Travel

A New Park City

This mining town turned ski haven strikes it hot with upgrades and openings for the new season.
By Larry Olmsted
When the adjacent Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort merged under new ownership in 2015, a gondola was built connecting the two sides into the largest single ski and snowboard resort in the United States, with 7,300 acres, over 330 trails, 43 lifts, and 7 terrain parks. It was one of the biggest resort transformations in ski history, but the renamed Park City Mountain has not rested on its laurels, and neither has the surrounding region, with several notable new enhancements making this winter season better than ever.
Creek House suite at The Lodge at Blue Sky

In June the Auberge Resorts Collection opened The Lodge at Blue Sky (aubergeresorts.com)—46 decadent rooms and villa-style suites set on a 3,500-acre ranch located 16 miles from the lifts at Park City Mountain (where The Lodge has a private club lounge and locker room). Guests can also heli-ski or cat-ski right from the hotel to over 200,000 acres of terrain in the Wasatch Mountains or take private, backcountry-skiing courses with expert guides. Born in California wine country, Auberge Resorts is known for its superlative food, wine, and spa offerings. Other winter ranch activities on-site include horseback riding, fly-fishing, dogsledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, shooting sporting clays, and practicing yoga and meditation.

Cloud Nine orange creamsicle donuts
Executive Chef Clement Gelas at Courchevel Bistro

The Talisker Club, Park City’s toniest private golf community, purchased and renovated the historic Coal & Lumber building on Main Street and turned it into something the town was lacking: a fine dining French restaurant (open to the public). The chef at the new Courchevel Bistro (courchevelbistro.com) hails from the Rhone Valley and uses the freshest local and sustainable ingredients. Imagine Utah free-range chicken as coq au vin or Rocky Mountain trout bouillabaisse.

Several on-mountain dining and drinking improvements at Park City Mountain will make the guest experience better this season. The very popular Cloud Dine eatery atop the resort was always hard to get into, with high demand for its picturesque setting and upscale, from-scratch cooking. Now a major renovation and expansion has greatly increased capacity. An all-new restaurant replaces and expands the popular Tombstone BBQ food truck. It still makes great barbecue, but the improved Tombstone adds indoor seating, a craft beer bar, and an all-new slow smoked meat pit to the existing picnic tables. Park City’s iconic Mid-Mountain Lodge, set in a 19th-century miner’s boarding house, has undergone an extensive and historically sensitive restoration, adding a new eatery and one of Utah’s only on-mountain, full-service, ski-in/ski-out cocktail bars, The Public House.

On the slopes, Park City Mountain debuts the new Over and Out quad chairlift, significantly reducing the travel time needed to get from the center of the resort (the base of Tombstone Lift) back to the Canyons Village (a trip that became far busier after the new interconnect gondola opened). Since the whole point of the mega-resort is to offer all the skiable terrain to those staying in either Canyons Village or charming Park City proper, this is a big improvement toward improving skier flow and the ability to begin on the Main Street side of the resort. For the truly adventurous, the resort’s Peak to Peak Experience with local guide Jeremy Greenberger (jeremygreenberger@gmail.com) traverses 16,000 vertical feet, which equals about 6 miles as the crow flies.

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