The Snow Report
Boarders: Look elsewhere. Riding isn’t allowed here, a fact that spurred Burton to offer thousands of dollars for footage of snowboarders taking on any of Deer Valley’s 3,000 vertical feet.
Skiers, however, are perfectly content on DV’s 100 diverse trails spread over 2,026 vast acres. With 300 annual inches of snowfall, three onsite gear shops, and $8 million in improvements this season (a few of the 22 lifts got replaced and snowmaking capabilities got expanded), this steeply priced place will give you what you pay for: Upscale service at the birthplace of the pampering amenities now common at many ski resorts, like valets, childcare, and free overnight storage.
Deer Park was an official Olympic venue in 2002 and still hosts high-stakes contests. Gold medalist Stein Eriksen is the director of skiing here, and instructors include former members of the national teams of Switzerland and Bolivia, plus experts who’ve developed children’s programs for the PSIA.
The resort’s all-employee ski patrol is 70 members strong, and Park City Hospital is 5.5 miles from the base, though doctors are at the resort daily.
Among the elegant hotels here are the AAA 5-Diamond Stein Eriksen Lodge, the Craftsman-style Montage Deer Valley, and the luxurious but family-friendly St. Regis Deer Valley, all of which are ski-in/ski-out. Free buses take guests between all three base areas, and within five miles of the resort is most anything you could want: the Utah Olympic Park, the Sundance Festival movie theaters, an ice-skating rink, an alpine coaster, a bowling alley, and many spas.
The dining scene is refined: Goldener Hirsch, Grappa Italian, River Horse, and the Glitretind all maintain high standards. Main Street, a mile from Deer Valley’s base area, is the heartbeat of a charmingly historic village whose eclectic shops, galleries, and bars fill up with celebrities and artsy thespian types every January during Sundance.
Deer Valley is in the Wasatch Range, whose delicate ecology is protected by the resort-supported Summit Land Conservancy. Environmental managers saw to it that nearly 1,000 acres of land be set aside with conservation easements. They also implemented a major energy-saving lighting upgrade and bought wind-energy credits to offset 10 percent of the mountain’s electricity use. There are significant recycling and water-conservation efforts here, and much of the heavy equipment runs on biodiesel.
Besides conventional skiing, you can partake in sleigh rides (some that’ll take you to fireside dining at the European-style Empire Canyon Lodge), a NASTAR racing course, snowshoeing, hot-air ballooning, and heli skiing. Just not, mind you, snowboarding.
CONTACT: (800) 424-3337, deervalley.com
SEASON: Early December to mid-April
TICKETS: General: $96 (discounted for military personnel), children: $60, ages 65 and older: $69, ages 2 and younger: $21