Gearing up!

“Do the boots fit? Have they outgrown their skis? Will their goggles cover their foreheads, or have they outgrown those too? What about mittens? We never seem to have enough mittens.”

These are the conversations that preoccupy my family’s fall weekends. We dig through ski bags. We try on helmets. And as being the beneficiaries of some pretty sweet hand-me-down jackets and pants, we have the kids try on the pieces that seem closest to their sizes.

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This year Lance is 11 which means that on his next birthday he will officially complete the annual rental contract at Utah Ski and Golf, he started at age three. Since enrolling he has upgraded to the front-entry boots. He has gone up to a ski length that is closer-than-ever to my own ski length. (Just as his bike is but one size smaller than mine.) We’ll be taking Seth to Surefoot and Jans to see where he falls on the trade-in scale—certainly he’s up at least a size in boots at least a size in skis. I thought recently, “there is nothing quite so humbling as marking the passage of time in outgrown ski gear.”

I am also humbled by the leaps in maturity, too. Lance turned the “boot corner” this year. The minute he slipped his feet into his new boots, he announced, “These feel great!” No drama, no discussion about how they “should feel.” He’s a skier. They felt right. He knew.

Lance turned another corner. When the tech asked about his ski level, we didn’t hedge. Our instincts and experience told us that he is, officially, a great skier. He attacked terrain with a different confidence last season, and he had the look—the one that says, “I can’t wait to attack it again.”

Share with me how you are gearing up your family for this season on Twitter   or @Deer_Valley. See you on the slopes!

Learning to Ski at 65: First Day 2014 – 2015 Season

People are often surprised when I share that my husband Jay who is over 65 is learning to ski. When you think about it though, it makes perfect sense. Your mid-sixties is a great time to learn a new sport, like skiing!

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Sometimes going back to an old sport can be frustrating. When Jay was in high school he was a scratch golfer. Then he didn’t play for many years.  When he did rekindle his desire to play golf it didn’t go so well for him.

In his “mind’s eye” he saw himself as his younger self who hit the ball far, straight down the fairway or curved on demand.  He was an excellent chipper and read the greens fully expecting to make his putts.

Sometimes in real life, when you haven’t played a sport in a long time and you are 15 years older, you don’t live up to the mental picture from your youth. When Jay shot an 80, he became frustrated and disappointed.

He was completely supportive of me when all I did was hit the ball in the air 50 yards at a time.

“Great shot” he’d say (when it really wasn’t so great).

Once we were playing with my father who remarked, “That was a terrible shot [Nancy made]. Why did you say it was good?”

Jay said, “She got it up in the air.”  (Implying that I’d been essentially rolling the ball on the ground 20 yards at a time in previous shots.)

I was excited since I was making progress even though the ball was not even close to my target.  When Jay would hit a drive four times as far as me and then grumble under his breath, I couldn’t understand.  The shot sure looked fantastic to me!

Skiing is different.

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Since Jay had never strapped on a pair of skis until two years ago, he didn’t have a high performance mental picture in his head to live up to.  He had an appropriate expectation — gain some skills, build on them and have a ton of fun.  While the grandkids are young, learn to ski to be able to be on the slopes with them. Create memories that will last a lifetime.

To reinforce his skills and set him up for a successful ski season, he started the season with a Max 4 lesson. One thing Jay did learn from golf, was to take lessons early and often in order to improve quickly.

Here’s what he said about his Max 4 Ski Lesson at Deer Valley Resort.

“What I love about skiing is you can become relatively competent pretty quickly.”

“I can get good enough to enjoy myself and have fun – skiing is essentially sliding in the snow, right? Sliding down the hill is fun.”

“Skiing is an individual sport so no matter your level, you can have a great time.”

Jay’s instructor reinforced what he’d learned last year and focused on the fundamentals. She also gave him some skills to practice to improve his control.  He is excited, having fun and making progress. Who could ask for more?

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Jay’s instructor also reinforced the idea that Jay is exactly where he needs to be in his skiing skills development and he should enjoy every step of his skiing journey.

Which is a lot more than he can say for his golf game. For more information on Deer Valley’s Max 4 Ski Lessons – click here.

 

Deer Valley Announces Solitude Mountain Resort General Manager

Deer Valley Resort has appointed Kim Mayhew as Solitude Mountain Resort’s new general manager effective May 1, 2015. In the interim, Kim will act as the Solitude transition manager, providing leadership and guidance as Deer Valley moves forward in planning the shift to ownership. Kim brings extensive knowledge of the ski industry to the position and is currently in her 33rd year of employment at Deer Valley Resort as the Director of Human Resources.

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As Director of Human Resources, Kim oversees the recruiting, hiring, payroll, benefits and employee relationships for 2,800 Deer Valley employees annually. Prior to becoming director of human resources in 2001, Kim also worked as a ski school instructor, children’s program supervisor, training supervisor and children’s program manager. She was also instrumental in the development of the Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp.

“We are thrilled to have Kim lead the charge at Solitude Resort,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager for Deer Valley Resort. “Kim will bring exceptional leadership and guidance as she transitions to our newest resort.”

Since the age of three, Kim has been involved in skiing. As a teen she raced in the alpine giant slalom discipline and began teaching skiing in 1978. A New Hampshire native, she made her way to Utah with her husband in 1980 and continued her passion for the ski industry as a ski instructor at Sundance Mountain Resort. In the summer of 1982, Kim interviewed for a ski instructor position at Deer Valley Resort and never looked back.

Kim and her husband Jack have a grown son, Peter, and a new daughter-in-law, Victoria, who live in the Park City area. When Mayhew isn’t on the slopes she enjoys running, biking, hiking, music and reading.

World Cup like a Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All events are free to the public.

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

Deer Valley Resort’s Summit Meadows Adventures 2014-2015 Winter Season

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Deer Valley owned and operated Summit Meadows Adventures guided snowmobile tours take place on the Garff Ranch, located a short five-mile, 10-minute drive from Park City’s Main Street, on Brown’s Canyon Road (off Highway 248). Summit Meadows Adventures has access to 7,000 acres of pristine open lands on which to snowmobile. Beautiful scenic views of the Wasatch Mountains make this an adventure you won’t want to miss. Complimentary transportation from Park City is available. For more information or reservations please call 888-896-7669 or 435-645-7669. Guided tours use single or double capacity machines.

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One or two hour guided tours are available daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., conditions permitting. Private tours are also available with a two-hour minimum.

A one-hour guided tour costs $109 per person, with a passenger rate of $20. A two-hour guided tour costs $149 per person, with a passenger rate of $30. Private tours are $125 per person/per hour with a two hour and two-person minimum.

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For more information, please visit http://www.deervalley.com/WhatToDo/Winter/Snowmobiling

Shabbat on the Slopes

One of my favorite winter traditions is the Friday afternoon Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) service in Sunset Cabin, at Deer Valley Resort. Affectionately referred to by members of Temple Har Shalom in Park City as “Ski Schule.” The service is informal and fun, it feels a little bit like camp, and a lot like one of the coolest ways to practice religion I have ever encountered. That is saying something, I have prayed on top of Masada in Israel, and once, my family and I led a service on a cruise ship.

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By the way, I’m uniquely qualified to  assess “cool ways to practice religion,” because I spent one summer at a camp called USY on Wheels, which is a motor-coach tour of the United States. USY is a youth group for Jewish teens, and the purpose of the trip wasn’t just to show several busloads of children the amazing cities and national parks, small towns and stretches of highway that make up our country, but to allow us to experience the idea that you can practice Judaism anywhere. We held services at the Grand Canyon, in picnic areas in Yellowstone, in hotel conference rooms, at highway rest stops. (My husband and I met on this trip, in fact, but that’s another story, altogether.)

Ski Schule has become a tradition for my family. The service is led by members of Temple Har Shalom, often by a rabbi, but frequently by a layperson, in addition to the regular Friday night services in the synagogue, itself. Members and visitors alike, delight in the bragging rights to what may be North America’s only ski-in-ski-out Shabbat service. One recent Friday, I was asked to lead the service. I jumped at the chance, and so did Seth, whose half-day Friday schedule made it easy for him to come help me. So, loaded up with a (homemade-by-me) challah, some grape juice and the key to the cabin, in a backpack, we headed for the hill.

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Every bit of the experience thrilled Seth and me. Setting up was a hoot, Seth found all the “secret compartments” where supplies were stashed. Quickly we gathered supplies, and unloaded the contents of the backpack, then hung the Israeli flag on the pegs outside the door of the cabin.

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Welcoming guests was a blast. Everyone was excited to be there. On this day, it was all locals—which made sense, since the majority of holiday guests were en route or just checking in for the winter break. Helmets were removed, friendly faces revealed—happily, my friends Sue and Ethan, also enjoying a mother-son ski outing, were among them. “I wanted to surprise you,” she said with an impish grin—acknowledging that she had made a zillion excuses as to why she could not join me, just two days earlier. Another guest invited her Mahre Camp coach to join us—something I’m sure he didn’t expect when he clicked into his bindings that morning. A family of three arrived, parents rejoicing in their daughter’s half-day of school, so they could share some turns and the service, together.

Soon, we sang some opening songs and then got down to business. The service is a complete, but abbreviated version of the Reform Jewish “Welcoming the Sabbath” service, held in synagogues around the world on Friday nights. Seth actually stepped up to lead a prayer (making his Jewish mother, who also teaches Hebrew School—kvell) and then, in the tradition of seven year olds, everywhere, grew antsy. “I’m hungry!” He announced just loudly enough that a fellow worshipper heard, and responded by producing a mini Kit Kat from his pocket. (Yes, dear reader, it was the rare candy-free ski day, and I won’t make that mistake again, anytime soon.)

As we concluded the service, I marveled at this amazing blend of communities—guests from all over the world will come to Sunset Cabin, all winter, to be among other worshippers. If you ask them, they will surely tell you the experience enhances, rather than interrupts, their ski day.

To me, Ski Schule (as well as the non-denominational Christian service, held in the same cabin on Sundays at 2 p.m.) is one of those experience that helps define the Deer Valley Difference. It provides a gathering spot for like-minded people to share an experience that is unique and gratifying, social and spiritual. Come to think of it, that’s how I often define a great day on the hill at Deer Valley. How about you?

Would you like more information about services at Sunset Cabin? Send me a Tweet   or @Deer_Valley.

2015 Ski Season Goal Setting

Athletes set goals. Not just high-level generic goals but specific, measurable, relevant goals with a quantifiable deadline. They may implement the “Kaizen” practice of continuous improvement; significant results can come from many small changes accumulated over time.

However, the problem is that my goals didn’t seem to fit in the traditional goal setting model and certainly not using the term “athlete.”  You see, this season I don’t particularly want to shave off any time. I am perfectly content to enjoy my nice easy turns on the beautifully groomed runs at Deer Valley Resort.

I simply love skiing at Deer Valley. Don’t get me wrong, I have set goals the past three seasons of my serious skiing career (I was a beginner in 2012.) Now if a run has a blue square next to it, I am on it!

This year, enjoyment is the only goal I can think of.  Well unless you count “skiing as often as I can.”  Anything wrong with that? I don’t think so.

Athletes set goals and I completely respect that, but I am wondering if this year I should simply set enjoyment and happiness as my ski goals?

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.  If I did set some happiness targets, these would be on my list:

  • Eat more Turkey Chili – not all at one sitting. “Eat Turkey Chili more often” would be how I should word it180 Deer Valley Turkey Chili
  • Sit on “The Beach” at Silver Lake Lodge while basking in the sun with a beverage in my hand more often
  • Enjoy each one of Deer Valley’s restaurants (not all in one day of course)3
  • Ski with a beginner
  • Ski with an 80+ year old
  • Try out new Rossignol skis at the Yurt at Empire Lodge
  • Enjoy S’mores at the Montage and pet Monty the Bernese Mountain dog
  • Invite more friends to ski with me
  • Wear my ski pants to Mass on Sunday mornings and then go directly to Snow Park Lodge
  • Put on my Ibex or Smartwool layers and ski when its 5 degrees outside so I can experience the frozen air sparkling like diamonds from the lift
  • Take more selfies and post them with #SkiTheDifference on social media2
  • Sign up for the Women’s Weekend with a friend who has similar ability
  • Ski backwards
  • Listen to more music during Aprés Ski on the upper deck at Snow Park Lodge
  • Stand on top of (and ski down) Little Baldy, Bald Eagle, Bald Mountain, Flagstaff, Lady Morgan, and Empire mountains all in one day
  • Ask a mountain host to map out a “suggested ski day” for me based on my ability4
  • Take the hosted ski tour with other intermediate skiers
  • And so on…

What do you think of my goals for the season?  Any additional happiness suggestions? What are your goals for the 2015 winter ski season? Let me know on Twitter @Nancy_MoneyDiva or @Deer_Valley.

If you are more serious about setting goals than I am, here is a resource for goal setting from the U.S. Olympic Training Center; Setting Smart Goals – resource  U.S. Olympic Training Tips for Athletes and Kankyo Kaizen Starter Kit – Simpleology

New Package Deals Offered at Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley Resort is offering guests an impressive lineup of tailor-made lodging packages, providing unbeatable access throughout the 2014-2015 winter ski season to one of North America’s preeminent ski resorts. With Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservationsbeing owned and operated by the resort, guests have access to the largest selection of accommodations with the best service and availability in the Deer Valley area.

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Rated the #2 Overall Best Ski Resort by the readers of SKI Magazine and the United States’ Best Ski Resort by the 2014 World Ski Awards, Deer Valley Resort ushers in the winter season with deals such as a Stay Longer, Save More promotion, Early Value packages, Family Value packages, Dining and Spa specials, Spring Skiing deals and Sundance Film Festival promotions.

“The resort earning such esteemed accolades, as voted on by our guests and peers, gives our guests full confidence that they will receive the utmost level of service and personalized attention by local vacation planning experts,” said Dirk Beal, Deer Valley Resort’s director of sales.

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

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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, on-site Deer Valley ski rental shop and complimentary in-town shuttle 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 January 4 – 21January 27 – February 12, and March 29 – April 12, 2015Receive up to two complimentary child lift tickets per day and two Deer Valley ski rental discount vouchers for children 12 and under. The purchase of four adult lift tickets is also required.

Early and Late Season Value Packages
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 6 – 11, 2014, and April 5 – 12, 2015A minimum of four lift tickets total must be purchased with this package. 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 12, 2015A minimum of four lift tickets total must be purchased with this package. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property.

Ski, Stay, Dine & Spa 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, plus $100 in Zante Spa & Wellness dollars to be used toward a treatment of your choice. Package is valid January 4 – February 12, 2015. A minimum of four lift tickets total must be purchased with this package. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property.

Sundance Film Festival Promotions
The Sundance Film Festival is a great time to experience Deer Valley Resort! Reserve three nights lodging and receive the fourth night free at select properties, valid January 27-February 1, 2015. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property. This offer is not offered at Black Diamond Lodge.

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 22 – March 12, 2015A minimum of four 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.

Spring Value Package 
Spring is a great time to enjoy skiing at Deer Valley Resort and even better with 20% savings on lodging and lift tickets. Package is valid from March 29 – April 4, 2015. A minimum of four lift tickets total must be purchased with this package. Minimum night stay is required and varies by property.

Stay Longer, Save More
Receive free nights 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, stay 14 nights or more and receive four nights free. The stay six nights and receive one night free option is not valid December 26, 2014 – January 2, 2015February 13 – 21, and March 13 – 28, 2015.

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 Reservation Vacation Planner to clarify all package details. Visit deervalley.com for additional packages or promotions.

For a complete list of Deer Valley Resort’s 2014-2015 winter packages, rates and restrictions, please view the Deer Valley Resort Lodging & Reservations website.