills, too. She helped us learn how to balance and keep more on our turns by bouncing and staying on one foot and on the balls of our feet with our knees and shoulders past our toes.

Favorite thing about Deer Valley: “The thing about Deer Valley is that the runs are really groomed and it just makes it a lot easier.”

Favorite lunch: “Grilled cheese and a chocolate croissant.”

Favorite part of the lesson: “My favorite thing was going through the trees like when we went into Bucky’s Front Yard and the other trails. That was the most challenging part of it. She taught us to stay far apart from everybody and that we can’t go close to each other, and for everybody to go at their own speed. And she told me to not lean back on my skis.”

Favorite part of Deer Valley: “I like the runs by Quincy Express chairlift the best. And riding the lift with my friends. And lunch. And it snowed!”

Favorite lunch: Turkey chili and carrot cake

Favorite part of the lesson: “The best thing I learned today was to balance on your skis more. The instructor first had us pick up our outside leg and then she had us stop and just pick up the other leg and then only have the tip of the ski on the ground and everything else up when we’re turning.”

Favorite part of Deer Valley: “They have a lot of area to ski and the bathrooms are super nice.”

Favorite lunch: “I got a special Ruben with cheese on it and chocolate chip cookie.”

Favorite part of the lesson: “I learned that you have to keep your body forward and that you have to ski aggressive!”

Favorite part of Deer Valley: “Probably going down Success ski run with my mom and the hills and how it’s so beautiful with beautiful trees in the mountains, and probably the food. I have so many things.”

Favorite lunch: I had the famous Turkey Chili with some bread and apple cider and a huge cookie. It was so good.”

For a list of kid’s trails, download the Kids Adventure Map here.

To sign up for Youth Ski School, visit here.

For a list of on-mountain dining options, visit here.

Heidi Larsen is the creator of, the blog and online magazine featuring family friendly recipes and inspiring photography. She also photographs Deer Valley Resort’s food and fine dining when not enjoying quality time on the ski hill with her husband and 10 year old daughter. See more of what she’s crushing on at Facebook and Instagram.

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.


“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 

Deer Valley Resort’s President and General Manager Bob Wheaton, reviews the 2014 – 2015 ski season

Deer Valley Resort’s President and General Manager Bob Wheaton, gives a review of the 2014 – 2015 ski season and invites you to come #SkiTheDifference in the 2015 – 2016 season. Presented by The Ski Channel.

Deer Valley Resort and Stein Eriksen Receive Governor’s State of Sport Awards

Deer Valley Resort and its Director of Skiing, Stein Eriksen, both received awards at the fourth annual Governor’s State of Sport Awards Dinner, hosted by the Utah Sports Commission and presented by Zions Bank.

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Honoring Utah’s sports achievements and celebrating Utah’s sports community, the Utah Sports Commission has awarded Deer Valley Resort the 2015 Partner of the Year Award. The Utah Sports Commission’s success is shared by many key partners and friends within Utah’s sports industry. The Partner of the Year Award recognizes the extraordinary efforts, resources and other support from sponsors, venues, hospitality, community, local organizing committees, events rights holders, volunteers and others in Utah’s sports industry who contribute valuable assistance in continuing to establish Utah as The State of Sport and enhance its Olympic Legacy. Past recipients include Zions Bank and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

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“Deer Valley has been a valuable partner in helping sustain Utah’s Olympic legacy,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “Since hosting a large portion of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Deer Valley has continued to host World Cups and World Championships, inviting the world’s best freestyle athletes back year after year and showcasing this renowned venue to the world.”

04212015 State of Sport 036In its 34-year history, Deer Valley Resort has consistently ranked #1 in SKI Magazine’s reader’s poll, as well as garnered countless additional awards and recognitions, such as being named United States Best Ski Resort by the World Ski Awards. During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Deer Valley Resort was host to the men’s and women’s freestyle aerial, freestyle mogul and alpine slalom events and has hosted the 2003 and 2011 Freestyle World Championships. The Resort is a favorite stop on

the Freestyle World Cup circuit each year and each of these events bring significant economic impact and exposure to the state of Utah.

Olympic Gold Medalist and Deer Valley’s Director of Skiing, Stein Eriksen, received the Governor’s State of Sport Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to skiing and sports in Utah. The award is given to those who have made significant contributions in advancing and promoting sports that serve to enhance the quality of life for Utah citizens. Past recipients include Larry H. Miller (posthumously), Spencer F. Eccles, Billy Casper and Jack Nicklaus.

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“It is an honor to pay tribute to one of Utah’s most iconic sports figures for his contribution to the sport of skiing in Utah and across the Intermountain Ski Areas,” said Robbins. “Stein has garnered recognition the world over for his pioneering spirit in the sport of skiing and we are proud he has called Utah home since 1969.”

As the most recognized name in the ski world, Stein Eriksen has been synonymous with skiing style and elegance for more than half a century. The first alpine skier to win triple gold at a world championship, an Olympic Gold Medalist and ambassador and father of freestyle skiing, Eriksen has parlayed all that he knows and loves about the sport into an incredible career that has spanned almost six decades and changed the face of alpine skiing worldwide. The patriarch of elegant skiing, Eriksen successfully utilized his passion for skiing into a lifetime career and helped cultivate the internationally-renowned luxury hotel, which bears his name, located mid-mountain at Deer Valley Resort.

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Both awards were presented last night, Tuesday, April 21 at the Governor’s State of Sport Awards Dinner held at EnergySolutions Arena. Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert provided welcoming remarks and presented the special awards to Deer Valley and Stein Eriksen. Acclaimed entertainer and motorsports enthusiast Jay Leno was also in attendance to help celebrate Utah’s best athletic achievements for the 2014 calendar year.

For more information about the Governor’s State of Sports Awards, please visit the State of Sport Awards website here.