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.

Deer Valley Resort’s President Receives S. Joseph Quinney Award

Deer Valley Resort’s President and General Manager, Bob Wheaton, is the 2014 S. Joseph Quinney Award Honoree from the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. Named for the late Utah lawyer, businessman, state legislator, ski visionary and founder of Alta Ski Resort, who is often referred to as “the father of Utah’s ski industry,” the Quinney Award is presented each year to an individual or organization exhibiting the same public-spirited attributes and contributions to winter sports as its namesake.

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Quinney Award recipient, Bob Wheaton, joined Deer Valley Resort in 1980 and worked his way up to resort president in 1997. With Wheaton at the helm, Deer Valley Resort has held the distinction of being rated by readers of SKI Magazine as the number one resort in North America seven times, five of those years consecutively, and has ranked among the top three resorts in North America for the past 16 years. For 2015, Deer Valley was ranked the number two resort in North America and the number one resort in the United States. In 2013 the resort was awarded the United States’ Best Ski Resort award at the inaugural World Ski Awards.

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“To receive the S. Joseph Quinney Award, that pays homage to a man I revere, and be included among peers who have all played a vital role in furthering Utah’s ski history, is such an honor,” said Wheaton. “For the past 45 years, the ski industry has been a cornerstone of my life. I will continue to do what I can to keep it a mainstay of Utah’s future.”

Wheaton’s extensive public service work and contributions to winter sports are aligned with the legacy of S. Joseph Quinney. He is a past president of the board of directors of both the Park City Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau and the Intermountain Ski Areas Association. Currently, he serves on Ski Utah’s executive committee and is a two-time past president and has served on the board of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Wheaton is also on the boards of the Utah Symphony and Opera, the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and the National Ski Area Operators Association.

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Wheaton is a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Intermountain Ski Areas Association, the Park City Rotary Club’s Professional Citizen of the Year Award and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. He was inducted into the Utah Tourism Hall of Fame and worked closely with the organizing committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, for which Deer Valley hosted the freestyle mogul and aerial events, along with the alpine slalom competitions.

Wheaton received the Quinney Award at the 24th annual Ski Affair, a fun- and nostalgia-filled fundraising dinner presented by the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library’s Ski Archives, held at Little America in downtown Salt Lake City on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. The Ski Archives house the largest cache of skiing and snow sports history in the country.

My Top Five “Only in Park City” Experiences

Nearly every day, I find some reason to appreciate the moments and experiences that make life in Park City, Utah unique. Believe it or not, these moments don’t revolve entirely around sports experiences—though I engage in as many seasonally-relevant sports as possible every week. But sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, you get those, “Only in Park City” moments that fill you with wonder at the dumb luck of living in such a terrific place. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Everyone gives back

The ways in which we give back are so numerous, I can’t even begin to list them all here. Schools get kids involved early with opportunities to give—often having classrooms compete with pennies to raise funds for a charity, and once the students enter middle school, their curriculum includes community service hours.  Deer Valley connects hundreds of students each year with our state’s heritage at the annual Navajo Rug Show. Parents and non-parents volunteer time in the classrooms of our schools. Also, I have been asked annually to be a guest speaker on the topic of professional writing and blogging for the ninth graders in Honors English, as they embark on writing their own blogs. I’m very proud to be able to give back to my community in this way. And I’m hardly alone: When Lance attended a summer camp called Innovation in Action Institute (which focused on entrepreneurial skills), one local entrepreneur-parent gave a video-conference presentation to the students, while he was on a business trip. Countless friends of mine contribute their time to the Center for Advanced Professional Studies, run by the school district.

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And on November 7, the annual Live PC, Give PC Day of Giving will overtake the town, with volunteers wearing T-shirts, holding signs, calling in to KPCW and generally getting the word out that people can donate to one or more non-profits to help support the programming that keeps the town running (with ED, or otherwise.) It’s a great way for locals and guests to show their support for all the work our town’s non-profits do to benefit the entire community. It’s this kind of collaborative approach that makes our town unique—because we all feel that we’re contributing to the success of the town, beyond just spending money on ski passes and shopping in the stores.

Parkites love nothing more than sharing an experience—witness the countless outdoor concerts, where there’s a “huge crowd, whether it’s free or paid. But we seem to excel at the experience of giving.

2. We WIN Lost and Found

Our local radio station, KPCW does an excellent job sharing Lost and Found announcements. Dogs, wallets and cell phones figure heavily in these announcements. But once in a while, I’ll have an experience that wouldn’t happen in most of the cities I’ve lived in previously. To wit: One week, I enjoyed Standup Paddleboarding outings with friends, not once, not twice, but three times. My son, Lance, left a tote bag with dry clothes somewhere on the grass beach near the pond.

Photot Credit: Michael Larsen of Larsen and Talber

Photot Credit: Michael Larsen of Larsen and Talber

We discovered this after we arrived home, so we schlepped back to the Deer Valley Grocery~Café to look for it. Oddly, we couldn’t find it—but we did spot a towel and wet suit belonging to his friend Ben, who’d been with us that day. So the trip wasn’t for naught and I began to wonder if we’d actually brought the bag with us in the first place. Imagine my delight when, the following Wednesday after we’d finished paddling with our friends Tracy, Michael and their kids, I spotted the bag sitting between the building’s AC units.

Photo Credit: Michael Larsen of Larsen and Talber

              Photo Credit: Michael Larsen of Larsen and Talber

When I showed it to Michael, he was astounded—“That’s been here since Saturday?” he asked with the disbelief of a longtime city-dweller. So stunning was this discovery, that Michael took a photo of the bag in its waiting spot.

3. We Chase Balloons

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No matter how frequently it happens, my family and I never tire of noticing hot-air balloons dancing over the early-morning horizon. On a recent morning, there were three coming up over the ridge that we could see from our breakfast table. It looked improbably pretty, like a painting. One morning, when Seth and I had some time between dropping off his brother at camp and the beginning of his own camp, we saw a balloon that was about to land near a parking lot off of US 40. We drove over to watch the landing, so he could see how graceful it looks.

4. We get customer service

Deer Valley Resort is only one example of the way Park City does its best to be hospitable to locals and visitors alike, and to make sure the experience is stellar. Park City MARC runs terrific programming all year for our town’s youth, exposing them to skateboarding, soccer, fencing and basketball, to name just a few. One standout? The excellent tennis programs, including their camps, which my kids attended this summer.

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Of course everyone has an “off”day, and happened one day when my younger son was attending the tennis camp. I couldn’t get a straight answer on something that was happening at camp—the details of the situation are unimportant here, but the fact is when I expressed my concern, the front-desk staffers, Sadie and Marianne, heard it. Sadie escorted me to the operations office where I met Recreation Supervisor Tate Shaw. “I get that mistakes and oversights happen,” I told him. “But the mark of a good organization is how well the situation gets handled after the mistake.” Tate took my concerns seriously, addressed them with the staff and called the following day to let me know that it had indeed been resolved to my satisfaction. I know this seems like a small thing to some people—but if you’ve ever been stuck in an endless ladder of customer service auto-prompts with a big company, the fact of having an actual human being listen to you is not to be undervalued. The other thing that this experience reinforced is Park City’s small town charm and the “it takes a village” mentality, that comes to bear almost every day in little ways. When I expressed a concern about an issue in a program my child was in, it was taken as seriously as though it were a staff members child.

5. We Dress for Success

On most of the days that I took Lance to Standup Paddleboarding camp at the Deer Valley Grocery~Cafè Pond, I arrived ready to paddle.

Photo Credit: Michael Larsen of Larsen and Talber

            Photo Credit: Michael Larsen of Larsen and Talber

Except one day, I arrived dressed for the meeting I’d left briefly, to run Lance up to camp. As Trent came paddling ashore to greet Lance, he said with some surprise, “Oh, it’s YOU! I thought you sent someone else to drop off Lance!” The fact is most days I put on exercise clothes first—and may not find myself in street clothes until the following day. After all, when you’re fitting in exercise and sports around the other necessary activities of daily life and you have the kind of job that only occasionally requires a professional wardrobe, dressing for work has a different meaning. For someone who worked in fashion magazines for a very long time and once received a “once-over” from the editor of Vogue, it’s frankly a relief. There’s a definite vibe of “come as you are,” in Park City. Biking to a meeting is a good thing, riding a chairlift to one is even better. So if you see me looking like I’ve been loafing around in yoga pants or ski clothes all day, chances are you’re half-right—but in this town, that’s dressing for success.