Some people only like skiing, some only like to watch movies, but there’s a vast universe of individuals who are into both. If given the opportunity, many might attempt to satisfy their combined craving for the silver screen and the white slopes. If you happen to be one these special creatures, Deer Valley Resort and Park City, UT are most definitely the best spot in the world to marry your two favorite hobbies.
Most ski vacations always suggest a good mix between snow activities during the day and après-ski action once the sun set, yet very few can offer the absolutely perfect blend than a stay at Deer Valley the end of January; timed while the Sundance Film Festival is underway, in Park City. That’s right; on-slope traffic is light as film-obsessed visitors use their very short mornings to emerge from endless late night parties. In fact, skiing is at its best; just enough skiers to chat with on the chairs, uncrowded restaurants, the very best instructors available for you at the ski school and plenty of early morning skiing without the need to rush and beat the crowds.
The Film Festival that runs this year between the 21st and 31st of January only requires a few extra skills including sleep and diet management. If you can avoid the post-midnight screening and the parties that follow, and if you have a definite strength of character, then you might be an ideal candidate. The big secret is to stand up early enough in the morning and take advantage of the pristine corduroy that is waiting for you and a select few on the slopes, or the overnight fresh powder “dump” that dropped, almost as a special order, while you were having fun and catching some precious hours of sleep the night before.
If you don’t believe you can overcome mid-day drowsiness, don’t get discouraged. You will soon find out, during the afternoons and evenings that not all movies are created equal; while you’ll find some of them to be just outstanding, a few may fail to pass muster with your discriminating taste or worse, others are downright bad in spite of the appealing synopsis that you thought you had read twice. This is in fact a blessing in disguise; when it happens, do not feel bad, don’t try to resist or even feel guilty; just take a gentle nap through the panel discussion and this will go a long way to keeping you in decent ski shape the following morning or to be fully refreshed when it’s time for your next flick!
Another way to maximize your joint skiing and festival-going experience is to improve on your “food management” skills. You would ideally plan on having a good breakfast, but reality might get in the way and force you to choose between eating something and going skiing while it’s still morning. I recommend the later, because lunches at Deer Valley Resort are so delicious and are – in my view – the only true representation of the “food pyramid.” So, use the lunch break to restore your energy and even take that extra portion to make up for the long evening ahead. It’s hard to get into restaurants on Main Street at night anyway and, beside popcorn, there isn’t a lot you can munch on for the rest of the day. Eat a healthy, hearty lunch and use it as a well-timed break, right on the slopes. Luckily, if your lunch fails to sustain your appetite throughout the night, Deer Valley’s four evening restaurants are slightly off the beaten path for festival goers and are able to offer plenty of availability and parking during Sundance.
A unique pair of extra benefits from screening movies while skiing is that you will have some compelling stories to tell your chairlift companions and chances are that the abundant cinematographic knowledge you’ll display in the process will make them think that you’re a producer, a famous director or an up and coming actor. If this wasn’t already cool, wait until you attend the hundreds of parties you’ll find yourself invited to during the evenings. Just say a few words about your day and everyone listening will soon assume that your name is Lyndsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Heidi Voelker or even Stein Eriksen, and not necessarily in this order!
Finally don’t worry about not being on top of “Everything Festival” while you’re on the hill; there are now Sundance Film Festival smart phone apps to provide you with real-time information about movie trailers, interaction with Twitter and Facebook, plus all of your evening venues while you are enjoying a wonderful ski day in the sun! Of course, you might always add some business sideline to your ski trip by bringing along the script you’ve always thought should be made into a movie, mingle with movie moguls at night to plot investment strategies and perhaps schedule your very own casting.
As always, your Deer Valley vacation could end up being much more than just skiing!